The benefits of drinking bone broth regularly are nothing short of amazing.
It’s rare that any one food can provide such a dense amount of nutrition or be so healing to your body.
For people with autoimmune diseases, bone broth can be the miracle food that replaces their nutrient deficiencies and heals their leaky gut – two major issues that people with lupus and other autoimmune diseases almost always suffer from, often without knowing it.
In this blog post, I will share with you:
- what bone broth really is
- what’s in bone broth nutrition
- the 6 bone broth benefits for autoimmunity
- why you should be using bone broth everyday if you have an autoimmune disease
Let’s jump right in…
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a broth that is made from the bones of animals, largely chicken and beef.
The broth is made by simmering the bones and cartilaginous pieces of animals (joints and chicken feet) for 24-48 hours until all of the amazing nutrition is pulled out of them and into the water they are cooked in.
Bone broth is different from well known meat broth, the kind you would make when making homemade chicken soup from a chicken carcass with some meat left on it, for example. In this case, the bones and meat are simmered for only a short period of time – 30 mins – 2 hours until the flavor from the meat is cooked into the broth.
While there is certainly room for both types of broth in an autoimmune diet, you should strongly consider consuming bone broth on the regular if your goal is to reverse your autoimmune disease and rebuild your health.
Bone Broth Nutrition
The reason behind bone broth’s claim to fame is that it is LOADED with beneficial nutrients – nutrients you likely need more of if you are struggling with autoimmunity.
Let’s discuss some of the most prominent nutrients.
Bone broth contains 19 highly absorbable amino acids that are important for those with autoimmune disease who have difficulty digesting and/or assimilating protein and are consequently suffering from a protein deficiency.
Bone broth is also made up of collagen, a main structural protein needed for healthy connective tissue. The body requires collagen for optimal joint, skin and gut health, three places in the body where collagen is most abundant.
Bone broth also contains gelatin, which is a protein that is highly effective in healing the gut and, therefore, quieting the immune system.
It is also packed full of necessary minerals for optimal health, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and some calcium.
Bone broth is a rich source of glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which are known to help keep joints healthy (important for those with rheumatoid arthritis).
Glycine, one of the most important amino acids, is also plentiful in bone broth. Glycine is necessary to generate glutathione, the master antioxidant of the body that is often deficient in those with autoimmune disease. Glycine is also needed for proper blood sugar regulation, digestion and muscle growth and repair.
Bone broth also contains arginine, another important amino acid. Arginine helps maintain proper kidney function (important for those with lupus), wound healing and heart health.
Lastly, bone broth is a rich source of l-glutamine, another amino acid those with autoimmune diseases are often deficient in. L-glutamine is necessary for gut health, to prevent and heal digestion and leaky gut often seen in those with lupus and other autoimmune conditions.
As you can see, bone broth is an amazing way to get the nutrition you need to both prevent and heal autoimmune disease.
6 Bone Broth Benefits for Autoimmune Disease
Having read through the nutritional aspects of bone broth you may already be clued into what the benefits of consuming it on a regular basis are for your health.
Here are the top 6 reasons why you, as someone struggling with autoimmunity, should consume bone broth every single day.
1. Replaces Deficient Nutrients.
As I mentioned previously, one of the biggest nutritional deficiencies those with autoimmune diseases suffer from is a protein deficiency.
Even if you eat meat everyday, you could still have issues with your digestion that would prevent the proper digestion of protein into individual amino acids, as well as the absorption of those amino acids through the cells of the small intestine and into the blood stream to be used throughout the body.
When you can’t absorb amino acids, B vitamins and various other nutrients found in protein, you end up with serious nutrient deficiencies that lead to bigger health issues.
For example, without B vitamins and amino acids, your liver is unable to detox your body properly and toxins can begin to build up and be a source of inflammation for you. We will discuss this example in more detail below.
By consuming bone broth everyday you will be consuming vitamins, minerals and amino acids at its very basic level, of which your body will have no problem absorbing and using for energy, detoxification, and gut healing.
2. Heals Leaky Gut
Speaking of gut healing, consuming bone broth every day is an excellent way to heal leaky gut.
Leaky gut occurs when the tight junctions between the cells of your small intestine become more open, or “leaky”.
When the junctions are tight, they work to keep contents of the small intestine inside of it where it belongs.
When the junctions allow undigested particles through them, the particles activate a chronic immune response.
The l-glutamine in bone broth will help protect the mucosal lining of your gut that has been damaged over time due to chronic inflammation and stress on your body.
It will also help repair your intestinal lining and reverse leaky gut.
This is MAJOR.
3. Decreases Inflammation & Supports the Immune System
One of the sources of inflammation that people with autoimmune diseases suffer from is undigested protein.
As noted in benefit #2, when the body does not digest protein enough to access the individual amino acids, the larger complexes of protein can leak out of the small intestine and cause a chronic immune response.
One goal when trying to heal from autoimmunity is healing the digestive system and leaky gut so that it can optimally digest and absorb protein and its nutrients.
In the meantime, if you eat a little less meat protein and increase the amount of bone broth you consume instead, you will provide your body with nutrients and amino acids in an absorbable state where digestion inefficiencies won’t be an issue.
You’ll get the nutrition your body needs from the bone broth while cutting down on one chronic inflammatory source.
4. Aids in Liver Detoxification
The liver is a vitally important organ to your health. It’s main goal is to detoxify your body.
The liver is so important that there are several markers of liver health on the most routine blood tests your doctor performs for you.
When the liver fails to detox appropriately, toxins begin to build up in the body and act as another source of chronic inflammation.
There are two phases of detox that your liver cycles through, appropriately named phase 1 and phase 2. Each phase of liver detox relies on certain nutrients.
Phase 2, in particular, is highly dependent on amino acids, among a few others, to perform optimally.
If you are not able to digest and absorb amino acids form the protein you already eat, then your liver won’t have access to what it needs for detoxification and toxins will likely build up and cause further inflammation.
Consuming bone broth regularly will provide the liver with the amino acids that it needs to optimally detoxify your body.
5. Improves Joint Health
Because bone broth contains a good amount of collagen and gelatin, as noted above, it is amazing at helping to improve the health of your joints.
Your joints are made up primarily of collagen, which if you have an autoimmune disease, can wear down over time as antibodies continue to attack it.
When collagen wears down you can experience some pretty serious joint pain.
Bone broth is even awesome for injuries to joints, such as a sprain. NBA star, Kobe Bryant, used bone broth to heal one of his worst ankle sprains he ever had during his 20 year career.
Consuming bone broth can help increase joint health and integrity, and consequently, ease joint pain and increase joint comfort.
6. Increases Sleep Quality
The glycine in bone broth is well known to help people get better quality sleep.
Since many of you with autoimmune issues are severely fatigued and don’t sleep very well, this should be exciting information for you.
A recent study showed that taking 3g of glycine before bed increased the quality of sleep. It can even help you shake the mid-day sleepiness felt after nights where your sleep was interrupted.
Try consuming a serving of bone broth before bed and see how it effects your sleep.
Bone Broth Heals Leaky Gut & Helps Reverse Autoimmunity
Bone broth is a vital and powerful addition to any diet, but especially those of us working to heal from lupus and various autoimmune diseases.
It helps heal leaky gut, replace nutrient deficiencies because it is so dense with amino acids and minerals, helps the liver detoxify itself and, therefore, the body and helps reduce chronic inflammation.
The benefits of bone broth don’t stop there, these are just the ones that should motivate you to whip up a batch ASAP and start consuming it everyday.
Try adding a serving of bone broth to your diet each day and let us know how it works.
Want to discover additional foods and supplements that can help YOU heal your autoimmunity?
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