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Why I've added bone broth to my diet

When bone broth first became a trend, I jumped straight on the band-wagon and spent hours on a Sunday making bone broth from the left-over chicken carcasses from my roast dinner. Needless to say, it didn’t last long as I found that I couldn’t leave the house while it simmered away on the hob for 10+ hours (you can also use a slow cooker). In fact, traditional bone broth is made for a minimum 24 hours to allow the bones to release all their nutrients. (P.S. You can speed up the process if you have a pressure cooker which I don’t (currently) have!)

However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like bone broth. I’ve always been more of a savoury person than sweet, and I do like to sit down in the afternoon with a warm mug of bone broth instead of tea.

BUT WHY IS IT SO GOOD FOR US?

Bone broth is full of nutrients, but this does depend on the ingredients you use. For example, animal bones (chicken, beef, etc) contain minerals such as calcium and magnesium, essential components for our bone health, whereas fish bones also contain iodine which is needed for the health of our thyroid and metabolism.

IT CONTAINS NUTRIENTS FOR GUT HEALING AND REPAIR

An important part of bone broth is collagen, a protein that turns into gelatine (the bit that congeals when it goes cold!) when cooked and provides several amino acids (the building blocks of protein for our body). These amino acids include glycine, glutamine and protein that we need for gut healing and repair, which in turn helps to support our immune system as well. More research needs to be done into the exact effects on human health, but we know that glutamine in particular helps to support the lining of the gut, which acts as the ‘barrier’ to the bloodstream and the rest of the body. This is particularly important in those with an autoimmune condition such as coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis or multiple sclerosis, where the gut barrier has become compromised – you may be familiar with the term ‘leaky gut’ or intestinal permeability.

As the bones simmer away, they release their nutrients into the water and make them easy to digest when drunk. For my clients which have chronic gut health issues and can be very sensitive to certain foods and supplements, bone broth is great medical food that I encourage them to include every day.

IT CAN HELP SUPPORT THE IMPACT OF STRESS

Gut health is so important in today’s busy (and stressful) world, as not only is it home to the majority of our immune system, but stress has a direct impact on the digestive system, as part of the gut-brain axis. Part of that axis also includes our microbiome, which helps support digestion, mood, brain health and weight (to name a few). Stress has been shown to reduce our microbiome in both diversity and numbers, as well as promoting more inflammatory pathways and having a negative impact on the immune system.

Adding bone both in as part of your diet will not only help to better support your microbiome and digestive health from the impact of stress, but just the act of drinking it can be calming and restorative.

IT CONTAINS NUTRIENT THAT HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO IMPROVE JOINT HEALTH

The benefits of collagen keep giving, for it is the main protein found in our bones, joint and tendons. So, when bone both is made, and the collagen from the animal or fish bones is released during the cooking process, it is these amino acids, which include glucosamine and chondroitin, that offer us joint benefits, for there have been many studies into the benefits of how these amino acids can reduce the symptoms of conditions such osteoarthritis, including pain.

IT’S ALSO ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND CAN BENEFIT SKIN AND HAIR!

The benefits of bone broth keep giving, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory, and the nutrients and collagen can also be of benefit to skin and hair.

BONE BROTH PRODUCTS

However, I think life is too short to make your own bone broth every weekend. The good news is, there are some great companies doing it for us!

You can now bone broth as a convenient powder or as a liquid, and there is a whole array of flavours to choose from including some with turmeric, seaweed or sweeter versions that can be used as a protein powder.

You also want to look for organic versions (or use organic meat if making yourself) to ensure that the animal bones are as healthy as possible to impart all that ‘healthiness’ on to you, rather than using factory-farmed animals.

Osius Bone Broth is a firm favourite, and I often have a stash in my freezer. In particular I like their Organic beef bone broth with turmeric for extra anti-inflammatory benefits, or their Organic chicken bone broth with herbs which makes a delicious drink throughout the day.

Planet Paleo offer a convenient powdered form such as their Organic bone broth collage protein - Pure which again as a mild flavour for everyday drinking, or Organic bone broth collage protein – Golden Turmeric for a more warming bone broth which I love to add to soups.

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There are many brands on the market to choose from these days and even food delivery companies such as Farmdrop can include it in your food box. They do a Double Concentrate Beef Bone Broth that adds flavour, and nutrition, to any gravy or meat dish.

HOW TO USE BONE BROTH

Whether you make your own, or buy a liquid or powder variety, bone broths can easily be added into your daily diet.

Simply heat (or add hot water to a powder) and drink instead of tea, or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Use as stock for any gravy, soup or sauces

Cook your rice or quinoa in bone broth

Add a powder to porridge or a smoothie

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