1: your gut loves it and absolutely benefits from it.
Your gut, which includes your small and large intestine, is where your body absorbs nutrients, a large part of your immune system gets regulated, where detoxification and hydration takes place, and where you produce neurotransmitters and get in contact with your nervous system.
When your gut is in tip-top shape, you will have a protective barrier there, preventing any foreign invaders (food molecules, drugs, toxins and viruses etc) from moving into your bloodstream.
If your gut is compromised, either by stress, illness, the use of certain medication or by eating foods that damage the protective barrier, your immune system may switch into overdrive to deal with known or unknown invaders.
This can lead to a host of health issues, ranging from gut disturbances, malabsorption, autoimmune conditions to mental health problems.
Did you know that stress alone can have a negative impact on your gut health, by depleting glutamine (which makes up part of that protective layer) and disrupting your microbiome (which is part of your second brain, and is in close contact with your emotional health), and by altering the release of secretory IgA, which is an antibody that plays a role in leaky gut syndrome.
L-glutamine is an amino acid which functions as a building block and fuel for your gut lining.
Sources of L-glutamine rich foods are: beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, eggs, grass-fed whey, and cabbage.
While these foods can already help by increasing the levels of glutamine in your system, bone broth also includes collagen, gelatine, arginine and glycine.
Arginine and glycine have been shown to reduce inflammation and body fat. And glycine supports relaxation of your nervous system (reducing anxiety responses by supporting the production of GABA)
So, not only do you protect your gut by ingesting a nourishing lining, you also support your stress levels!
2: It’s super easy to make AND include in your diet Even though there are more and more good quality brands out there these days, making your own bone broth is as easy as: throw some ingredients in a pot, cover with water, simmer at low heat and forget about it for a while. You can use any bones you may wish, just make sure you trust the source to be of good quality and preferably organic. Here are some of my favourite tips to raise your broth game:
If you have a slow-cooker, make the most of it! Use this to simmer away your stock for a good couple of hours, 4-12 hours if you can.
Roast your bones before simmering. I love roasting a whole chicken and using those bones to save me time, but you can use any kind of bones. Now is a good time to befriend your butcher or fishmonger.
Use an acid to draw out even more of the glutamine. I either use a raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (particularly nice in a fish broth)
Spice it up! Apart from Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper, you can really go wild with spices and seasoning. Bay leaf, star anise, turmeric, thyme, rosemary. The sky really is the limit and it will make sure no one stock is ever the same!
There are lots of ways to add bone broth to your daily meals. I always freeze some of my leftover broth in an ice cube tray, for easy dispensing. Here are some of my favourite uses:
As a pick-me-up in the afternoon, just plain broth or with some added shredded veggies
Made into a soup-jar for lunch. Shredded veggies, chopped tofu, rice noodles and a teaspoon of miso paste, topped with hot broth.
In smoothies (only use a very neutral tasting broth, such as plain chicken with just salt and peppercorns)
½ cup added to a stir-fry with a tsp of nut butter and fresh chilli and coconut flakes
As the base for any kind of soup or stew
Add a couple of tablespoons or frozen cubes when mashing potatoes
Blend a couple of tablespoons into sauces, pesto or hummus