All About Gelatin and Its Nutrients


You've probably heard a lot about the health benefits of gelatin lately, or perhaps you started drinking bone broth regularly because you heard it was good for you. But did you know that the reason you are told to drink that bone broth is actually because of the gelatin found within it? We're not talking the green jiggly gelatin you remember from childhood, but the natural substance that is extracted from the bones and connective tissues when you make bone broth.

After being diagnosed and suffering from a digestive autoimmune disease, I decided to make major dietary changes. I read and learned more about the foods I was eating and what role they played in digestion. Not only did I eliminate foods to reduce my symptoms, but I also added foods in to help heal from the inside like nutrient-dense bone broth and fermented foods.

You have always heard that grandma's chicken soup is the best medicine, but you may never have known which component of it was supposed to be healing. It was actually the good old-fashioned homemade chicken stock that she used, as opposed to the boxed variety we have all grown so accustomed to using.

The natural gelatin present in bone broths has many health benefits. The amino acid glycine helps to detoxify the body, and it is calming and healing to the gut. It also promotes healthy nails and hair, improves skin moisture and smoothness and fosters younger looking skin. Name one Womanista who wouldn't want that!

When a hot cup of stock or soup doesn't sound appetizing, you can use gelatin in the powdered form. It's not as nutrient rich as broth, because the broth still has all of the minerals in it, but it is a great way to make it part of your regular diet. We're not talking about the sugary green stuff like I mentioned before, but plain, unsweetened gelatin from grass-fed cows.

It's sold in two forms – regular and hydrolyzed collagen gelatin. The regular is used to make things gel and doesn't mix into cold liquids well. I use it for desserts like chocolate pudding pie, homemade marshmallows, fruit snacks, or even to make ice cream rich and creamy. It can be used as a grain-free substitute for cornstarch or in place of eggs in some chilled desserts, and can even be used in place of eggs in some baked goods for those who are allergic.

The hydrolyzed collagen is water soluble and can be added to cold liquid without gelling and is an easy way to get the benefits of gelatin in your daily diet. When I'm looking to incorporate it into my diet more frequently, I blend 1 to 2 tablespoons of hydrolyzed collagen gelatin into a smoothie, or stir it into warm tea or coffee.


You can find collagen and gelatin online or at your local health-food store. My favorite brand is Vital Proteins.