Bone Broth: Whats the Big Deal!?
Bone broth is a glistening liquid made from boiling bone in water for 24 - 48 hours (or more!) to pull a wide array of nutrition out of the bones and make a flavourful broth. It can be made from any animal bone from chicken to beef and you can add all the veggies, herbs, and spices you like to flavour it! Just strain everything out when you're done and use that broth as the base for soup, for cooking grains and for sipping straight up!
You may have just heard whispers of this warm nourishing superfood or you may be brewing your own already! You've probably got a sense that it's good for your gut and that it can help to fortify the skin and protect your joints, but do you know why? Well let's dive into exactly how this ancient elixir really has earned its place on top of the superfood pyramid!
Bone broth was a huge part of the diet for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They traditionally used all of the parts of an animal, from the meat to the bones to the skin and the guts. It was all valuable. Obviously, they couldn't just bite down on the bone. So, they quickly discovered that heating the bones would break them down and release their nutrients! Upon the invention of the pot, this soon turned into the long steeping process we know today and the inclusion of other foods to go along with it, like veggies and tubers, to make it a full meal!
Since the birth of bone broth, it has been viewed as not only food but also as medicine. Hippocrates, himself, is recorded as having recommended it to people with digestive issues. And, of course, that guy knew what he was doing!
Proline & Glycine
Bone broth is particularly rich in two incredibly important amino acids: proline and glycine.
Glycine is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. This is what makes it so important for digestive health, as it regulates the production of bile salts and secretion of gastric juices!
Glycine is also involved in detoxification as it promotes the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant needed for phase I liver detox.
Additionally, Glycine can help to regulate blood sugar by controlling gluconeogensis (the process by which we convert proteins to glucose).
Glycine can also enhance muscle growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion.
Glycine is also integral for the nervous system, inhibiting excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain to produce a calming effect. It also converts to the neurotransmitter serene, which promotes mental alertness, boosts mood, improves memory and reduces stress. Who needs coffee?!
Proline is particularly powerful at improving cardiovascular health as it plays a role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It actually enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream. This reduces the possibility of creating blockages.
Like Glycine, Proline can also aid in the building of health muscles by helping to break down proteins for new use.
Both Proline an Glycine are essential components of all connective tissue in our bodies. Essentially, they literally keep us from falling apart! We use these amino acids to heal wounds, even the microscopic damage done to blodo vessels and other tissues in our body brought on by inflammation and infection.
The many superpowers of these two amino acids make bone broth ideal for healing the gut, strengthening the skin, fighting infection, addressing autoimmune disease, reducing inflammation, protecting the heart and building muscle!
Collagen & Gelatin
Collagen is another valued component of bone broth. Collagen is the protein found in animal bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments and tendons that tends to wear and tear, that diminishes in our bodies as we age making us less flexible, more stiff and in pain. The collagen leached front he bones used to make bone broth is readily absorbable and helps to restore our bodies own stores.
Collagen also helps form elastin and other compounds within the skin that are responsible for maintaing it's youthful look, reducing visible wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting other signs of aging.
Bone broth is also a rich source of gelatin, which acts like a cushion between bones that helps them to move without friction. It also provides us with the building blocks needed to make and maintain strong bones. In these ways, gelatin helping to take pressure off of aging joints and supporting bone mineral density.
Additionally, studies show that gelatin is beneficial for restoring the strength and integrity of the gut lining and may reduce incidences of food sensitivities. It has also proven to feed good bacteria in the gut and regulate inflammation int he digestive tract.
Finally, L-Glutamine is also found in healthy concentrations in bone broth. L-glutamine acts as fuel for the cells of the gut lining, allowing it to heal and supporting it's integrity. It is one of the first amino acid supplements used to heal leaky gut. Bone broth is a cheaper way to get a daily dose of this gut-healing amino acid.
L-Glutamine also supports metabolism by sending nutrients to our cells. This will help to improve energy levels and may promote weight loss.
The minerals in bone broth are also very powerful. Naturally, we are extracting the minerals directly from the bone, meaning that we are going to get all the minerals in the broth that make up our bones! Fantastic for strengthening the bones and preventing osteoporosis.
The range of minerals extracted includes: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. These minerals are also incredible for the immune system and for nourishing the adrenal glands (those little guys in charge of regulating stress responses!).
Additionally, bone broth contains chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, the two compounds sold as expensive supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
Bone broth has clearly earned it's designation as a superfood, serving many medicinal purposes. It is the ultimate healing, anti-aging elixir that I recommend incorporating into your diet as often as possible. I do it every single day!
Check out how I incorporate bone broth daily!