Gelatine is often associated with delectable desserts, jelly (jell-O), and the delightful wobble in the perfect panna cotta. Gelatine is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of health food, but it been used for hundreds of years for its extraordinary health benefits.

Gelatine is the product of bones, cartilage and skin boiled down so the collagen can be extracted, which becomes the clear, flavourless substance we know as gelatine. Many people are aware of the health benefits of collagen, otherwise known as the beauty protein, for our skin, but it also has many other benefits.

Gelatine has been used in traditional diets for years as a health restorer, which is why chicken soup is often recommended for the sick. It has also been shown to be good for the digestion, joint protection, good sleep (glycine from gelatine has been shown to improve sleep when taken before bed), and many other benefits.

In the treatment of feverish and acute infectious diseases, it is evident that gelatine plays a double role. In the first place, the nutritive qualities of gelatine, its ready absorption and colloidal properties, make it ideally suited for inclusion in the diet both during the height of fever and during convalescence. Bayley emphasised this factor from a nurse’s viewpoint, observing that gelatine acts as a base for the preparation of many dainty, pleasing dishes which appeal to the patient with poor appetite, thus providing much-needed nourishment. —N.R. GOTTHOFFER

Using gelatine

Gelatine sheets are supposed to be standardised so if a recipe calls for a sheet of titanium gelatine, for example, it should be standard strength across brands, however, I have found that not to be the case. For that reason, to make things easier for you, these are the gelatine sheets I use in the keto cookbook.

Gotthoffer, N.R., 1945. Gelatin in nutrition and medicine.

Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin pharmacology and physiology. 2014;27(1):47-55.

Schauss AG, Stenehjem J, Park J, Endres JR, Clewell A. Effect of the novel low molecular weight hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract, BioCell Collagen, on improving osteoarthritis-related symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2012 Apr 16;60(16):4096-101.

Samonina, G., Lyapina, L., Kopylova, G., Pastorova, V., Bakaeva, Z., Jeliaznik, N., Zuykova, S. and Ashmarin, I., 2000. Protection of gastric mucosal integrity by gelatin and simple proline-containing peptides. Pathophysiology, 7(1), pp.69-73.

Pin It on Pinterest