By Nutritionist, Stephanie Malouf
We've all heard the so-called old wives tale to eat chicken soup when you are sick, but is it a tale after all? What was once known as grandma's miracle cure for a cold or flu and dates back to prehistoric times, is now the most popular food trend, and we believe it is here to stay!
So what is bone broth and why has it been revered for millenia?
Bone broth is made from the boiled bones of beef, poultry, or fish, simmered low and super slow for hours on end. This process draws nutrients out of the bones without letting the heat destroy them. The final product is a thick and flavourful broth packed with vitamins, minerals, and the star player: gelatin.
We sat down with Nutritionist Stephanie Malouf to find out why bone broth is so good for you. Get ready for it, you might be surprised!
1. Aids in digestion
Bone broth stimulates the release of digestive juices needed to break down food whilst also assisting with the production of bile acids required to break down fats. The nutrients in the broth also help to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria that live in our gut which also play a key role in digestion among many other things. Bone broth also draws fluid into the bowel, keeping you regular and preventing toxic waste build up.
2. Supports weight loss and blood sugar regulation
Bone Broth is packed with nutrients and low in calories with around just 35 calories per serve and providing around 8 grams of protein which curbs appetite. The amino acid glycine which is rich in bone broth also increases the effect of insulin, the main hormone involved in regulating our blood sugar levels. This ensures our cells use the glucose efficiently as fuel rather than converting and storing it as fat.
3. Heals and seals the gut lining
Each day we expose our gut to stressors that cause wear and tear to the gut lining. This is commonly known as leaky gut. The main stressors are medications such as the oral contraceptive pill and antibiotics, poor diet, gluten, bad bacteria and emotional stress. The amino acids glycine and proline are important structural components of the connective tissue that lines the digestive tract. This ensures that food particles and bacteria stay inside the gut where they belong rather than pass through to the bloodstream. When they leak out, our immune system launches an attack causing inflammation. This is a key driver of autoimmunity, food intolerances, skin conditions and other health complications.
4. Strengthens the immune system
80% of the immune system is located in the gut. If the lining and balance of bacteria is out of whack, your exposure to toxins and foreign materials is increased sending the immune system into overdrive. As a result, the immune system starts to malfunction. A strong gut lining and healthy gut flora is the foundation to a strong immune system and your overall health.
5. Supports detoxification and protects the liver
Bone broth contains nutrients that fuel the detoxification process, glycine in particular. Glycine is also needed to produce glutathione, the livers most powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from free radical damage that cause disease and ageing.
6. Protects our joints and reduces joint inflammation
The gelatin in bone broth provides important nutrients crucial for forming connective tissue that keeps joints flexible and able to withstand shock. Bone broth is also rich in hyaluronic acid, glucosamine and chondroitin compounds extracted from the broken down cartilage. These compounds are important for joint health and reducing inflammation associated conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Promotes healthy and strong bone formation
Gelatin contains nutrients needed for rebuilding collagen, a fibrous protein that gives bones its strength and flexibility. Gelatin rich bone broth therefore aids in re-building new bone and preventing them from becoming soft, brittle and prone to fractures.
8. Improves mood and sleep.
Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter having a calming yet non sedative effect. This reduces feelings of stress and anxiety whilst also improving sleep quality. Furthermore, 80% of serotonin is produced in the gut which is the neurotransmitter responsible for making us happy. A healthy gut is important for a happy and healthy mood.
9. Keeps skin tight, hair shiny and nails strong
The gelatin contains key structural elements needed to keep the connective tissue in our skin elastic and free from wrinkles and our hair and nails strong and healthy.
10. Aids in muscle building and recovery
The gelatin provides nutrients needed to form new muscle and prevent muscle wastage which increases with age. This is termed sarcopenia. The gelatin also helps regenerate damaged muscle keeping it strong and intact.
11. Balances out the nutrients needed for diets high in meat
While meat is a healthy part of a balanced diet, it’s also high in methionine which increases homocysteine levels in the blood. Elevated homocysteine levels are inflammatory and associated with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, depression and fractures. The glycine aids in detoxifying and balancing out the methionine levels to offset any imbalance.
Sipping on a cup of bone broth or adding it to your cooking daily is a great way to nourish yourself and enjoy and all the beautiful benefits bone broth has to offer.
Given the timely nature of cooking bone broth, it can be difficult for busy bodies like myself to make it on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are some good quality ready-made options now available in many health food and other specialty stores that have done all the hard work for us. Hallelujah! However, when choosing a bone broth it’s important that you pick one that’s certified organic. Many toxins are stored in the bone marrow of animals and therefore released into the broth during the cooking process.
My favourite is Undivided Food Co’s GOOD BONES Certified Organic Beef & Chicken Bone Broth produced in Sydney, Australia. I love it so much that I worked with the team to incorporate the broth into two easy to follow cleanse programs; 7-Day Kick Starter & 21-Day Reset both supporting detoxification, gut healing and healthy weight loss.
If you are interested in learning more about the cleanse programs, visit Undivided Food Co’s website or get in touch with Accredited Nutritionist, Stephanie Malouf.
Have you tried Bone Broth and experienced the health benefits?