What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein-based, translucent, natural food additive found in everything from Jell-o to nutritional supplements. Derived from collagen, this nutrient-rich additive has shown substantial promise in improving or aiding in optimal brain function as well as joint, skin and hair health.
Where does it come from?
Gelatin is a collagen derived from animal tissue. Essentially, it’s a product constructed from the meat, bones, and cartilage of animals, and as such is rich in amino acids that aid in providing strength and structure of tissues.
Because the product is “animal-derived”, this makes foods containing gelatin decidedly non-vegetarian or vegan. However, commercially prepared gelatin does not taste like meat and is largely “taste-free”, making it a great addition to other food items such as soup or broth.
Gelatin is notorious for it’s role in creating the wiggle dessert Jell-O. But it can be used in a variety of dishes, usually after being dissolved in water. However, gelatin is also commercially available as supplements in granule or powder forms.
The benefits of consuming Gelatin
Although our body is capable of producing gelatin on its own, studies have demonstrated that our body’s production of gelatin is generally insufficient for optimal health. This means that consuming gelatin from external food sources is an important component of health and well-being.
According to Healthline, the benefits of gelatin differ by type. Bovine gelatin, made mostly from cows, has shown promise in benefiting skin moisture levels and improving resiliency. Bovine gelatin gained a reputation in the late 2010s as a natural wrinkle reducer.
Marine gelatin, made from fish, provides most of the same benefits. But research suggests that marine gelatin may help the body protect itself from UV radiation and aid in wound repairing. It may even help regenerate bone tissue.