Most of us have heard the term collagen before, right? It’s a protein that performs many important functions in our bodies. These include caring for our joints (collagen is the main component of the connective tissue in our bodies) and helping to maintain our skin’s elasticity.
Collagen also reduces as we age. And yep, you guessed it, this breakdown of collagen also decreases our skin’s elasticity. This means wrinkles and saggy skin. Hence, the reason why so many skin care companies add collagen to their anti-aging creams. Not to mention the injectable kind of collagen!
However, what if we told you there was a natural, collagen-rich wholefood that could plump your skin from the inside out. Well, there is! And it’s pure gelatine! Yes, the stuff that sets jelly and panna cotta. Anthia Koullouros, naturopath and author of I Am Food Eating Your Way to Health (Lantern; $39.99) says gelatine is her natural beauty secret.
“Clients often ask me whether I’ve had Botox,” says Anthia. “I always laugh and say ‘no, I haven’t I just eat wholefoods and one of my favourite wholefoods is gelatine’. Gelatine powder is made from the connective tissue, bones and skin of animals that has been broken down and dehydrated. It’s high in collagen which is the thing that breaks down as we age. Bone broths and stocks also contain gelatine along with lots of other minerals. The gelatine is that wobbly part that sets at the top of the broth in the fridge.”
However, before you rush out and buy packets of jelly crystals and start making those brightly coloured jelly creations we all loved as kids, we need to stress that’s not the kind of gelatine we’re talking about! “Traditional jelly was always a wobbly treat with medicinal benefits, like therapy in a bowl,” says Anthia. “However, back then gelatine came from healthy animals and didn’t have artificial colours, flavours , preservatives and sugar added to it.”
Instead, look out for wholefood gelatine made from grass-fed beef. Anthia is a fan of the Great Lakes brand which she sells in her store OVVio Organics in Sydney’s Paddington. Combine your wholefood gelatine powder with your own freshly pureed fruit to make healthy traditional jelly. Or add some gelatine to your fave smoothie recipe for a healthy take on panna cotta that will help plump your skin from the inside out! After all, what’s not to love about dessert with beauty benefits?