30/06/2014 11:48 BST | Updated 27/08/2014 06:59 BST

Gelatine: A Superfood

Gelatine or gelatin is a translucent, colourless, brittle and flavourless solid substance, derived from collagen found in animal bones; it's just basically a processed version of a structural protein called collagen that is found in many animals, including humans.

Collagen makes up almost one third of all the protein in the human body; a fibrous protein that strengthens the body's connective tissues and allows them to be elastic i.e. to stretch without breaking.

As you get older, your body makes less collagen and individual collagen fibres become increasingly cross linked with each other. You might experience this as stiff joints from less flexible tendons, or wrinkles due to loss of skin elasticity.

What are the benefits?

There are so many benefits from eating this superfood; here are just some of the many benefits:

• Weight loss - high protein content increases satiety and acts as a liver detox, which aids with fat burning

• Digestion - the amino acid glycine in gelatin can help increase hyrochloric acid in the stomach which is needed for digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

• Cellulite - fights cellulite by reversing the breakdown of collagen in the body, often caused by nutritional deficiencies.

• Stretch marks - gelatin helps prevent stretch marks by improving the skin's firmness, elasticity and functioning; it helps by boosting collagen production, the key to preventing stretch marks.

• Wrinkles - proline found in gelatin is a very important amino acid, often recommended as a supplement by many skin experts to keep up a youthful appearance.

• Anti-ageing - taking collagen in the form of gelatine internally helps replenish the collagen producing cells unlike skin creams, which do not offer effective absorption.

• Leaky gut - helps soothe and heal the digestive tract and offer protection to the gut lining.

• Anti-inflammatory - with almost immediate relief from joint pain, similar to taking cortisol or aspirin.

• Protein - 6 grams per tablespoon and amino acids.

• Bones and joints - strengthens both, so it's wonderful for growing children and those with brittle bones, arthritis and joint pain.

• Metabolism - amino acids like glycine found in gelatine helps build and maintain muscle, which stokes a healthy metabolism; glycine also helps regulate insulin sensitivity keeping you from storing abdominal fat.

• Skin, hair, teeth and nail health - gelatin makes up 25% to 35% of the total protein content of human body, which is vital for skin elasticity and tone and renewal of skin cells. Gelatin makes up the connective tissues of the skin that are responsible for giving skin its strength and firmness.

Gelatin provides beneficial minerals lacking in overly processed foods including, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which build strong nails, teeth, and hair.

• Muscle recovery - boost muscle recovery after illness or exercise.

• Allergies - gelatin protects the integrity of the gut lining, which keeps out allergens.

• Hormone balance - gelatin provides the amino acid glycine, which helps regulate insulin. Also glycine helps the body to make glutathione, which is crucial for helping to remove excess oestrogen, caused by toxic body care products, environmental pollution, diets high in processed foods and from using hormonal birth control methods.

Oestrogen dominance has been studied extensively as a risk factor for female cancers.

The only caveat with introducing this superfood into your diet is that to reap the full benefits and avoid any potential negative effects, the gelatine should really come from grass fed, naturally reared animals.

The only gelatine powder I can find that is from grass fed, naturally raised beef is Great Lakes. Use it in shakes (hydrolysed) and to make table jelly (non-hydrolysed) to reap its remarkable health benefits, not least better skin elasticity.

If you feel you or your children want to include gelatine for healthier skin, hair, nails and much more. then throw a tablespoon or two into smoothies a few times a week, making sure you use the hydrolysed version for smoothies or non-hydrolysed gelatine for making healthy jellies.

I have a new smoothie e-book full of tasty, nutritious and easy to make smoothies you won't find in many other books as well as other recipes and excerpts from my other e-book on diet, health and fitness.