If you’ve been following my blog for awhile then you’ve probably noticed that for the past year I’ve been on a serious collagen and gelatin kick. Well, today I wanted to share more about the benefits of collagen, why I started supplementing with both, and gelatin and easy ways to get more of it into your diet!
What are gelatin and collagen?
Collagen and gelatin are found in bones and tissue. One of the main ways to get more collagen and gelatin into your diet (besides supplementation) is through bone broth where bones and tissue are simmered in water for about 24 hours, which creates a thick and tasty broth full of amino acids. (If you’ve ever made broth at home and noticed it become thick or similar to a gel texture once it has cooled, then you’ve already seen the benefits of collagen and gelatin!)
What’s the difference between gelatin and collagen?
The short answer is that it comes down how the collagen and gelatin are processed. Gelatin is simply the cooked form of collagen. Both have similar benefits in terms of the amino acids, but because collagen and gelatin have different textures, they are used differently in terms of supplementation and cooking.
What are the benefits?
Collagen and gelatin have a huge host of benefits for the entire body since they are so rich in amino acids and minerals! Collagen accounts for about 30% of the protein in our bodies and 70% of the protein in our skin. For this reason, you’ll find that many beauty products contain collagen claiming to increase skin elasticity. However, since collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin, the best way to get the benefits is through consuming it.
Collagen and gelatin are wonderful for strengthening our skin, nails, and hair. As we age, our bodies make less collagen. This causes our skin to lose elasticity and is why we get wrinkles as we get older. Since I’m in my thirties and have begun to notice the appearance of fine lines on my skin, I personally supplement with collagen peptides as a way to add more collagen back into the skin and restore elasticity.
One of the other reasons why I started supplementing with gelatin specifically is because of how well gelatin can heal the gut lining. As more and more research is coming out about the links between gut health and our health in general, I consider this to be a key benefit. Gelatin is also helpful for aiding in digestion so if you suffer from heartburn or GERD, I would highly recommend adding more gelatin to your diet!
Collagen and gelatin are also great for strengthening bones, joint support, and the amino acids also help support the liver in detoxification.
What to look for when buying gelatin and collagen
Since collagen and gelatin come from animal bones and tissue, it’s really important to buy a quality supplement that comes from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle. This is why I’ve always used Vital Proteins in all the recipes you see here on my blog. You can find collagen peptides and gelatin online or in health food stores. And if you’re pescatarian, wild-caught marine peptides is a great alternative.
Note: This is not a sponsored post, but I was provided free samples by Vital Proteins. However, I have purchased and used their products previously and believe in their quality. All opinions here are my own.
So now that you know why collagen and gelatin are awesome, let’s talk about some easy ways to add them to your diet!
Easy ways to use gelatin:
You’re probably already familiar with gelatin because of jello. Gelatin dissolves in hot water and is used to thicken liquids. Since gelatin is used to thicken liquids, it’s awesome for creating homemade healing gummies and thickening sauces.
Some of my favorite recipes include:
- Anti-inflammatory ginger gummies
- Gut-loving gummies
- Healing probiotic cherry gummies (pictured above)
- Sugar-free chocolate gummy bears
- I’ve also started using gelatin in place of arrowroot powder to thicken sauces and soups. It’s such an easy way to sneak more gelatin into your diet! One of my current faves is to use a tablespoon of gelatin in my paleo beef stroganoff recipe in place of the arrowroot powder.
- And, of course, gelatin can even be used in fun recipes like these white wine gummies and red wine gummies.
Easy ways to use collagen peptides:
Collagen peptides dissolve easily in cold water and don’t change the texture of the liquid like gelatin. This makes collagen perfect for adding to drinks and smoothies. And, because collagen peptides are easily digestible and readily absorbed by the body, they’re a great choice for those who have digestive issues.
Some of my favorite recipes include:
- Adding a scoop or two of collagen peptides to my morning yerba mate tea or evening chamomile tea (it won’t change the taste or texture!)
- Adding 2 – 3 scoops to green smoothies like this fat bomb breakfast smoothie or this no-fruit pumpkin green smoothie. (This is a great way to get additional protein without using a processed protein powder!)
- Adding 2 – 3 scoops to my (sugar-free) electrolyte lemonade recipe for a pre-workout boost or as an after-workout recovery drink.
P.S. If you want to try collagen peptides for FREE, don’t miss my collagen giveaway here!
What are your favorite ways to enjoy collagen and gelatin?