If you’ve spent any time in a hospital you might have noticed that patients get jello with nearly every meal. You’ll be surprised to know that jello is not only there to cheer people up with its bright colors and bouncy texture. The gelatin inside of jello actually has a wide range of healing properties that help to soothe the gut and speed up the healing process.
What is gelatin and how is it made?
Gelatin is made from boiling animal bones, cartilage and skin to extract the collagen. Collagen is the fibrous material that connects muscle, bones, and skin in animals, and when it’s processed it becomes what we call gelatin. Gelatin contains two amino acids – glycine and proline, which most people fail to consume in adequate amounts.
Gelatin is one of the easiest foods for the body to digest, just like water, tea, and juice. Therefore, many patients situated in the hospital are given gelatin as their stomach cannot handle anything else. When you’re recovering from a difficult period your body needs something easy to digest and that’s why jello is the perfect meal for everyone.
Health benefits of gelatin
1. Improves gut health
Gelatin is beneficial for preventing intestinal damage and improving the lining of the digestive tract, thereby preventing permeability and leaky gut syndrome.
Gelatin can improve your ability to produce adequate gastric acid secretions that are needed for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Glycine from gelatin is important for restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach and facilitating with the balance of digestive enzymes and stomach acid.
When you don’t make the proper amount of enzymes/stomach acid, you can experience common digestive problems like nutrient deficiencies, acid reflux, bloating, indigestion, as well as anemia.
2. Bone and joint health
If you’re in the hospital, chances are you will be spending quite a bit of time in bed, which means that your bones and joints need all of the support that they can get in order to heal. In multiple studies, gelatin has been proven to improve bone and joint pain, particularly for those with osteoarthritis.
In one study, 80 people with osteoarthritis were given a gelatin supplement for 70 days. Those who had taken the supplement reported a reduction in pain and joint stiffness.
In another study, 97 athletes were given a gelatin supplement for 24 weeks and experienced a significant reduction in joint pain, both at rest and during activity.
3. Brain function and mental health
Gelatin may be able to help your brain get back on track because it’s rich in glycine, which has been linked to brain function. One study found that taking glycine significantly improved memory and certain aspects of attention.
4. Promotes better sleep
Gelatin powder can help you sleep better. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50 to 70 million people in the US suffer from a sleep disorder, so we could all use a little gelatin.
The amino acid glycine, which is abundant in gelatin, has been shown to help improve sleep. This was proven in a study where individuals took 3 grams of glycine before bed. They reported an improved sleep quality, an easier time falling asleep, and feeling less tired the following day.
The downside of jello
Jello is low in calories but high in added sugar, which can cause a multitude of health issues, such as an increased chance of heart disease and diabetes. The food coloring within jello has been proven to contain carcinogenic properties, which can lead to cancer.
Fortunately, you can escape the nasty ingredients in favor of the good ones by making your own healthy jello at home.
Delicious homemade jelly – Recipe
- 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup of green tea
- 1 cup of grape juice or fresh strawberries
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
- Raw honey or stevia
Initially, you need to cook the green tea and add some stevia and honey. Next, add the unflavored gelatin, and mix until it is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
Then, add the orange and the grape juice and make sure to mix them well. Pour the resulting mixture into a container and put it in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Your delicious jelly is ready.
More ways to consume gelatin
If you’re not fond of the jelly texture of jello, but still want to reap the benefits that gelatin has to offer, you can get your kick with one of these easy options:
Bone broth: Since gelatin is made from the bones, cartilage, and skin of animals, you can get the same benefits from creating a bone broth using these ingredients.
Gelatin/Collagen powder: Adding water to gelatin powder and allowing it to cool is what makes jello, but if you prefer to skip the jelly-texture of jello you can ingest the powder on its own. It is tasteless and odorless, so it can easily be added to any smoothie.
Gelatin/Collagen supplement pills: For many people, taking supplements in the form of pills can be a great way to quickly and easily get the healing benefits that you desire. Fortunately, there are many gelatin and collagen pills on the market that will provide you with lysine and glycine.
Gelatin can do wonders when healing a human body. Let’s hope you never end up in the hospital, but if you do, make sure that you eat up the jello dessert that they give you. It might just help you to get out of that hospital bed faster so that you can continue enjoying your life.