Collagen protein is a critical element missing from most western diets. On health food store shelves you can find broths and powdered collagen proteins that provide alternatives to ensure you get the benefits. The differences between a collagen hydrolysate or powdered gelatin (also called collagen peptides) and bone broth gelatin (gelatine) is based on the process, the ingredients and the final composition.
A spaghetti bolognaise using Best of the Bone as a base.
Bone broth gelatin is comprised of cooked collagen protein and other nutritional benefits extracted from the bones and/or bones and cartilage. You can find bestsellers on bone broth diets and how you'll lose weight, look younger and increase bone density. These benefits are based on what lays within those bones, and once cooked the bones have significant joint, skin, gut and muscle benefits - in large part because collagen is such a critical part of our bone, muscle, and skin matrix (90% of our bone matrix is collagen).
The typical western diet is lacking in this particular protein (collagen) - which is different from meat protein or vegetable-based proteins. Collagen protein is "the most significant and "used" protein in our bodies" (Dr. C Shanahan, biochemist, nutritionist).
Another benefit of natural bone gelatin is found in the marrow, which has shown significant immune-boosting benefits. Also, from the bone and marrow is derived healthy, essential fatty acids critical for the absorption of micronutrients. Also important, as a part of gelatin, is the unique and non-inflammatory amino acid profile that includes glycine, glutamic acid, alanine, proline. One example of how the body uses glycine is the liver needs these amino acids to keep functioning optimally, notably in in phase 2 detoxification - ensuring your living filters out the toxic bad guys, helping to reduce inflammation.
The differences between a collagen or gelatin powder and a broth gelatin or in the case of Best of the Bone (a bone gelatin not processed into powder) is often that the broth has the full complement of nutrition, including minerals, amino acids, and critical fats. Most of the powdered collagens or powdered gelatins will remove the fat and are derived not from bones but from cow hides. To process they will use the animal hide. The cow skin is split using an alkaline solution and then it is acid washed and cooked - turning it into a "pure" collagen. It is then spray dried into a powder. The result is a convenient and versatile method to get health-improving collagen into your diet. In fact, adding a bit into your broth can improve the absorption of the powdered collagen and the nutritional wham of the broth.
Collagen protein hydrolysed/peptides
Broth gelatin is made either by cooking the bones for days to extract the nutrients, collagen and marrow. Or in the case of "Best of the Bone" the bones are first crushed and then cooked (enabling the ready extraction of the delicious, nutritious marrow) until it becomes a gelatin. A broth is not a pure collagen but has a high collagen composition along with the other minerals. And the healthy fats ensure a higher absorption of the nutrients, micronutrients and collagen.
In short, introducing collagen into your diet and keeping it there will improve:
- skin elasticity because of the skin's collagen base;
- bone health and density, again due to the high collagen and nutrient factors.
- gut health - studies have shown that a bone broth-based diet can improve and reverse conditions such as IBS, leaky gut syndrome, GERD (acid reflux), colitis and gut-related auto-immune issues.
- joint health, in part because of the glucosaminoglycans in the broth which includes hyuralonic acid, glucosamine and other critical building blocks of joint health and helping to produce synovial fluid (which is the fluid in your joints that ensures proper joint health). A diet high in collagen has shown to reduce pain from arthritis, reverse conditions of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
- muscle health - again, not just the collagen but the micronutrients required for overall health and the healthy fat (the most efficient fuel for your workouts).
A gluten-free paleo pancake with Best of the Bone - but could use a collagen peptide powder as well.
Both broth gelatins and collagen peptides can be used in a variety of ways - so don't be afraid to try them in dishes as varied as pancakes to stir-frys.
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