The truth about the importance of gut health is definitely coming to light more and more as time goes on – which is very good news! The gut (more scientifically known as the digestive system) is absolutely crucial in setting the tone for the rest of your health, by dictating the way in which your body receives, absorbs and transports nutrients. If something isn’t going quite right along this process it can very easily lead to inflammation (the root cause of many diseases) or malnutrition.
With that being said, this powerhouse organ deserves a little TLC every now and then (or, all the time), to make sure it’s looking after us as best it can. So then why bone broth? And firstly, what even is bone broth?
Bone broth and ‘stock’ can be used interchangeably; however, bone broth is typically cooked for a much longer amount of time – up to 48 hrs. The bones and left over meat, tendons and otherwise inedible parts of the animal are simmered in water, a type of acid (apple cider vinegar or lemon), and herbs to create a liquid in which all the nutrients from the bones and tissues have leached out, and created a delicious and ridiculously nutritious concoction.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and can be found almost everywhere doing it’s best to keep your body healthy; it basically holds us together! This humble protein is the reason why your digestive system (and the rest of you, to be honest) needs bone broth.
Collagen production peaks in our mid-twenties, before natural production slowly starts to decline, causing signs of aging and degradation particularly in the gut.
Healthy intestinal walls.
Collagen helps to restore the lining of the gut, and provides a healing environment within the intestinal walls. Healthy intestinal walls means that our intestinal cells are strengthened, improving absorption of nutrients; it fosters a healthy environment for good bacteria to thrive, and also means that there is decreased chances of food particles escaping into the bloodstream (such as in leaky gut) and causing inflammation.
Basically, whatever gastrointestinal issues you are facing stem from either an imbalance in gut bacteria, leaking gut, or the decreased ability for your intestinal cells to absorb nutrients properly which can lead to intolerances and allergies. The good news is, bone broth is HIGH in collagen, making it the perfect first step in healing your gut and fulfilling its role in literally holding us together!
Collagen in its raw and natural form actually isn’t as readily absorbed by the body as when it is cooked. In the process of making bone broth, collagen is obviously cooked through the slow simmering, turning it into its partially digested state known as gelatin. Gelatin is absorbed much more efficiently by the body and is the reason why bone broth tends to set a little once cooled – a very good sign that your broth is nutrient-dense!
Ensuring that your gut is looked after usually leads to a strengthening of your immune system, and a decrease in sickness and illness. A healthy balance of gut bacteria actually comprises the majority of your immune system, which brings to light how important our gut is for ensuring our optimal health. With the inclusion of bone broth into your diet you can be assured that you’re giving your digestive system the support is needs!
Lastly, collagen/gelatin are not the only nutrients that leach from the bones, think about all that calcium! Not to mention the additional amino acids, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium to name a few! It really is a nutrient-loaded idea that can only provide benefits.
So what are you waiting for? Get those bones boiling and give your gut some extra TLC!