Aches and pains are nothing new. As a natural result of aging and and repetitive motions, aches and pains develop as trace lubricants and skeletal surfaces wear. Pains also derive from repetitive motion – such as walking, writing, knitting, and (likely) texting. An ages old food source known as gelatin may help relieve those pains. Call gelatin a superfood from the past.
In ancient times, forms of gelatin naturally occurred from cooking bones of various animals. After meats and fats were consumed, gelatin was a byproduct found around thoroughly cooked bones. I remember my parents cooking bones, refrigerating the fluids and eating the gelatin. Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle, flavorless solid substance, derived from collagen found in animal bones. I must admit, it didn’t seem appetizing. Gelatin is a form of collagen hydrolysate. It is a key ingredient of a flavored food product – Jello – often served as a dessert.
For those watching fats and cholesterol, gelatin may be the near worst possible food, as it is derived from animal sources. Small studies claim gelatin may help control high cholesterol levels and (unsweetened) aid with sugar metabolism. Some studies indicate that gelatin may act as an aid to reduce inflammation.
Vegans can forget about it. Gelatin is produced by slow boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments or bones of animals. In modern times, vegans may also create gelatin from fruit and vegetable sources but are they chemically similar?
According to Web-MD, however, gelatin may have some side effects. “Gelatin can cause an unpleasant taste, sensation of heaviness in the stomach, bloating, heartburn, and belching. Gelatin can cause allergic reactions in some people”.. Due to small science studies, Web-MD finds insufficient evidence to substantiate the benefit claims of gelatin.
Yet the University of Medicine Michigan sees benefit at using collagen to help treat certain cartilage problems.
A respected online source, Medical News Today does highlight possible medical benefits of collagen in treating symptoms related to osteoarthritis, also with joints, and vascular prosthetic conditions. Gelatin is a natural and high source of collagen.
Alternatively, gelatin is studied on animals with positive results. The accompanying nutrients found with naturally cooked gelatin seem to offer benefits for best body absorption.
Gelatin benefits were studied as far as 500 years scientifically and earlier by alchemists.. Early research about gelatin indicated that gelatin helps the liver. This is plausible in that the liver uses the amino acid glycine for detoxification, and its ability to detoxify is limited by the amount of glycine available.
It seems that gelatin or bone broth is hailed as a miracle food beyond its analgesic benefits. It is supposedly beneficial for dieting, fights inflammation, and considered a superfood for superior general health. Is it?
Home-made broth is considered an excellent source for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin. Proline and glycine play starring roles in the collagenous fibers (from soup bones) built from gigantic proteins containing complex amino acids each, as building blocks. Gelatin is also kosher and halal when the appropriate meats and ingredients are used. Chicken and beef broth also have a host of micronutrients that further aid in the absorption and utilization of gelatin in your body. According to Nourishing Traditions (available from Amazon), Gelatin helps relieve the pains of arthritis and other joint pains.
Fundamentally, the best way to produce gelatin is by cooking bones. I prefer soup but bones are the magic source.
Preparing chicken and beef soup as an infusion:
In a 10 quart soup pot, add 8 to 10 skinless chicken drum sticks and about a pound of beef ribs. Add carrots, celery, 1 onion, some dill, tarragon, parsley, and garlic – as natural herbs. Add a little salt. Then fill the pot with water.
Bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Soup is not finished until meats have completely separated from the bone. Then serve.
If you serve again on subsequent days, store and refrigerate pot with contents. Prior to reheating, cut chicken bones and (if possible) beef bones. This will help release more gelatin.
I urge creativity. You can also use the broth from well-cooked stews, and other recipes. The idea is to release the collagen from the bones.
You might be thinking that eating and preparing gelatin by making soup is slow. Gelatin also comes in powder form. Jello is a form of gelatin that has been marketed for many years. Problem with Jello is sugar and artificial colors/flavors. Diet versions have artificial sweeteners. Fortunately, there are gelatine powders, with no additives, available from organic and health food stores.
Of all the praise gelatin gets for relieving joint and arthritis pains, there are so many other factors and variables that deal with their onset and severity. Pain partners with dysfunction and many reach out for miracles. Gelatin, however, seems to have many users and supporters around the world and bone broth is still used in food-poor countries. The co-factors found in gelatin, such as proline and glycine, help naturally help reduce the wear and tear resulting from use, stress, age, injury, and diet.
There is no hard scientific proof and most doctors will question some of the health claims surrounding gelatin. On the balance scale, those consuming gelatin or bone broth believe adding gelatin to their dietary regimen is extremely beneficial. There must be something associated with the longevity and appeal of Jello. Pure gelatin from bone broth is popular. That religious groups (who follow kosher and halal dietary rules) find the making of gelatin so important must help offer some significance toward gelatin as a food of super fame.
If you are monitoring cholesterol blood levels, soups and bone broth may elevate blood levels. Cholesterol lowering claims are not scientifically supported.