What is natural gelatin?
Essentially, gelatin is a form of protein that is derived from collagen, and acts in the same way in the body by providing strength and structure in tissues, tendons, skin, cartilage, and bones. Grass-fed natural gelatin is typically a form of collagen which is a rich source of natural proteins that have been extracted from the bones of grass-fed cows.
So why do we need to source the substance from cow’s bones if in fact, the collagen we produce is the most abundant protein in our body?
The reason is simple, as we age we produce less collagen, which decreases each year as we get older. An example of this process is our skin losing its firmness as we age. Due to the fact that the part of cows that contain the beneficial collagen we do not usually consume, then the extraction by boiling bones is necessary to gain its benefits.
A damaged gut, a leaky gut:
The gastrointestinal mucosa is the crucially important barrier lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which consists of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, and anus.
So why is the mucosa so important?
The GI tract, asides from the skin, is the only system that is in contact with the external environment. The epithelial cells that line the GI mucosa not only protect from bacteria and pathogens from food consumed and from the outside world, but initiate an immune response if toxins leak into our blood stream.
When the GI lining is damaged and becomes more permeable to harmful pathogens, this is known as leaky gut syndrome. Unwanted molecules then leak into our blood stream, triggering our immune system to respond as a result, inflammation and unwanted changes in our gut flora (microbiome) occur. Moreover, the chronic inflammation can be linked to further complications such as diabetes, asthma, chronic fatigue, and obesity.
What causes leaky gut?
Interestingly, many habits of our modern society can contribute to the damage of our gut barrier. Lifestyle factors include; excessive alcohol consumption, inadequate amounts of fibre in our diet, stress, high sugar diets, and taking excessive amount of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) drugs and other medications.
Gut brain axis, how gut health relates to our mental condition
Recently, it has been emphasized how connected our gut is to our central nervous system (CNS), and how the health of our gut can strongly impact the health of our brain and mental condition. The connection is known as the“gut brain axis” which consists of communication passing in both directions between the CNS and enteric nervous system, which the gut microbiota (bacteria) play an important role in the influence of these communications.
So how exactly does the good gut bacteria (microbiota) improve our mental health?
They release neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), sending it to the brain. Low-levels of GABA is linked to mood disorders and depression. Therefore, when we have a healthy gut flora, it essentially calms our CNS, resulting in improved mental health.
How you can boost your immunity with gelatin
You may be aware that our immune system is linked to our gut; this is a bidirectional relationship. The gut microbiota promotes how efficiently the immune system responds, and the immune system influences the amount of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
So how does gelatin fit in?
Well, if you think of the immune system as not one confined organ, but sections throughout the body protecting different tissues in different parts of the host, one very important section is the mucus membranes such as the nose, throat, lungs, gut, urinary tract to name some. Due to the number of pathogens that invade the moist areas, it is evident that immunity is important, which brings us to the gelatin. Naturally, due to the healing, strengthening impact that gelatin has on the gut, it also strengthens the mucosal immune system in the mucus lining, helping protect from us viruses, bacteria and fungus.
How gelatin heals and protects the gut
You have probably heard how collagen heals your gut, but have you wondered how? For instance, collagen and gelatin are essentially the building blocks of the microscopic projections called villi on your intestine lining. In fact, the tiny villi are so important as they absorb the nutrients from our intestines into our blood stream, if they are damaged then we run the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, collagen and gelatine play a crucial role to the strength of our gut lining. Consequently, if this is compromised then a leaky gut can be the damaging result.
What are the benefits of gelatin?
Did you know that gelatin has many more amazing benefits other than gut health?
The benefits include:
- Strengthen bones, joints and cartilage
- Skin, hair and nail health
- Cardiovascular health
- Digestive health
- Promotes detoxification
- Improves sleep quality
How can we incorporate gelatin into our diet?
The use of gelatin is hardly a new concept, we have been using it for many years for setting our favourite jellies, mousses, and cheesecakes. Unfortunately, these tasty treats are full of sugars and do not use a quality natural gelatin. To reap the full benefits of gelatin we recommended to use an organic grass-fed gelatin and try making healthy gummies, and adding to sauces and soups.
Here is a few recipes for gummies that we have made at Nutrition for Life:
Dani’s Choc Mint Gut Health Gummies
1 x can of full-fat coconut milk
3 dissolved tablespoons of Nutra Organics grass-fed gelatin (in 1/2 cup warm water)
3-4 drops of peppermint essential oil
1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice
1-2 tablespoon of cacao nibs
Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan then stir in the dissolved gelatin.
Add the peppermint oil and sweetener (Dani used erythritol, use less if it is stevia).
Add to silicone mould with cacao nibs already placed in the moulds.
Let set in the fridge.
Sarah’s Antioxidant Boosting Ningxia Gummies
1/4 cup of Ningxia red (a liquid drink derived from wolfberrys made by Young Living)
1/4 cup of Nutra Organics grass-fed gelatin
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 boiling water
Mix all raipidly in thermomix or stir fast in heat proof pouring jug/ bowl.
Pour evenly into non-stick gummie mould and place in the fridge to set.
Lauren’s Raspberry Cream Gummies
For the raspberry top layer:
2 teaspoons of xylitol
1 tablespoon of Nutra Organics grass-fed gelatin
For the coconut layer:
120ml of coconut cream
2 teaspoons of xylitol
1 tablespoon of Nutra Organics grass-fed gelatin
Blend raspberries to make a puree, then strain into a small saucepan to remove raspberry seeds. Add sweetener and gelatin and leave for 5 minutes.
Warm mixture on a low heat until smooth.
Add raspberry liquid to a silicon mould, filling halfway. Then place in the freezer to set for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add coconut cream, sweetener and gelatin to a small saucepan, leave for 5 minutes.
Add to a low heat and stir until a smooth consistency. Allow to cool to lukewarm before pouring on top of the raspberry layer.
Then allow to set in fridge.
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Thank you for sharing!