A favorite childhood dessert of mine was jello. It was only a few years ago that I realized the key ingredient in make it such a fun dessert was gelatin.
There are many misconceptions about gelatin, including that it isn't really beneficial to consume and not a complete protein source. Well that is not true. It's actually made from animal bones and very beneficial to those that consume it. Since gelatin is mostly made up of collagen, we can start to see why it might add nutritional value to our bodies. Collagen is found everywhere including our skin, joints, and bones. Without collagen we wouldn't have the strong muscles or beautiful skin we have today.
Unfortunately, gelatin is rarely found in the diet consumed by most people today. We are seeking boneless, skinless, lean, fat free meats, soy, or hydrogenated chemical laden foods. Back in the "cave-man" or even earlier ancestral times, the diet included consumption of organ meats and other parts of the animal. I can admit, I haven't been able to digest those foods, and therefore gelatin is not being supplied and our bodies are desperately craving it.
Nails and Hair Growth - Have weak nails and dull hair, well gelatin can actually help given the high protein content.
Sore Joints - Since gelatin is made up of many amino acids, it can help strengthen those weak tendons and help degeneration of cartilage.
Thyroid Function - Most meat consumed today is high in tryptophan and cysteine which inhibit thyroid function and energy production. Gelatin does not contain these amino acids, therefore by adding it as a protein source, it could be beneficial to your thyroid function. Its believed this is done by balancing the anti-thyroid amino acids in the food you eat.
Digestive issues - Over time, eating processed foods and grains can damage the gut lining of your stomach and intestines due to the lectins present in those foods. Once your gut lining is damaged, it becomes inflamed and results in poor nutrition absorption. Gluten and phytates also contribute to poor digestion. Gelatin can actually reinforce the mucus lining and reduce the damage done to your stomach.
Muscle Growth - Taking concentrated gelatin on an empty stomach (2-3 before bedtime) supposedly spurs the release of Human Growth Hormone (HgH) which is essential for muscle growth.
I'm still experimenting with supplementing gelatin. I bough Great Lakes unflavored gelatin and have been incorporating into my diet. It's only been one day, so its hard to tell, but I'll be sure to post a follow-up on my overall outcome from taking gelatin.