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The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

broths & soups detox friendly detoxification drinks & smoothies home remedies kids wellness special diets sports nutrition traditional Sep 22, 2020

The health benefits of bone broth are countless. There’s a reason collagen has always been prized as a supplement, along with the recent popularization of bone broth protein powder. If I went into detail, it would take hours. For now, I’ll go over the primary components. Bones from healthy, pasture raised animals are filled with a rich array of powerful nutrients that are released into the water when simmered at a low temperature.

Seals a Leaky Gut

Consuming traditionally prepared bone broth is the best way to “heal and seal” your gut. And good gut health is the cornerstone of health. Numerous factors, such as bacterial overgrowths, medications, birth control pill, stress and anxiety, pesticides on food, and inflammatory proteins such as gluten, can loosen tight junctions that seal cells off the gut lining together. As a result, the gut ends up with gaping holes, making it permeable like a cheesecloth. That is a leaky gut. When the intestinal lining becomes too permeable (leaky) and allows undigested food particles and disease causing bacteria to leak from your gut and into the bloodstream, the body begins to see these innocent food particles as foreign invaders. It then begins to attack itself. A leaky gut can show up in the form of numerous health issues from food allergies and sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, anxiety and depression, chronic pain, asthma, skin issues, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue and more. A huge part of the population is affected by a leaky gut, also referred to as gut hyperpermeability. The problem is a growing epidemic due to poor food choices, stress, environmental toxins, overuse of NSAIDS, antibiotics, birth control and other medications. The gelatin in bone broth helps heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. A healthy gut is the cornerstone of health. Recent research on the gut-brain axis demonstrates that the gut and brain our connected - thus an unhealthy gut is correlated to an unhealthy mind. When your gut and digestive system are healed and working well, you can then digest and absorb nutrients properly. Bone broth is the best thing you can consume to heal and seal your gut.

Helps with Liver Detoxification

Let’s face it. Unfortunately, we live in a toxic modern world. Thank goodness for our liver! But my oh my does our liver have its work cut out. It is quite overburdened with having to detoxify our daily toxic load from our air, our water, our food and even the chemicals created by our toxic thoughts! Luckily, our body is an excellent detoxifier, but we must assist it. In order for our liver to function properly, it needs ample amounts of glycine. And guess where we can find a rich source of glycine? Yes, gelatin rich bone broth!

Fights Infections

Bone broth ultimately helps our body build stronger and healthier cells, as it provides it with a rich source of minerals and amino acids. It also increases antioxidant activity in the body. This study shows consuming bone broth during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms. In many cultures, bone broth is a known immune booster and infection fighter.

 

Reduces Inflammation

Glycine and proline, which are found in large amounts in bone broth, are amino acids that are extremely anti-inflammatory. Also, the compound chondroitin sulfate, which is a structural component of cartilage, is highly known for improving inflammatory conditions.

Increases Mineral Consumption

In today’s modern society, our soil has been depleted of its minerals. The large majority of people are deficient in one or multiple minerals from dietary deficiencies or poor absorption (leaky gut). Bone broth offers easily absorbed minerals that our body loves. As bones cook in water, the minerals and other nutrients are extracted into the water for easy digestion. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sulphur and other trace minerals can be found in bone broth.

Helps Joints and Muscle Pain

Glycine and proline, which are amino acids found in bone broth, help to build muscle, repair tissue and reduce inflammation. Also known for alleviating joint pain are glucosamine and chondroitin. Bone broth is a rich source of these natural compounds. Recent research shows that the gelatin in bone broth provides almost immediate relief to chronic joint pain. In some cases, it’s proven even more affective than taking an anti-inflammatory pill or cortisol.

Helps Digestion

The gelatin in bone broth is water-absorbing, or hydrophilic, so it attracts water to the area, helping to improve digestion. It is soothing to the digestive track and actually helps repair the mucosal lining. It also makes are food more bioavailable, as it breaks down protein and fats.

Creates Supple Skin

The connective tissue from the bones used to make bone broth has a lot of collagen. This collagen can help our skin become smoother and more supple, especially as we age, when our collagen production decreases. Some even swear by bone broth for decreasing wrinkles and eliminating cellulite.

Helps Repair and Grow Bones

The minerals in bone broth, such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, help our bones grow and repair, but it’s also the collagen that greatly assists in this process, as it acts as the “scaffolding” for our bones. It holds them together.

Promotes Good Sleep

Glycine, which is one of the amino acids in gelatin, has been shown to induce sleep when consumed before bed. It also plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain. Not only does bone broth promote quality sleep, but it also helps reduce daytime fatigue and improve memory.

 

Why is Bone Broth so Healing?

Overall, bone broth is a well rounded medicinal elixir. It has very easy-to-assimilate, bioavailable nutrients like minerals, vitamins and amino acids, and often times other medicinal compounds depending on the ingredients added. Bone broth is an absolute nutritional powerhouse. Here’s a more specific look at the medicinal and nutritional components of bone broth.

Minerals/Electrolytes

Minerals in the form the body can absorb easily. It is particularly rich in potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous and contains some calcium, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals. Think of it as a natural form of Gatorade minus the sugar, artificial dies and other preservatives.

Chondroitin Sulphates and Glucosamine

Broken down material from cartilage and tendons - compounds like hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and healing joint pain.

Amino Acids

Broth is extremely rich in proteins like collagen and gelatin, which are broken down into amino acids. Numerous independent studies have shown that amino acids help the body with cellular function, reproduction, and repair. These powerful amino acids are found in bone broth:

  • Proline – known as the anti-aging amino acid since it repairs damaged skin. It also accelerates the healing of external wounds. Both proline and glycine are important for a healthy gut and digestion, muscle repair and growth, a balanced nervous system, and strong immune system.
  • Glycine – known to have multifarious benefits, including assisting in neurological function, offsetting inflammatory disease, promoting glycogenesis (formation of glycogen from sugar), making other amino acids, promoting detoxification, and combating obesity.
  • Arginine – known in bodybuilding circles for its vasodilating effects. It relaxes the arteries and improves nutrient transport. This consequently leads to improved arterial and heart health. Arginine supplementation has also been shown to increase muscle mass while reducing body fat mass.
  • Hydroxyproline – an amino acid derivative produced from proline. It assists in the development of the bones, tendons, and cartilage.
  • Valine – L-valine supports muscle metabolism during strenuous physical activity. Valine is also a member of the branched chain amino acids, which may reduce liver disease.
  • Lysine – helps to treat cold sores. L-lysine also aids in the production of carnitine, which in turn lowers bad LDL cholesterol levels. It may also help in the death of malignant cancer cells.
  • Alanine – known for improving physical endurance output. It improves anaerobic performance by delaying the buildup of lactic acid.
  • Glutamine - keeps the immune system healthy, helps recovery from wounds and illnesses,  assists in gut healing and to builds muscles.

Collagen/Gelatin

Collagen is a protein that is found mostly in connective tissue and skin. When it is heated (like in making broth), the collagen breaks down into gelatin. Simply put, gelatin is cooked collagen. Both collagen and gelatin is prized as a valuable supplement in the natural health world. It makes the amino acids found in collagen more bioavailable (easier to digest and assimilate). Gelatin is the most highly valued component of broth. This is the substance that causes cooled broth to congeal.

For thousands of years, gelatin has been prized by many cultures as a great healer and nourisher. It dates back all the way to the Chinese culture in 204 A.D. Many have tried to replicate it, but no man-made substance has ever come close. Boxed and canned broth producers tried to add emulsifiers and thickeners as quick fixes, but these do have the same healing and medicinal benefits as gelatin produced and traditional, home-cooked broth.

Gelatin is a very unique food that greatly eases the digestive process, due to its hydrophilic colloid properties, indicating that it attracts water and gastric juices to assist digestion. It does not contain complex full proteins, however, gelatin contains 20 important amino acids that act as building blocks that maximize the use of other ingested protein sources.

 

 

As stated by The Weston A. Price Foundation, “Gelatin was probably the first functional food, dating from the invention of the “digestor” by the Frenchman Papin in 1682. Papin’s digestor consisted of an apparatus for cooking bones or meat with steam to extract the gelatin. Just as vitamins occupy the center of the stage in nutritional investigations today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food research. Gelatin was universally acclaimed as a most nutritious foodstuff particularly by the French, who were seeking ways to feed their armies and vast numbers of homeless in Paris and other cities.

The Weston A. Price Foundation also talks about how “the French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.”

Nutritional Tip:

Research shows that when we consume collagen, collagen levels increase in our bodies. Research also shows that collagen can not form without one key vitamin: Vitamin C. If we have too little Vitamin C in our bodies, they can not produce as much collagen. This is why collagen supplements that come in capsule form often contain Vitamin C as well. These supplements are designed for joint repair and similar conditions. So why don’t we, who are trying to repair our guts, intentionally include Vitamin C as well? My family and I often consume our broth along with a shot glass of water mixed with a whole food based source of vitamin C, such as acerola berry powder, or another fruit or vegetable rich in vitamin C.

Healthy Fat

Nutrient rich traditional fats are found in bone broth. These traditional animal fats, commonly from meat and poultry, are primarily composed of saturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats maintain their integrity when heated, meaning they do not become denatured forming free radicals during the cooking process. This is true as long as the heat remains below the smokepoint. These fats have nourished healthy cultures for millennia.

We’ve compiled up research, tips and tricks so you can create the most nutritionally dense, flavourful healing elixir of a bone broth. Here, we aren’t just creating delicious food, we’re creating medicine. See our FREE Comprehensive Guide to Bone Broth to help you learn how to cook up a delicious and nutritious bone broth that is also a healing and medicinal elixir.

Looking to source quality foods, supplements, and nontoxic home products? This vetted list put together by Beyond Vitality can help!

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