GELATIN & COLLAGEN | How to get healthy nails, hair and joints!

Here is the deal…I love bone broth. I even love to make bone broth filled with gut-nourishing gelatin. I used to stock up on free-ranged, organic birds from a local farm in my freezer and delight in roasting one and then using the carcass to make bone broth. Bone broth is one of those aspects of cooking where you feel connected to your past. Using every part of an animal to gain all of the nutrients for nourishing our families is not a new concept, instead it is a very traditional one. A tradition that tastes good, promotes wellness and just makes you feel good to be a part of.

The Benefits of Gelatin

One of the touted benefits of bone broth is gelatin. Gelatin is what makes broth gel. It is made up of a spectrum of amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of proteins). Gelatin may be beneficial to hair, skin, nails, joints, cartilage. Its high Glycine content has also been touted to be beneficial to detoxification and the liver, as well as the digestive system by stimulating gastric acid. Low gastric acid can lead to an inability to digest proteins properly, the inability to absorb B vitamins & Vitamin C and inability to absorb minerals. Glycine is also helpful in wound healing.

If you like more of the science, then you may be interested in this article: “Why Broth is Beautiful” at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. 

We have established gelatin’s benefits, but how do we get more of it in our diet?

Most of us are eating boneless, skinless, fat-free meats nowadays, and we are not getting the full amino acid profile that we need. As I mentioned, bone broth is a great way to add gelatin to your diet by using all the other parts of the animal. But there are easier ways too. There are two options that I use on a regular basis, not daily, but at least weekly. Gelatin and Collagen Hydrolysate. These have very similar amino acid composition, and they have similar benefits. So, what is the difference? Gelatin will actually gel the food you add it to and is dissolvable only in hot liquids; while collagen does not gel and is dissolvable in both hot and cold liquids.

I use gelatin to make puddings, gummies and to add to soups. I use collagen to add to smoothies, salad dressings and when I make rice – I eat protein and fats with these meals too.

Try it daily for two weeks, and see if you notice a difference in your nails, skin and hair.

How to choose a good gelatin/collagen product

Gelatin and collagen are made from the less desirable animal parts – mainly skin, bones and tendons. Naturally, I want to be sure that my products are coming from healthy animals. So, I purchase gelatin & collagen from a company that uses grass fed, pasture raised cattle.  There are two main companies that will always be at the top of any wellness person’s list: Great Lakes and Vital Proteins. Unfortunately, the cattle for both companies are raised outside of the U.S., but that has to do with the fact that they need perennial grass for 100% grass fed animals. Great Lakes cattle are raised in Argentina & Brazil, while Vital Proteins cattle are raised in Brazil. I have only ever purchased Great Lakes, as it has always been a little cheaper. Vital Proteins has better packaging, but when I check the prices, it is always more expensive. Vital Proteins also offers a marine collagen, if you would like an alternative to beef. I am going to link both below, as I think they are both a good choice, and you can check the prices yourself for the best deal at the time of purchase. Just make sure you take in to consideration the different sizes, so you have accurate pricing – just click the images below…

Hope you enjoyed this Self Care Sunday! See you next Sunday!

Are you currently using gelatin or collagen? Let me know in the comments!

Check out all of our Self Care Sunday articles.


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About Jen

I love travel, which led me to become a fulltime RVer. I love wellness, which I can talk about 'til the cows come home. I love being self-employed, which means I get to dabble in what interests me from essential oils to RV planners. But most importantly, I love my husband and our life together on the road!

8 comments on “GELATIN & COLLAGEN | How to get healthy nails, hair and joints!

  1. Hi Jen. I did a lot of research before chosing a collagen. With your research background it makes me feel good to know I chose the same as you! I have used Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate for a while in and off. I have been lax about it and need to get consistent!

    I really like how this one does not alter flavor of what I am dissolving it in.

    • As I writing this post, I was thinking the same thing for myself – I have fallen away from being as consistent as a should with it. Writing this article was a good reminder for me! 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!

  2. I am in the process of researching the GAPS diet. I’ve never made bone broth before & will be beginning soon. I was encouraged by your “GELATIN & COLLAGEN” post today. Out of curiosity I would be interested in how you make the bone broth in your RV.

    • Hi, Carol! GAPS can get really great results! I know it is a big commitment, but the initial stage does not last long. You will be making bone broth like a pro soon! If you are doing that diet, then I would strictly adhere to their instructions for the bone broth – it is important because when that is your only sustenance in the beginning, their method makes sure you get the nutrients you need for that first phase. In the RV, I usually roast a chicken, and pick the meat off for us to eat. Then, I take the carcass and make the bone broth with it in a crockpot. I allow it to sit in cold water with a little ACV for about half an hour, then add onion, carrots & celery and cook on low for up to 12 hours (sometimes less, sometimes more depending on our schedules). There is always still some meat on the carcass, so after making the bone broth, any meat that is left literally falls off the bone, and can be used in soups or similar meals. I will try to remember to take a video the next time I make it. Hope that is helpful – and best wishes with GAPS. Let me know how you are making out.

      • Hi Jen,
        Again thank you for the encouragement😀. We have a great local butcher that I am going to buy a whole chicken tomorrow & roast. LOL, newbie here to roasting a chicken. I’ve done turkeys in a reynold’s bag at Thanksgiving, but never roasted a whole chicken. I am going to try a electric pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker. I kinda feel like Lucy from I Love Lucy as I venture into this path towards health. This week Thursday my hubby ( super sweet & supportive ) & I begin the first of four classes by a local internist who specializes in GAPS diet locally. I am feeling loved on by God leading me towards health.

        • Thanks Diana, for replying! Yep, it is Apple Cider Vinegar – but make sure you use the kind with the “mother” (raw & live) still in it. Bragg’s ACV is generally recognized as the best option. But, even Walmart now has a “Raw, Unfiltered ACV with the mother”. I have used both.

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