Nutrition By Darren Jell-O Shots, Marshmallows, Amino Acids, and Living Longer Do you like to snack on so called “Junk Foods” like Jell-O or maybe munch on chewy Marshmallows? Perhaps you feed them to your kids as special treats? I am not afraid to admit I used to gorge on both of those treats when I was younger. Then I completely kicked them to the curb when I got sick of being sick and supercharged my diet. Yes, I was totally prepared to never eat another spoonful of Jell-O or munch another Marshmallow. Something changed all that today. Something that may cause me to look closer at the Recipes at the bottom of this post. Something shocking but exciting popped into my facebook news feed…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150526085138.htm Scientists reverse aging in human cell lines and give theory of aging a new lease of life “Can the process of aging be delayed or even reversed? Research has shown that, in human cell lines at least, it can. They also found that the regulation of two genes involved with the production of glycine, the smallest and simplest amino acid, is partly responsible for some of the characteristics of aging.” Basically, the article says that Scientists in Japan announced that supplementation with a previously thought to be non-essential Amino Acid called “Glycine“, has been shown in human cell lines to delay and even reverse the effects of Mitochondrial Aging. There’s actually a lot more interesting stuff about their discoveries in Aging and I encourage you to read the article if that’s something you’re interested in. Suffice it to say these scientists seem to have disproved or at least put a dent in a theory of aging (The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging) that has been prominent for a long time and scored a point for the role of an exciting new area of Biology called Epigenetics (which I will cover in an upcoming blog post), in the process. Amino Acids : “THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE” Amino Acids are small molecules that can be linked together to form Proteins. Proteins, which regulate nearly every biochemical reaction in the body, also sense environmental signals and regulate when and where genes are switched on. Your neurotransmitters, hormones, neuropeptides, peptides, and most of your muscle and heart are composed of Amino Acids so you might say they are kind of important to your health. Gelatin, Collagen, and Glycine 35% of the Amino Acids in Gelatin are Glycine. Gelatin is a processed version of a protein called Collagen that is found in both animals and humans. Collagen makes up from one-third to one-half of all the protein in your body. Collagen is a fibrous protein that strengthens the body’s connective tissues and allows them to stretch and bend without breaking. As you age, your body makes less Collagen. You might experience this as wrinkles or stiff joints. Gelatin can come from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hides and connective tissues. Gelatin, a common ingredient in gummy bears, yogurt and ice cream, is also used to make Marshmallows and Jell-O (Shots, Shots, Shots!). Kosher Gelatin – According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, Kosher Gelatin can be made with fish bones, and/or beef or pork skins. Using Kosher Gelatin with dairy products is surprisingly generally considered “Kosher”. 17 + 1 Reasons To Consume Gelatin/Collagen/Glycine: 1. Collagen is commonly used by body builders to prevent and alleviate joint pain and inflammation 2. Collagen is a building block of skin that may help protect your skin from aging effects like wrinkles 3. Gelatin can improve the gut lining and increase stomach acid secretion 4. Gelatin balances out the methionine from meat intake (which raises homocysteine levels in the blood) 5. Gelatin has been used to treat arthritis 6. Gelatin, especially in the form of beef broth, has been used for centuries to treat colitis, dysentery, ulcers, celiac disease, and other diseases of the digestive system 7. Glycine has been found to help calm anxiety and promote restful sleep 8. Glycine is recognized as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep 9. Glycine has helped promote recovery from strokes and seizures 10. Glycine is believed to improve learning and memory 11. Glycine (a small dose taken shortly after suffering a stroke) was found to accelerate recovery and prevent the spreading of injury through its inhibitory and anti-inflammatory actions. 12. Glycine, through increasing the amount of stimulation required to activate nerves, is thought to be protective in epilepsy 13. Glycine’s antispastic activity has been used to alleviate the muscle spasms of multiple sclerosis and is thought to moderate some of the symptoms of schizophrenia 14. Glycine has been recently shown to help alleviate colitis 15. Glycine has been shown to help prevent or alleviate fibrosis, free radical damage, inflammation, mitochondrial damage, diabetes 16. Gelatin and Glycine have been reported to help with insulin regulation in lowering blood sugar 17. Glycine/Gelatin/Collagen have a great variety of anti-stress actions BONUS: 18. Scientists in Japan say it might help DELAY or even REVERSE AGING!! (see Breaking News article above) Where to get Gelatin/Collagen/Glycine Getting Gelatin Asian grocery stores are likely to sell some of the traditional Gelatin-rich foods, such as prepared pig skin and ears and tails, and chicken feet. Powdered Gelatin doesn’t require any cooking but dissolving it in hot water speeds digestion. You can be incorporate it into custards, mousses, ice cream, soups, sauces, cheese cake, pies, etc., or mix it with fruit juices to make desserts or candies. Or you can make Healthy Marshmallows….. mmm…. Marshmallows (see Recipe from Wellness Mama below). Getting Collagen – https://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-upgraded-collagen/ Getting Glycine – http://www.lifeextension.com/vitamins-supplements/Item01669/Glycine GELATIN-RICH RECIPES Probiotic MarshallowsJell-O Shots Healthy Recipe: 1. Probiotic Marshallows from Wellness Mama (www.WellnessMama.com) Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins Healthy marshmallows made with honey instead of sugar. You can even add Probiotics for the health benefits! Recipe type: Dessert, Snack Cuisine: American Serves: 6 Ingredients/Supplies: 4 tablespoons of pasture-raised gelatin powder 1 cup of water 1 Tablespoon of Marshmallow Root (optional) 1 cup of honey 1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavor optionals (mint extract, lemon, cocoa powder, etc) Optional: 4 capsules of probiotics or equivalent. Shelf stable recommended Equipment: A small sauce pan, plus a hand mixer & a metal bowl- or a kitchen aid mixer Instructions: Optional Step: Combine 1 cup of warm water with the 1 tablespoon of Marshmallow Root and let sit for 5 minutes (or as long as overnight in the fridge), Stir well and strain. Make sure that the liquid makes a while cup. Pour ½ cup of water(marshmallow mix if you used it) into the metal bowl or mixer bowl and add the Gelatin. Whisk slightly to incorporate and let sit. Pour the other ½ cup of water and the 1 cup of honey into the small saucepan. Slowly bring the water and honey mixture to a boil. If you have a kitchen thermometer, you want it to reach at least 240 degrees. If not, just keep boiling, stirring constantly for 8 minutes. Slowly start pouring the honey/water mixture into the bowl with the gelatin mix (which will be hardened by now). Turn on the mixer or hand mixer and keep on medium as the honey mixture is added. When add honey mix is added, turn the mixer to high and blend with the mixer for another 10-15 minutes or until it forms a stiff cream the consistency of marshmallow cream (it should form gentle peaks). Add the Probiotics and any flavor ingredients for the last 2 minutes of mixing (except cocoa powder which can be added to the honey mix in the saucepan). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with coconut oil, or line with parchment paper, leaving some on the sides to be able to pull up. When marshmallows are whipped, pour into the lined/greased dish and smooth evenly. Let sit at least 4 hours (overnight is better). Flip on to a cutting board and cut with a well oiled pizza cutter or knife. Store in an airtight container. Notes: Do NOT store in the fridge as they will melt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The Probiotics will decrease the shelf life to 3-4 days. Without the Probiotics, these will last 2-3 weeks on the counter. (Somewhat) Healthy Recipe: 2. Easter Egg Jell-O Shots (from Premier Innovation’s Group Lead Mixologist Tara Shinn) Ingredients/Supplies: 2 bottles of Vodka 6 boxes of assorted jello flavors 2 boxes of plain gelatin packets 24 plastic eggs Instructions: In a bowl, stir 1 box of flavored gelatin and 1 packed of unflavored gelatin to mix. Stir in 1 cup of boiling water until all the powder is dissolved. Add in 1 cup of chilled vodka. For plain eggs, hold the egg halves under the jello and connect the halves, trying to get as little air in as possible. Set upside down in an egg carton or shot glass while you refrigerate them so the air bubble forms on the bottom. For multi-layered eggs, set the egg halves in an egg carton or mini muffin pan and spoon in a bit of jello before sticking them in the fridge for about 10- 15 minutes to set up. When the jello layers are semi-set and still sticky, repeat the process with another color. Keep adding layers until the halves are just about filled and the last layer is semi-set, then attach the halves underneath the liquid of the last box of prepared jello, and chill overnight. To release the eggs, hold them under warm water for a few seconds, then gently open. CHEERS and L’CHAIM (To Your Life)!