Gelatin may have a range of health benefits, including the following:
1. Improving skin health
Collagen is what gives skin its healthy and youthful appearance. As people age, they naturally lose collagen, which causes the skin to become less firm. The result is skin that has wrinkles and lines. As gelatin is a great source of collagen, it may be a natural way to improve the skin's appearance.
2. Providing protein
One benefit of gelatin is that it provides nearly 2 grams (g) of protein per ½ cup. Protein is considered a macronutrient, which means the body needs a large amount.
Some animal sources of protein also contain significant amounts of unhealthy fat. Gelatin is a protein source that does not contain fat.
3. Aiding digestive function
Gelatin may aid digestion in several different ways. For instance, the glycine in gelatin may promote a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach.
It also stimulates the production of gastric juices, which facilitates proper digestion. Without adequate digestive enzymes, gastrointestinal problems, such as acid reflux, can develop.
Also, gelatin binds to water and may help food move through the digestive system efficiently.
4. Easing joint pain
The collagen in gelatin may decrease joint pain associated with inflammation.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, some clinical studies indicate gelatin may reduce pain and improve joint function in people with osteoarthritis.
5. Helping control blood sugar
6. Maintaining healthy bones
Lysine, which is found in gelatin, helps strengthen the bones. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is also needed to keep the bones strong and prevent bone loss.
Since the body cannot make lysine, it is essential to get adequate amounts through the diet. Adding gelatin to a healthful diet is one way to improve a person's lysine intake.
7. Improving sleep quality
Gelatin may improve sleep quality in some people due to the abundance of glycine. A few tablespoons of gelatin can provide about 3 g of glycine.
8. Aiding weight loss
Gelatin may help promote weight loss due to its protein and low-calorie content. Protein helps someone feel full, which decreases the likelihood of overeating.
Gelatin may also play a role in controlling hormones associated with hunger.
However, gelatin is often found in chewy candies and marshmallows with high sugar contents. It is better to consume healthful, low-sugar sources of gelatin.