Part of my protocol to get better was to drink Bone Broth - which I know has contributed to me getting better. I just can’t think of a day without it now!!
This post explains why it’s important for ALL of us, not just those with gut issues.
Bone broth is essentially bones from animals like cows, pigs, lambs, chickens or fish, slow cooked, for 12-15 hours. Some people call it ‘stock’. Once cooked, it consists of 50% minerals, 28% collagen, and 22% water. Before I got into the technical stuff, I think it’s a pretty awesome drink to have because I found it:
- Gives me instant energy. As a result, I’ve been able to reduce my caffeine intake
- Boosted my immunity. I used to be the first to get any type of cold, and went through a stage of always feeling on the verge of being sick. Since drinking bone broth, I’ve never been sick.
- It's a great (and inexpensive) form of protein and healthy saturated fats
- Also, we mustn't avoid stating the obvious - it's yummy and curbs sugar cravings/tendency to overeat.
Slow cooking these bones brings out 3 key amino acids that are crucial to our everyday function. Here’s a quick summary of why consuming these amino acids are SO important if we’re seeking optimal health and vitality:
Glycine helps the body to detoxify, promotes sleep quality, emotional stability and mental calmness.
Glycine can only be found in the bones, skin, organ meats and the connective tissues in animals. Most of us focus on eating the ‘muscle meat only’ parts of an animal, which are also known as methionine amino acids.
Here’s where it gets really interesting:
Our bodies can only fulfil it’s essential functions in the presence of glycine (bones, skin, organs, connective tissues) AND methionine (meat). So there’s an imbalance in the modern way of eating animals, given we only eat the meat bits. Eating excessive amounts of methionine without balancing it out with glycine raises homocysteine levels in the blood and brings significant risk of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, mental illness and fractures. This may explain why there are so many studies that connect meat eating with these serious diseases. Wow.
Key takeaway - drink a small cup of bone broth whenever you eat any meat to give you a better balance of essential amino acids the body needs everyday. Now, please don’t stress if you can’t do this all the time - just be more aware and do it when you can.
Collagen helps build and repair your bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
As well as keeping your system strong, it also aids in keeping your skin firm, with less wrinkles. Skincare on the inside, instead of out, oh yeah!
It also has another really cool property - builds a barrier to prevent the absorption of environmental toxins, pathogenic substances, microorganisms and cancerous cells.
Gelatin aids digestion and heals the gut by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restores lining in the stomach. It also promotes healthy bowel movements.
What to ask forThe source of your bones is THE most important part.
Factory farmed animals are fed incorrectly, given growth hormones and antibiotics and in in-humane conditions.
Here’s what you ask for at any reputable butcher or online:
Beef, Veal or Lamb
- Grass-fed and finished (animals are fed grass from start to end).
- Organic is good, but not essential as a lot of organic animals are still fed grains. It’s more about what they are eating.
Chicken and Pigs
- Ask if the animals are pastured, and able to roam around outside and eat what they find on the ground.
- Organic increases the likelihood of them being fed grains that are free of antibiotics, growth hormones or anything else genetically modified.
You have every right to ask where the animals come from and how they are fed.
Try to push past being shy when asking the butcher about this. You’ll find the butchers that support the above fully welcome you asking them, whilst the others may get defensive.
Ask the butcher to chop up the bones into pieces/chunks for a slow cooker or pot.
You can also do this in a big pot (10-15L), lowest heat on the stove.
Herbs and Spices (peppercorns, bay leaf, anything dried, or just grab a jar of organic dried herbs from the health shop)
Half fill the slow cooker with the bones
Just cover the bones with filtered water - don't overfill to the top.
Set the slow cooker on the lowest setting
Cook for 10-15 hours (I tend to put it together when I get home from work, and leave overnight)
When ready, place a strainer over a really big tupperware container (preferably glass not plastic).
Pour the liquid through the strainer (be careful, very hot, pour away from you).
Recommend you do this in the kitchen sink so save the splash making a mess.
Cover and place straight into the fridge.
Once it sets, there will be a white film over the top of the broth. You can scrape and throw away, or use it as a cooking oil (yum and Very good for you if the bones have been correctly sourced).
Stock keeps in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Enjoy :) x
You can use the thoughts section in My Happiness Journal to write reminders about things you don't want to forget. eg. 'source bones for bone broth' :)
Drop me a line if you have any feedback or questions - firstname.lastname@example.org