Today I want to talk about one of the most important of all systems in our bodies – the gut!
The role of your gut (digestive track) is to absorb nutrients, but the magnitude of it’s effect on our own health is often overlooked.
The gut is where 80% of our immune system is located as most of the baddies we need to fight off to keep healthy are derived from the food we’re eating and the chemicals we’re absorbing. The gut is also very much connected to the health of our brain, as well as our serotonin levels.
When it’s functioning optimally, the digestive system is really good at keeping things that are not meant to be in our body – out.
As food passes through the digestive system nutrients are absorbed into our blood stream and undigested foods are pushed out of the body– if all is functioning well.
But what would happen if we had leaks in our gut and partially undigested food was able to find its way into the body? This is called Leaky Gut Syndrome (or, ongoing increased intestinal permeability) and it’s more common than you would think. In fact, I’m in the process of healing my own gut after some poor choices in the past.
Because our lining becomes damaged and permeable – bacteria, toxins, indigested food and waste may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream triggering an immune reaction. This can lead to all sorts of digestive distress, food intolerances, weakened immune system and even autoimmune disorders.
Visceral (belly fat) is also one of the direct results of gut permeability. The liver and surrounding fat deposits act as a trap to hold onto these bad guys and leads to inflammation and excessive deposits of fat. And we all know the dangers of visceral fat.
So, why does this happen? To put it simply: too many refined food choices, stress and every day life.
Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates including sugars, processed foods, gluten etc. has been shown to be causing digestive distress in most people these days. Antibiotics, radiation and medications in general have also contributed to the leaks in our gut.
I believe it’s time to find out what it’s like to feel truly alive and amazing and bone broth, along with the right diet can play an important role in that journey. Yes, you heard me right – Bone broth.
Bone Broth: Your Gut’s BFF
Bone broth is not a recent fad. It’s been used by professional chefs and home cooks for centuries for flavour and even longer as an ancient healing drink. Many believe that bone broth was used as far back as the Palaeolithic era as our ancestors would have probably dropped hot stones into the stomachs of animals they killed to make get the great tasting drink. Today, broth is basically made by boiling the bones of chicken, pork, beef or fish for a long period of time in order to draw out the nutrients in the bones and marrow.
The list of reasons why this is the most super of super foods is a long one. Even the NZ Warriors team consume bone broth daily calling it a “cuppa soup on steroids”
Bone broth can help speed up the healing process if you’ve been sick. We’ve all heard that chicken soup is good for sickness – imagine chicken soup x 10!
It can help heal your joints due to the glucosamine, collagen etc. from the boiled down cartilage.
It helps to keep our bones strong and healthy thanks to the calcium and magnesium and other nutrients from the broth.
It promotes healthy hair and nail growth because of the gelatine from the bones.
It contains minerals in a form that the body can readily absorb including phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, magnesium, calcium and glucosamine (which is sold for lots of money at health food stores)
In relation to leaky gut – The gelatine in bone broth has been shown to be a powerful tool for healing and sealing the gut. Also, the collagen helps to hold the digestive juices together and makes digestion easier.
And so, along with the right food choices, - bone broth can help to repair damage that has been done to our intestinal lining and help to keep the baddies out and the goodies in.
The best part is, bone broth is super cheap to make! Usually butchers throw out these bones and will sell for very reasonable prices. I recommend getting a good variety of beef bones and even chicken feet for chicken broth to help the gelling process. I also suggest you try to find organic or home killed bones from cows and chickens that were able to eat their natural diet.
Go ahead – try a cuppa in the morning and watch how great you can feel!
Basic Bone Broth
2kg Beef or Chicken bones 2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar Desired leftover vegetables Thyme or other desired seasonings (optional)
Place the bones in the slow cooker or stock pot. Cover with water and allow to simmer for 12-48 hours. Drain the excess meat and vegetables pour into a large container. Once cooled - remove the fat (optional) and store the broth in small jars in the fridge or freezer. Will last for 3-4 days in the fridge. Enjoy!