My interest in food goes a long way back. Much before I started working with health & nutrition I had a book called “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” that I used to love reading. On the first page of the book is a quote by Claude Fisher that says: “If you are what you eat and you don’t know what you’re eating, do you know who you are?” Makes a lot of sense to me, to know what’s in my food and what it’s doing internally to support my body.
Once I understand the healing properties and health benefits of a particular food, and once I have figured out that it works for me, I like to incorporate it into my diet in different ways. One of the foods, or more accurately food components, that I am particularly enjoying at the moment is collagen (or gelatin). I am using it as an anti aging tool, supporting my skin, nails, hair, my bones, joints and not to forget my gut.
Nothing beats whole foods and I therefore prefer to get most of my collagen as a natural part of bone broth. However, considering the tremendous health benefits it offers I do add it to my smoothies in the form of collagen peptides and recently, I have been experimenting with using gelatin to make gummies. Determined to find some great recipes, I turned my kitchen into a gut healing gummy factory in the past few days.
Before I share a few of my favorite gummie recipe websites, let me entice you into making your own, by give you a quick synopsis of what exactly collagen has the power to do for you:
- Build digestive health (which is at the root of health in general)
- Support a strong a balanced immune system
- Improve brain function
- Give you a more youthful appearance (who doesn’t want some of that?!)
- Promote deep sleep
- Support bone health
- Support cardiovascular health
- Support hormonal balance
All this goodness comes from the fact that collagen is a protein which has the same composition as our own connective tissue, which makes it easy for the body to utilize it. This is why collagen is an excellent source for growth and repair, for our skin, hair and nails and for our bones and joints and other connective tissues. Collagen is high in the amino acids glycine and proline which are the two most abundant amino acids in our body that, among other things, help to support cardiovascular and hormonal health.
From a digestive health perspective, collagen (or gelatin) is an amazing tool to help improve the health of the lining of the digestive tract.* This is an especially important area to support when you are dealing with leaky gut or bacterial dysbiosis (which many of us are, even if we don’t know it!) By healing and repairing your digestion you create a positive ripple effect in all other areas of the body including the immune system, brain health, hormonal health, and metabolism.
Plenty of reasons to incorporate bone broth, collagen peptides and gut healing gummies in your diet! Here are some of the gummie recipes I tried and liked:
These are tasty! The orange juice and extra vitamin C powder makes for a great immune boosting snack.
The glycine in gelatin helps to support sleep by calming our nerves.* Montmorency tart cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin as well as tryptophan, both of which help improve sleep.* These gummies are therefore an excellent pre-bedtime snack.
These are sophisticated gummies with a lovely delicate green tea, lemon and ginger flavor.
There are plenty of ways to experiment with different flavors. A quick search on Pinterest will bring up exciting options like apple / cinnamon, almond milk with probiotics, kombucha or coconut water based gummies, different fruit flavors and of course you can get creative and try your own permutations and combinations.
Here are some additional tips:
I used special gummy bear molds, which are undoubtedly cute, but you can also use a regular baking dish to firm up the gelatin and cut it into squares. Equally tasty and probably faster.
Make sure that you slowly sprinkle the gelatin powder onto cold liquid, allowing it to “bloom” and dissolve slowly. I made a mistake of using room temperature liquid at first (which here in Manila is on the warmer side) and it clumped up.
Use a high quality gelatin powder. I like Vital Proteins Grass Fed, Pasture Raised Gelatin Powder (the green can). Great Lakes is another good brand. If you are in Asia, this high quality gelatin powder will be harder to come by but I do recommend you do your best to source the best. Gelatin is an animal derived food and as with all animal protein foods, the way an animal has been raised, looked after and fed ensures not only better animal welfare and healthier animals but also better quality of meat (or gelatin) at an optimal level of nutrition.
If you find any good recipes, please do share!