The Healing Powers of Bone Broth

My first experience with bone broth.

Honestly, when I first heard the idea of drinking broth from the bones of animals, I was a little put off.  Well, not even a little put off; I was nauseated! I had not eaten meat in a long time. At the time I was following a vegan diet and, even though I wasn’t feeling as good as I thought I should be, the idea of eating meat was a little difficult to fathom. Drinking “BONE BROTH” was laughable.

Several thoughts ran through my mind, none of them positive.  “Why would I ever consider doing that?” “Where in the world would I get bones from? I don’t live on a farm or have a butcher near me!” “I’m sorry, who do you think I am? Ma Ingalls!”

I almost (key word) dismissed the thought of even trying it when I read about it in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  My friend had raved about this cookbook back in in the early 2000’s.  The ideas behind it had helped her husband manage his symptoms with Crohn’s Disease.  Well, I didn’t have Crohn’s; I had something completely different and wasn’t sure how this primitive (at least in my mind) method of cooking was going to help me.

Instead of just using bones, I used a whole chicken, cut it like Ms. Fallon suggested, stuck it in my large stock pot, added vinegar (to leach the collagen out, whatever that means?!), a couple of carrots, celery and onions.  Filled the pot with a ton of water, turned on the stove and began the long wait.

The idea of having to cook it for 12 to 24 hours plus was a little unnerving… I had never heard of such a thing.  That meant I had to leave it on the stove overnight to cook. This was really getting ridiculous! I slept downstairs the first time I made it, close to the kitchen, just in case something caught on fire or boiled over…I didn’t want chicken carcass all over my cabinets!

In the morning I awoke to the most amazing smell!  Actually, everyone in the house was excited about the contents brewing in the pot.  I must say, it didn’t disappoint.

The first time I had a mug, I knew there was something to this. I can only describe it as the most soothing and nourishing feeling I’ve ever experienced from food.

Ever since that moment, I’ve been making bone broth regularly.  The question in the house now is “Do you have a bag for the bones?”

I recommend making your own bone broth for two reasons:  #1 – it’s easy to make. Click here for the recipe *insert link to recipe blog* and #2 – it’s nutritionally better for you than anything you’ll ever purchase in a box, frozen tub or can.  ~ Note: Kettle & Fire is probably the only quality boxed broth on the market

5 Reasons to Drink a cup of Bone Broth Daily

1.  Heals the gut lining – Most everyone these days has some degree of compromised gut lining.  Processed foods high in sugar and industrial seed oils, conventional meats and dairy, gluten, toxins in the environment, antibiotics, NSAIDs, birth control pills, not to mention daily stress – all can wreak havoc on our intestinal system.

The following scenario will hopefully give you a good idea of why healing your gut is so important:

Imagine that you’re sitting in your house with the window open enjoying a nice breeze. All of a sudden you realize that a couple flies and a wasp or two are swarming around you ruining your nice afternoon.  As you run to get your fly swatter, you notice a hole in the screen just large enough to allow these pesky little bugs to get into your house.  To fix it, you grab your tools and patch the screen until you’re able to go out and purchase a new one.

The window screen allows fresh air to come into the house where we can enjoy its benefits.  It also prevents the pests outside from coming in to cause us harm.

Compare that scenario with our digestive system.

The intestinal lining allows nutrients from our food to be absorbed into the bloodstream while keeping toxins, undigested food particles and bacteria in the small intestines which eventually pass to the colon and out of the body where no harm can be done.

If the lining is damaged, allowing these foreign particles to make their way into the bloodstream, our immune system is called in to attack these invaders.

For a lot of people, this attack is happening several times a day causing widespread inflammation which leads to digestive disorders, skin issues, joint pain, autoimmune diseases and neurological problems.

In the above scenario, we’d fix the screen.  Why not do the same with our gut?

The intestinal lining contains collagen, a protein found in the body’s connective tissue such as the skin and gut.  Bone broth is extremely rich in both collagen and gelatin which restore the integrity of the intestines.

What better way to help the gut heal itself other than give it what it’s made of?

2.  Improves the Immune system – A natural side effect of healing the gut lining is improving the immune system.

Over 70% of your immune system is found in the gut.  To reiterate, when your intestinal lining is damaged, bacteria, toxic waste and small particles of undigested food and proteins can pass into the bloodstream.  The immune system’s job is to attack anything that’s not supposed to be there.

When you have a “Leaky Gut” these foreign substances pass into the bloodstream on a daily basis.  This constant barrage will cause your immune system to be in attack mode 24/7.

Eventually the immune system can get confused and begin attacking an organ, mistaking it for something that’s harmful.  This is how autoimmune diseases begin.

The immune system isn’t designed to always be in a state of activity.  The goal is to have an immune system that can act quickly and effectively when it’s needed.

By sealing the leaks in the gut, not allowing anything to seep out other than vitamins and minerals, the immune system can settle down and properly preform its function.

3.  Fights inflammation – “All disease begins in the gut.” ~Hippocrates

Whether this is your first time reading that statement or you’ve heard it a hundred times, it bears keeping in mind.

When we get a cut, sprain or broken bone, the immune system is right there to help heal it.  We experience acute (short-term) inflammation in these areas when white blood cells are sent into the affected site.  Skin around the area becomes red, sore and swollen.

If the gut lining is inflamed (red, sore and swollen) due to damage, a cascade effect takes place in the rest of the body.

Unfortunately, this type of inflammation is chronic (long term) and dangerous.  The constant stress on the cells, tissues and organs lead to any number of disease.

Brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, skin issues and even weight gain are all forms of inflammation that can be traced back to an unhealthy gut lining.

The amino acids proline, glycine and arginine found in bone broth are crucial in lowering inflammation.

4.  It’s great for all forms of stress –  There is no greater stress than pain, especially chronic pain.  Studies have shown that the gelatin in bone broth provides almost immediate relief to joint pain and the glycine in the gelatin speeds wound healing and recovery.

In times of stress, you might have a hankering for your favorite comfort foods, most of which are high in sugar and unhealthy fats.  Bone broth is the ultimate soothing food.  No wonder it’s been offered to comfort the sick for years!

Bone broth is not only great for the body, it nourishes the soul.

5.  It’s much cheaper and safer than Botox – After the age of 20, the production of collagen – the protein that makes skin firm – goes down about 1% every year.

I like how Dr. Kellyann Petrucci of The Bone Broth Diet compares aging skin to soccer balls packed tightly together in rows.  When we’re young, the balls are full of air, bouncy and firm.  As we age, they slowly start to deflate weakening their strong bond.

The “deflating” of cells causes our skin to become thinner, drier and less elastic resulting in the dreaded crow’s feet, forehead creases, “11s” between the eyebrows and let’s not forget the lovely “turkey neck.”

Creams and serums only address the surface.  Bone broth repairs the skin from the inside out “reinflating” the cells which result in glowing, healthy and natural looking skin.

And let’s be honest here; we’ve all seen the results of women who’ve had one too many Botox injections!

Confused on how to begin?  No worries, I’ve got you covered…click here to get my recipe for bone broth Enjoy!

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