The Wellness Blog

The Superfood Drink That Will Keep You Young

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 04:05 PM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetBroth

Creaky knees… aching joints… fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin…

Are these the inevitable effects of aging? Or could they be the result of decades of poor nutrition?

The truth is that many of the common signs of aging can be attributed to our population’s dependence on highly-processed, carbohydrate-rich foods and unhealthy fats. However, there is also a key ingredient missing in our modern diet – one that was ever-present in the diets of our ancestors.

And as you are about to see, the research shows that the absence of this food could be another major contributor to disease and degeneration as we age. The good news is that it is easy and delicious to get more of it in your diet. So, what is this ancient anti-aging superfood?

Gelatin.

If you grew up in the last hundred years, the word “gelatin” may conjure images of big bowls of brightly-colored dessert at potluck dinners… the Jello molds of the 1950’s… or the giggly squares of brightly colored Jello in the 1980’s.

Of course, these forms of gelatin are anything but healthy. But when you strip away the chemical food coloring, sugar, artificial sweeteners and additives, what is left can truly be called a superfood. Unfortunately, however, it is one that has all but disappeared from the plates and bowls of our modern society.

In traditional cultures, gelatin was a ubiquitous part of the culinary tradition. Our ancestors could not afford to let any part of the animal go to waste. From slow-simmered soups, roasted meats, pickled feet and other “nasty bits” – the meat, bones, skin and connective tissues were all consumed in some way or another.

Not only does this provide a unique and vital set of nutrients, it also provides critical amino acids in the proper balance. You see, most of us get an abundance of tryptophan and cysteine in our diets. These two amino acids are abundant in muscle meats (the modern-day protein source of choice). However, most of us don’t get enough glycine and proline. These two amino acids are responsible for the unique fibrous structure of collagen (the native form of gelatin).  

Without sufficient glycine and proline in your diet, your cellular “scaffolding” will begin to break down, leading to many of the physical signs of aging. But the benefits of nose-to-tail eating go much farther than “skin deep”. In fact, the benefits of glycine-rich gelatin have also been found to:

•    Promote wound healing
•    Inhibit tumor formation
•    Prevention of angiogenesis (a key factor in the proliferation of cancer)
•    Reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone)
•    Act as an anti-estrogenic agent
•    Reduces systemic inflammation
•    Facilitates healing of the digestive tract (from micro-tears in leaky gut to ulcers, Celiac disease and colitis)
•    Promote healthy blood sugar levels
•    Prevent liver damage
•    Boost glutathione levels (the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier)
•    Promote deep sleep

Getting More Gelatin in Your Diet

In addition to eating a wide variety of meats on the bone (with all of their bits), drinking bone broth is a powerful way to add more age-defying gelatin to your diet.

If you haven’t ever made bone broth, you’ll find it is very simple to do… and one of the most nourishing things you can consume.  

Unfortunately, many people think they don’t have the time to make bone broth at home. While the traditional stovetop method is quite time-consuming, there is a better and faster way to make gelatin-rich bone broth: the pressure cooker.

You will need two or three pounds of grass-fed/pastured marrow bones and soup bones (any combination of beef, pork or chicken backs will do). Then add about eight cups of water (filling the cooker to a maximum of two-thirds capacity). Add to this a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar and a couple roughly-chopped carrots and onions.

Pressure cook on high heat for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally and then strain the broth into a glass container and refrigerate. Once cooled, you’ll find that the broth has gelled – this is the telltale sign of the presence of gelatin.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, I would encourage you to consider buying one. I have found it to be an indispensible and time-saving kitchen tool. If you’d like to learn more, click here to read my previous article on the US Wellness Meats blog.

For the most gelatin-rich broth, add some free-range chicken feet. A recent study published in the Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering found that gelatin from chicken feet was nutritionally superior and yielded more collagen than other bones tested. (NOTE: If you haven’t ever cooked chicken feet, be sure to do a quick search online to learn how to prepare properly before cooking).

Adding more gelatin to your diet can help reduce stress levels, enhance sleep, balance blood sugar, boost detoxification, promote cellular health and reduce inflammation – not to mention keep your skin and joints looking and feeling youthful.

If you haven’t started making gelatin-rich bone broth a daily staple, now is the time. Aging is just a developmental process, and the corrective steps you take today can shape the health you experience tomorrow.
 

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
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Resources:

1.    Wheeler MD, Ikejema K, Mol Life Sci. Enomoto N, et al. Glycine: a new anti-inflammatory immunonutrient. Cell Mol Life Sci.1999; 56:843-856.
2.    Iverson JF, Gannon MC, Nuttall FQ. Interaction of ingested leucine with glycine on insulin and glucose concentrations. J Amino Acids. 2014;2014:521941. doi: 10.1155/2014/521941. Epub 2014 Jul 10.
3.    Amin K, Li J, Chao WR, Dewhirst MW, Haroon ZA. Dietary glycine inhibits angiogenesis during wound healing and tumor growth. Cancer Biol Ther. 2003 Mar-Apr;2(2):173-8.
4.    Vieira CP, Guerra FR, de Oliveira LP, Almeida MS, Marcondes MC, Pimentell ER. Green tea and glycine aid in the recovery of tendinitis of the Achilles tendon of rats. Connect Tissue Res. 2015 Feb;56(1):50-8.
5.    Sekhar RV, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F. Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):847-53.
6.    Baines AD, Shaikh N, Ho P.Mechanisms of perfused kidney cytoprotection by alanine and glycine. Am J Physiol. 1990 Jul;259(1 Pt 2):F80-7
7.    Mauriz JL, Matilla B, Culebras JM, Gonzalez P, Gonzalez-Gallego J. Dietary glycine inhibits activation of nuclear factor kappa B and prevents liver injury in hemorrhagic shock in the rat. Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Nov 15;31(10):1236-44.
8.    Rose ML, Cattley RC, Dunn C, et al. Dietary glycine prevents the development of liver tumors caused by the peroxisome proliferator WY-14, 643. Carcinogenesis. 1999; 20:2075-2081.
9.    Rose M.L.,Madren J, Bunzendahl H, Thurman R.G. Dietary glycine inhibits the growth of B16 melanoma tumors in mice. Carcinogenesis, Vol. 20, No. 5, 793-798, May 1999.
10.    Wheeler M, Stachlewitz RT, Yamashina S, et al. Glycine-gated channels in neutrophils attenuate calcium influx and superoxide production. FASEB J. 2000; 14:476-484.
11.    Yamashina S, Konno A, Wheeler MD, Rusyn I, Rusyn EV, Cox AD, Thurman RG. Endothelial cells contain a glycine-gated chloride channel. Nutr Cancer. 2001;40(2):197-204.
12.    Zhong Z, Wheeler MD, Li X, Froh M, Schemmer P, Yin M, Bunzendaul H, Bradford B, Lemasters JJ., "L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2003 Mar;6(2):229-40.  
13.    Kawai N1, Sakai N2, Okuro M3, Karakawa S1, Tsuneyoshi Y1, Kawasaki N1, Takeda T1, Bannai M1, Nishino S2.The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Dec 23.
14.    de Almeida P, da Silva Lannes S, Calarge F, et al. FTIR Characterization of Gelatin from Chicken Feet. J Chem Chem Eng. 6 (2012) 1029-103