Gelatin is a translucent and brittle substance that lacks any color or flavor in its dry form. The substance is obtained from collagen from a number of animal by-products like the bones and organs. It is widely used in pharmaceutical and food products as a gelling agent, but it also has other uses in cosmetics and photography. Gelatin is produced through a process of hydrolysis in which collagen is broken down into component amino acids. Gelatin, therefore, mainly comprises of the amino acids glycine and proline and is primarily protein.
Most of us are familiar with gelatinous products or products containing gelatin like marshmallows, candy-like gummy bears, some varieties of ice cream yogurt and other desserts. Gelatin that we use in our kitchens is mostly available in the form of thin dry sheets, powder or granules. Most of these varieties need to be soaked in water, but there are also instant varieties that can be directly added to food. Gelatin is now regarded as great source of nutrition because it provides us with proteins that we rarely get from our diet as these nutrients were traditionally obtained from the bones, organs and fibrous tissue or cartilages, which are now discarded. This off course raises some concerns as certain ethnic, religious and cultural groups have dietary restrictions with regard to the consumption of specific animals or any animal products in general.
Health Benefits of Gelatin
Numerous studies suggest that gelatin may be beneficial but there is a need for greater research before any robust claims can be made. Not all of these health benefits may work for you so treat all such claims with a bit of skepticism
- Promotes Metabolic Activity: Numerous health and fitness enthusiasts recommend the inclusion of gelatin in your diet because they see it as the perfect protein dense food with its high content of amino acids and peptides. Gelatin is believed to stimulate production of human growth hormone and may exercise a metabolism boosting effect, but more research is needed.
- Stimulates Muscle Growth: Gelatin is an excellent source of amino acids and its high protein content improves your body’s metabolism. This doesn’t just mean that it speeds up the burning of calories or encourages weight loss, but it means that all metabolic activities are enhanced. This includes the creation of new cells and the repair of damaged cells, which is how muscles are built. As you exercise and push your muscles to their limit, they experience some amount of micro damage and muscle growth occurs as these cells are repaired. .
- Promotes Nail Health: Gelatin may help to improve the health and quality of your nails, as well as your hair and teeth. All of these structures have high amounts of keratin, which is a kind of protein. Not surprisingly, gelatin is also a good source of keratin. Some studies suggest that gelatin may in fact be a suitable treatment for brittle nails and many natural health enthusiasts claim that it can help improve the quality of your hair, nails and teeth.
- Aids in Weight Loss: Gelatin being a protein dense food has a metabolism boosting effect according to some naturopaths and dieticians, thereby helping those struggling to shed those extra pounds. .
- Improves Digestion: Gelatin in your diet helps digestion and improves your digestive health. It helps soothe and protect the mucosal lining of the digestive tract while also facilitating the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. .
- Promotes Healthy Skin: Collagen is the main structural protein in not just the skin, but also in tendons and ligaments. This is why collagen is widely used in the medical treatment of various skin and bone conditions. Gelatin is a derivative of collagen and has similar beneficial effects on your skin, which is why it is also widely used in cosmetic products. .
- Promotes Good Sleep: Several studies show that glycine can significantly improve the quality of sleep in patients who have sleep problems. Gelatin is possibly the best natural source of glycine and there is no known risk of side effects from glycine.
- Helps Prevent Stretch Marks: Stretch marks appear on your skin when you rapidly gain or lose weight or when your skin loses its elasticity as a result of aging or other lifestyle factors. Collagen is what gives your skin its elasticity and as gelatin is derived from collagen, many people believe that gelatin can help to improve the elasticity and toning of your skin thereby helping to prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
Fresh Apple JelloIngredients
- Fresh Apples – 8 on average but will vary depending on size and quality
- Cool water – ¼ cup
- Hot water – ¼ cup
- Organic gelatin powder – 1 tablespoon
- You will need to put at least 5 apples through a juicer to get 1 and a ½ cup of juice.
- Chop the remaining apples into bite sized cubes and transfer into cups. You will need at least 1-2 cups.
- Empty the gelatin powder into a saucepan and add the cool water.
- Stir it well making sure that it is thoroughly mixed even as it thickens.
- Now add the hot water and continue stirring. You will notice it becomes thin again.
- You can now add the juice in and continue mixing.
- Empty the apple cubes into the bowl or dish in which you plan to make the jello and pour the jello mix over it.
- Stir lightly to ensure that the fruit cubes are all coated.
- Refrigerate the entire bowl for a couple of hours or simply leave it overnight.
- Your apple jello is now ready to be served!