Plant based simply means that the ingredients come from plants and not animals. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also things such as nuts, seeds, oils, grains, legumes and beans. Diets high in plant based products have been shown to support health, including lowering heart disease, blood pressure, decreasing chances of diabetes and increasing longevity.
Plant based CBD gummies aren’t always the easiest to find. How come? Too many companies choose an ingredient known as gelatin as the base to their gummies. A lot of people don’t understand what gelatin really is. So let us explain!
What is Gelatin
Gelatin is a protein derived from animals. The exact way it is made may gross you out a bit, so heads because the next sentence is not stomach friendly! Gelatin is obtained by boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of animals (I know .... gross!). Typically the animals used are either cows or pigs. It is then turned into a powder that is sold to manufacturers to use as a base for their gummy products (along with other products). A lot of this gelatin ends up in products you consume daily, seriously … check those gummy vitamins you are likely taking each morning, more likely than not, they contain gelatin.
Why is Gelatin Bad For You?
Although generally safe in doses of up to 10 grams, gelatin can cause some unsettling side effects. Consuming gelatin can result in heaviness in the stomach, bloating, heartburn and excessive belching (aka burping). In some consumers, gelatin can also result in allergic reactions, some reactions to gelatin have been so severe they have resulted in heart damage and death! Okay death is a bit extreme and not likely, but bloating and the process for making gelatin is enough to steer many clear from consuming it.
Healthy Alternatives to Gelatin
Several popular alternatives to gelatin are agar agar, pectin, carrageenan, and vegan jel. Let’s dive into each:
Agar agar - a flavorless jelly-like substance derived from the cell walls of red algae. It is popular in Asian countries where it is widely used in custards, jellies and puddings.
Available as flakes or powder, it is an excellent gelatin substitute and popularly used to make vegan jello.
Pectin - a fiber that is found in the cell walls of many fruits such as apples. It is a popular ingredient in jellies, jams and most notably has been being used regularly as a replacement to gelatin in gummies. In fact pectin is the base ingredient used in all of nama’s vegan CBD gummy products.
Carrageenan - also referred to as Irish moss, it is derived from dried red seaweed. Once boiled, it turns into a gel-like consistency that is then added to many store-bought foods such as ice cream, pizza, marshmallow and chocolate milk.
Vegan Jel - not exactly a single ingredient, but rather a product combining several plant-based ingredients such as vegetable gum, carrageenan and tapioca dextrin. This product was specifically designed to mimic gelatin, but without the … gelatin.
A Growing Demand For Pectin Based Gummies
Before starting our brand, we surveyed many current CBD uses and found that there was an overwhelming desire for plant based CBD gummies. A growing demand for plant based gummies paired with our founders desire to create one of the healthiest gummies on the market, resulted in nama’s entire product line being born.
The momentum behind plant-based eating is growing exponentially. Not only in Google search results, but on store shelves. Consumers are realizing not only the enormous health benefits associated with plant based products, but also the positive impact on our climate. The meat industry is a large contributor to global warming and making simple plant based switches can have a positive impact. In fact, meat and dairy accounts for approximately 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists currently suggest that diet change will be a requirement for the world meeting its climate goals.
Pectin based products come with many advantages. For nama, one of the advantages is in the texture we are able to provide consumers. Our gummies are not like many, I mean take a look at nama’s customer reviews and you will see for yourself. Another advantage is that our products never show up melted when delivered to our customers. How can this be?! Pectin as opposed to gelatin has a much higher melting point, as a result pectin based gummies can withstand higher temperatures (typically those associated with sitting on a delivery van in the scorching summer heat).
Another major advantage is the fact that pectin pairs very well with fruit based flavors. It has a clean flavor, which allows for the real fruit flavor of our gummies to really stand out and be appreciated by the consumer.
8 Ways to Get Started with a Plant-Based Diet
Some of our customers have reached out to us asking how they can go beyond just switching their CBD gummies to a plant-based CBD gummy. So here are some moves you can make.
- Switch out pastries and ice cream with fruit for dessert (it’s easy, just head to your local farmers market and check out what’s in season!).
- Look for greens wherever you can and more likely than not they will turn out to be plant-based.
- Switch out meats with legumes and nuts which are high in protein.
- Include whole grains for breakfast such as oatmeal, quinoa and barley (and add in some fruit to make it even tastier and add some sweetness).
- Focus on making root vegetables the center of your dish such as a sweet potatoes.
- Google plant-based recipes (there are endless recipes such as these found at forks over knives and the food network).
- Give some of the popular plant based burgers a shot such as the impossible burger.
- Travel to farmer markets where they often have some of the best plant-based products at very affordable prices.