I went to get my hair cut the other day, and was surprised to see that the salon I was at was selling little packets of the holy grail in the nutrition world, collagen which has now gone mainstream. What is collagen? They are amino acids that are the building blocks for skin, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, connective tissues, and skeletal muscles. It is typically derived from beef, pork, or fish….now available in a hair salon! My guess that the reason for selling this product in a hair salon along with other beauty products is for the many benefits that collagen provides. Since it is an amino acid (which I always look at as a builder), collagen helps to boost stronger elasticity in the skin, repair skin damage, increase skin hydration, minimize fine lines, and strengthen hair and nails. Knowing that, I think it belongs in every woman’s beauty cabinet!
It has earned it’s right for the support it provides for beauty, but one of the main reasons that I am so fond of it is for the role it plays in digestion and gut health. Honestly, I believe that the health of your gut and strength of your digestion plays a big role in your overall health, and even in preventative health. As we carry through our days doing our best to eat well, we often focus on the food that we eat. That’s a huge part of it; however, if we wanted to bring it to the next level, it’s all about being able to break down foods properly, and absorbing the vitamins and minerals from the food. If your digestion and gut health aren’t strong, then you are missing out on the nutrients from food, so you may as well be eating junk.
Collagen helps to increase your stomach acid to break foods down, helps keep water within the digestive tract to help with healthy bowel movements, and helps to improve the gut lining which is often the cause of food intolerances and allergies. This may not sound as exciting as the beauty benefits, but in an effort to make it sound impressive…it keeps you healthy. Another thing to consider is that your skin is a reflection of what is going on internally (think acne or eczema for example, both inflammatory – and often starts in the stomach), so it’s important to care for the engine behind the gorgeous being that you are!
I think it’s important to say that although it is derived from the skin, bones, and scales of beef, pork or fish, it tastes like nothing! My go-to collagen can be added to anything hot, cold, in foods, it completely dissolves into water, and I would pay for someone to guess that I’ve added ‘beef’ to my smoothie! Another form of collagen is gelatin, with the only difference really being how finely it is broken down. While collagen dissolves into anything, gelatin, when added with heat, forms into a gel-like substance (think jello) all the while delivering the same nutrients.
My recipe below is a snack that I created using gelatin. It serves my sweet tooth, all the while delivering the nutrients for beauty and digestive/gut health in a bite…or three. Enjoy!
3 Tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
3 Tbsp Honey
1/3 cup of cold lemon juice concentrate (I prefer Lakewood Organic Pure Lemon Juice Concentrate)
Lemon zest (optional)
3 Tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and ensure that the cold juice and gelatin are mixed well, allowing the gelatine to ‘bloom’.
2. Put the saucepan over medium-high heat, and constantly mix and avoid clumping.
3. Once the mixture is warm, pour it into molds, or just a simple glass square/rectangle container.
4. Place into fridge to begin the cooling process.
1. Take the water, frozen blueberries, and maple syrup, and place in a high speed blender. Blend until it has a liquid texture.
2. Take the gelatin, and place in a saucepan. Pour the liquid mixture into the saucepan, and whisk together to allow it the gelatin to ‘bloom’ (get activated).
3. Warm over medium-high heat.
4. Take the lemon layer out of the fridge, and pour the blueberry layer over top.
5. Place back in the fridge for at least 30 mins before snacking away!
Stays good in the fridge for up to a week. If you made too many, freeze them for up to 3 months.