Truth is that when we talk about desserts, fruit jellos will probably be the last thing that will come in mind. However, jello is a snack that you see very often in various diets. In addition, it is a part of almost all hospital meals. Have you ever thought why is that? Moreover, during the summer, even people not following a certain diet eat jello as it’s considered a light and refreshing snack. Is it something nutritional for our bodies or is it just another food that is in fashion?
Gelatin comes from the bones, the cartilage and the skin of animals, which produce collagen when they are boiled. Gelatin is, in a way, the processed form of collagen, the fibrous material that keeps tendons, bones, and skin together. 100 g of gelatin contains 380 calories and 95 g of protein and they are also rich in selenium and calcium. It is mainly used to make jello dessert, as well as soups, several sauces, and other desserts. It seems that it has various properties and benefits for the body. This, however, doesn’t mean that you can overconsume it! In addition, when you eat it in jello-form or any form of dessert, choose the ones with little or no sugar.
Let’s have a look at the benefits for the body, a bit more analytically:
High in protein.
Gelatin is rich in protein and consists of lots of different amino acids. Amino acids help the body function well, boost up the immune system and help raise energy levels. It is ideal for people trying to recover from an injury or an operation. That’s why jello is given as a dessert to patients in hospitals (this a question answered!). Another good thing, is that it contains no fats and is rich in calcium – something very important for bones’ health and protection from injury.
It helps you sleep better.
How does it do that? I’ll tell you straight away… Glycine is one of the amino acids contained in gelatin and when it is consumed in the proper quantities (according to relevant research, 3 g before bedtime), it appears to help people that have trouble sleeping. I think you already know how important a “good” – uninterrupted – night sleep is so that we have higher energy levels and be efficient during the day. So… try eating your jello before going to bed and, of course, choose jellos that contain no sugar (especially if you don’t want to risk gaining weight by taking extra calories!).
Improves skin health and condition.
Indeed… glycine has other attributes. It helps skin health. There are positive indications that consuming gelatin or collagen might increase skin protection from free radicals while reducing skin dryness and wrinkles. It sounds too good to be true and it is something that requires additional research to determine if all of these are true, but defenitely it can be something very promising. My opinion is that following a balanced diet, exercise daily and eat a jello a few times a week will, quite possibly, help you maintain a healthy, hydrated and shiny skin!
It improves digestion.
Like collagen, gelatin appears to help the gut flora and protect the body from infections, while also improving digestion and absorption of trace elements at the same time. Gut flora is one of the most important lines of defense of the body because when it functions properly, it strengthens the immune system and improves health. Specifically, gelatin appears to have antimicrobial attributes and benefit people suffering from gastrointstinal diseases.
It seems gelatin has many benefits for the body and that a jello-dessert is something you can add to your diet… of course, this doesn’t mean that you can eat it in large quantities! As we’ve said before, you must have a balanced way of life to be healthy!
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.