I've been getting lots of different kinds of questions lately, ranging from my thoughts on how to improve digestive health to reducing knee pain from aging and arthritis… that, oddly enough, have been leading me back to telling folks about the same thing… Gelatin (or hydrolyzed collagen to be more precise).
What comes to mind when you think of gelatin? If you're thinking jigglers, you're on the right track…
(Dang…I reeeeeally wanted to put a meme of Bill Cosby saying “jEllooo” here, but honestly, just couldn't bring myself to do it.)
You might be surprised though, that gelatin (like the kind used to make jello) is Much more than just good for making surprisingly fun and delicious treats. The health benefits of gelatin, or its partner hydrolyzed collagen, are varied and abundant… keep reading to find out why you should absolutely consider adding more into your diet each day!
What is Hydrolyzed Collagen (aka Gelatin)?
Basically, gelatin comes from the collagen found in animal bones. The kind you're likely familiar with is essentially just “cooked” collagen. Collagen is a protein made up of essential amino acids (those that your body can't make, and you have to get through some outside nutritional source).
My favorite kind of collagen (hydrolyzed collagen) is basically all the goodness that you'd find in bone broth… dehydrated… so that you can make delicious treats with it and reap the benefits of the collagen without having to sit around gnawing on bones all day… not that you'd do that… but, you know… with collagen protein being available as it's own thing, now you don't have to.
Health Benefits of Gelatin & Hydrolyzed Collagen
- Gelatin is rich in specific amino acids that make it a wonderful nutritional aide in bone and joint health, along with supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- There is evidence to suggest (although still up for debate) that hydrolyzed collagen has been shown to provide benefits in reducing pain as it can act as an anti-inflammatory, and is especially helpful for arthritic pain. There have been a few studies (like this one) showing that “there was a significant improvement in knee joint comfort (with collagen hydrolysate supplementation).” Or like this study, which states “(collagen hydrolysate) is effective in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and is safe for human consumption.”
- It's also great for hormone balance, adrenal support, and aiding in digestion and weight loss. (source)
- The amino acid glycine, found in hydrolyzed collagen, has actually been shown to improve sleep.
- Loss of collagen in the skin can make it saggy and wrinkly, but taking gelatin as a nutritional supplement can improve skin health and vitality.
- It's used as an aide in weight loss as it supports a healthy digestive tract, and can be quite filling as a nutritional aide.
- The protein (amino acids) and anti-inflammatory effects can help shorten recovery time and reduce sports-related injuries as well.
What's not to love about gelatin?! It's truly a superfood!
But… the real kicker for me while taking a collagen supplement daily, actually happened when I STOPPED taking it. I had noticed when I'd started the habit that the slight aches and pains I had (especially going down stairs) had diminished, but I thought maybe it was in my head.
When I stopped taking hydrolyzed collagen after a couple days, however, I noticed that those little aches and pains were starting to come back… nothing crazy, but definitely noticeable.
I went back to my habit of adding it either to my coffee or having some bone broth each day, and the aches were relieved again! I am truly a believer! Not only that, but my nails are stronger and I also notice a slight improvement in my skin elasticity… hey, I'll take all the help I can get!
Types of Gelatin & Hydrolyzed Collagen (and Where to Buy)
Clearly, gelatin is awesome, but there is something I should mention… Not all gelatin is created equal. The gelatin I'm talking about is likely Not the same as the kind you grew up
playing with eating… you know the Knox brand you can get at the store, or the kind in most jello jiggler boxes.
Why GRASS FED Gelatin (& Hydrolyzed Collagen) is Best
I prefer and recommend sourcing the hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin you eat from grass fed, pastured cows. Cows being allowed to roam and eat the food intended for their bodies (primarily grass) to function well and stay healthy, isn't just beneficial for the animals… those benefits trickle over to the humans consuming them. The products I recommend in this post all source their collagen from grass-fed, pastured cows, and farmers that support animal wellbeing and sustainable eco-friendly practices. I believe this provides the highest quality of protein and nutrient density, along with being beneficial for our environment.
For more information about the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed animals, I recommend you check out this article by my friend Noelle over at CoconutsandKettlebells.com… The Grass-Fed Difference: Why You Are What They Eat.
Before I get into my recommendation, I'll say you don't have to purchase special collagen supplements to get the benefits this superfood has to offer. Even though it's an excellent, and relatively inexpensive way to get the benefits in each day, if you wanted to, you could drink bone broth with added chicken feet (no, I'm not joking), and get all the benefits of taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement, plus some. Here's how to make bone broth in the crock pot (it's really easy!).
If you're not into the whole bone broth thing, it's cool (even though, since we're friends, I'm gonna strongly urge you to reconsider 😉 ).
Either way, I'll still share what I personally use (and how I use it) and a few ideas for using each kind. There are thankfully a few brands on the market now that I've personally used and recommend. I don't know about you, but I like to have choices, so at the end of this post you'll see a link to my resources page where I'll share a few of the other brands I know of and have personally tried of that I feel are quality options… but first, I'll be starting with my Favorite brand!
Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen & Gelatin (My Favorite!)
The folks at Perfect Supplements (who rock!) were kind enough to send me a bottle of their hydrolyzed collagen to try out… and it just so happens that I LOVE it and I am totally hooked!
Hydrolyzed Collagen is processed in a way that breaks down the protein so all the amino acids and nutrients are more readily available to be absorbed by the body (in this case, “processed” is actually a good thing!).
What I love about the Perfect Supplements brand and their Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen…
- The price is very competitive, and on top of that you can get a “buy more, save more” discount on all the products in their “Perfect” line through the Perfect Supplements website too… Definitely budget-friendly!
- Their hydrolyzed collagen comes in a container that's easy to scoop from, and it even comes with its own scoop to make measuring the perfect amount super easy!
- It has ZERO smell, which I'm a fan of… and it gives my morning cup o' joe a perfect creamy texture, sans any kind of farm-house smell or taste.
- The Perfect Supplements products meet ALL of my requirements for supplement quality, and I feel very confident recommending them!
The Perfect Supplements crew has also offered a Very Special discount of an extra 10% off only for YOU, my lovely reader! Just enter code SARAH10 at checkout to get your special discount. 🙂
Recommendations for how to use hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin
Here are some of my favorite recipes and ways to incorporate hydrolyzed collagen & gelatin into your diet daily…
- Mix a scoop of hydrolyzed collagen in with your morning cup of coffee (this is my favorite!)
- Add a scoop of the hydrolyzed collagen to your or your kiddo's favorite smoothie for a protein boost
- Make nostalgic & fun, healthy homemade “Jello Jigglers” with the gelatin
- Use gelatin to make gummy snacks… great for kids and adults alike! In the winter we make an Elderberry version of these.
- Mix either kind of collagen (gelatin or the hydrolyzed collagen) into bone, beef, or chicken broth to give it an added health boost
- You could also make this delicious, creamy coconut cheesecake!
Psst, need an on-the-go option? Check out Perfect Supplements Hydrolyzed Collagen Packets (LOVE these for traveling & for bringing to work!)
Click Here to visit the Perfect Supplements site and view all their, well, Perfect supplements. 🙂 And, don't forget to enter code SARAH10 at checkout to receive your special 10% discount.