What I am talking about is the deeply nourishing, highly absorbable gelatin that come from collagen.
Let’s Go Back In Time
Traditionally, many cultures valued using the whole animal. That means if they killed an animal for food, they would use every part of it for something. The meat and organs would be eaten, the skin would be used to make leather, the blubber would be cooked down to make a healthy cooking fat, and the bones and joints would be boiled down to make a rich, nourishing broth. This broth rich in gelatin and minerals, would be valued for its healing properties. Even in our modern, industrialized culture, we recognize that chicken noodle soup is what you give to someone who is sick. However, most people do not understand why.
Disease Begins in the Gut
The gelatin in bone broths is very healing to our guts. It “provides building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and [it has] a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut.” (Gut and Psychology Syndrome, p.145) As we stray further and further away from a traditional diet, we see an increase in auto-immune diseases and in damage to our gut. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride believes that anything from allergies , ADD/ADHD and autism to depression and even schizophrenia can be directly related to the health of our gut.
I have yet to meet a child with autism, ADHD/ADD, asthma, eczema, allergies, dyspraxia or dyslexia, who had not got digestive abnormalities. In many cases they are severe enough for the parents to start talking about them first…But what have digestive abnormalities got to do with autism, hyperactivity, inability to learn, mood, and behaviour problems? According to recent research and clinical experience – a lot! In fact it appears that the child’s digestive system holds the key to the child’s mental development. The underlying disorder, which can manifest itself in different children with different combinations of symptoms, resides in the gut! (Gut and Psychology Syndrome, p. 7)
I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that we are becoming sicker by the generation as we stop eating all parts of the animal and stop nourishing our bodies with real food.
The Number One Reason You Need More Gelatin in Your Diet
There are a lot of compelling reasons to intentionally include more gelatin in your diet. Gelatin is healing to our guts (see above!). Gelatin can help maintain bone health and reduce joint pain (source). Gelatin is excellent for your skin, providing moisture and elasticity, slowing down the aging process. (source) It is excellent in providing the amino acids that are necessary to build new collagen. (source) All of these are great reasons to more mindfully include gelatin in our diets. But there is one reason, that I believe is the most compelling:
When we eat a diet of mainly muscle meats and don’t balance it out by eating the rest of the parts of that animal (organ meats, bone broth, etc.) ” the amino acid balance entering our blood stream is the same as that produced by extreme stress.” (source)
Well, it’s quite simple. “When we eat animal proteins in the traditional ways…we assimilate a large amount of glycine and gelatin. This whole-animal balance of amino acids supports all sorts of biological process, including a balanced growth of children’s tissues and organs.” (source) When we do not eat animal proteins in the traditional ways and only focus on muscle meats, we develop an imbalance of amino acids in our body which ultimately leads to all kinds of health issues. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us. We have strayed so far from the way God intended for us to eat that of course the consequence is sickness and disease. We need to get back to the basics!
But I Don’t Want to Eat Chicken Heads and Pig Feet
I hear you, my friends. It can be so discouraging to know what is good for our bodies and then to know that your family will never go along with it. It’s also hard to source bones and collagen from animals that are eating from pastures and not from genetically modified grain feed. Many of us can’t afford the luxury of raising our own animals. It was a huge step for us to even make our own bone broth. I remember the first time I threw some bones in a crock-pot, I felt like I was going back to the days of Little House on the Prairie.
Thankfully there are products that are becoming available to help us incorporate this super-food into our diet. Oh and put down those car keys, those cans of broth or stock at the store do not hold the answer. They can barely be considered a true bone broth and do not contain the healing nourishment of a gelatin-rich stock.
Collagen Protein and Collagen Peptides
There are two gelatin products that are now available through a brand new company called Vital Proteins. Both of these products are sourced from grass-fed animals and can be an excellent supplement to balance the amino acids in our bodies, bring healing to our guts, and basically provide us with all the benefits of gelatin without boiling our own chicken feet.
Collagen Protein is basically gelatin. It is hot water soluble and is great for making homemade jello, gummies, and for adding to stocks, etc.
Vital Proteins actually sent me a carton of Collagen Peptides in exchange for a review and I have found it so easy to incorporate into foods for my family. I’ve added it to smoothies, baked goods, apple sauce, tea, coffee, and many other things. (Warning: if you take it daily your hair and nails will grow at a ridiculous rate.) I have noticed an improvement in my skin as well. However, the thing that I feel the best about is knowing that our diet is more balanced. Even though I do try to keep bone broth consistently brewing in the crock-pot, the reality is we are still not getting a significant amount of it into our bodies since my family is not huge on eating soups and stews.
In conclusion, is adding gelatin to your diet going to solve all your health problems? No. Will it help? Yes. Gelatin is one part of the complex puzzle of nutrition. It is not the cure-all, but it is very necessary – especially in this day and age.
If you are interested in trying this for your family (one carton lasts for quite a while) you can order through their website.
Do you view gelatin as a super food? How do you incorporate it into your diet?
(Full disclosure: This was a sponsored post from Vital Proteins. All opinions are 100% my own and I would never endorse something I wouldn’t use with my own family. I am truly a fan of this product.)