Let’s face it. We’ve all tried a New Year’s Resolution. For some, a resolution may last the year or a couple of months; others it may only last a couple weeks or even days. Well, this year’s resolution can be the year you set the foundations of health and introduce bone broths into your life! Such a small daily change to your diet can have a big impact on your health.
For many, the general New Year’s resolution theme is based around one’s health; “this year I will lose those extra 5 kilos”, “this year I will cut back on my alcohol!”. This is generally followed by an enthusiastic change in diet and lifestyle that often starts too strong, or lacks direction, causing people to decide to give up.
This is where the good news comes in. These changes don’t have to be that drastic! Small changes at a time are all you need to feel the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
Let’s start with a simple detox approach. The term ‘detox’ can be somewhat confronting, as people automatically assume this refers to a strict juice cleanse for five days, where you find yourself struggling to make it up the stairs due to lack of energy. This is not the case! A good, healthy ‘detox’ simply requires wholefoods (Eliaz, 2013). This is where bone broths enter stage left.
But what does the term ‘detox’ even mean? ‘Detox’ is a shortening of the term ‘detoxification’. Our bodies are constantly undergoing detoxification. Where, you may ask? The main steps lay predominantly in our gut and in our liver. For a happier, healthier mind, body and soul, you must first treat the gut!
Our digestive system is fascinating! It processes every single thing we put into our mouths and converts it into energy; breaks down the nutrients that are required for every facet of our bodies; warns us if we have consumed something that might be dangerous to us; and also aids our immunity. In fact, majority of our immunity stems from our gut; particularly in our small intestine with gut and mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT and MALT) and colonies of good bacteria (Jung, Hugot & Barreau, 2010)!
One other major organ that is a part of our digestive system is the liver. Every single thing we consume gets filtered through the liver. Blood, medicines, alcohol, foods and nutrients all get metabolised or ‘detoxified’ by the liver. This is done in two phases; Phase 1 and Phase 2. In phase one, all the particles we consume get converted to ‘intermediary metabolites’. This is only half the step. If these ‘intermediary metabolites’ do not go through to Phase 2 efficiently, then there is the risk of them becoming ‘free radicals’ which can do harm to our bodies. Over the festive season, our liver may have had a bit of a beating! All that luxurious food! All that wine! Our poor liver has clocked up hours of overtime, so we need to boost and support its capacity.
So, in order for our bodies to recover from the festive season, we must strip back to simple foods; foods that are low in sugar, easy on the fats, unprocessed and wholesome. This is where the ‘detox’ comes into play. A detox allows our body to recover and relax. Through consuming simple wholefoods, our liver and our gut don’t have to work as hard, so they have time to repair and heal to keep you ripe for the year ahead! Some foods can remain in our digestive system for a few days, so eating simple foods will cleanse the gut in order for it to re-heal and seal itself.
One of the best things you can do for your liver and gut during a detox is provide it with ample amounts of immune boosting nutrients. These nutrients will help your body repair itself before/during/after times of stress; whether the stress is physical or emotional. Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables and deeply coloured leafy greens provide a wonderful source of antioxidants that scavenge those free radicals our liver could not filter. Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, bok choy provide sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates, which support healthy cell growth and death, acts as anti-inflammatories and aid the liver in Phase 2 detoxification (Linus Pauling Institute, 2008).
One other food source that provides wonderful nutrition during a detox are bone broths. Bone broths provide a buffet of healing nutrients for our entire bodies; particularly for our gut and even our joints. Traditionally, bone broths were consumed during times of sickness, such as during flu season. If you think about it, however, if our body is sluggish after a good month of Christmas parties and New Year’s festivities, is that not a time of sickness?
Bone broths are made using the bones, bone marrow and cartilage of animals such as chicken and beef. These bones are boiled low and slow for hours and hours, so that the minerals and nutrients within the bones leech out into the water, creating a power packed stock. What are some of the nutrients that are in a bone broth?
- Gelatin (heals and seals the gut; aids digestive function and supports mucosal linings of the gut, allowing for optimal absorption of nutrients; source of prebiotics; enhances protein utilisation; connective tissue support; wound healing support; joint support)
- Elastin (provides strength and structure for the gastrointestinal tract)
- Bone marrow (contains red and white blood cells; immune cells such as B-cells; collagen)
- Cartilage (stimulates immune cell production, including B and T cells, macrophages, natural killer cells)
- Glycine (precursor of glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant for the liver; precursor for other amino acids; stablises blood sugar; supports the musculoskeletal system)
- Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium (minerals required for optimal nerve function; tissue (bone, muscle and skin) support; energy support and are co-factors for many biochemical processes within the body)
- Sulfur (involved in liver detoxification and connective tissue formation)
(Siebecker, 2005; Morelli & Daniel, 2014).
That is a lot packed into a cup of nourishing broth! There are so many ways you can prepare the broth:
- As a soup with buckwheat noodles and vegetables (think bok choy, cabbage and broccoli for those glucosinolates)
- In salads (what?!). Instead of preparing your quinoa with water, prepare it in bone broth instead, it’ll add extra flavour and goodness!
- In pasta sauces
- In risotto or congee
- Stews and slow cooker meals
- Have a warm cup for breakfast
So hopefully the term ‘detox’ does not seem that scary anymore! A detox does not mean you have to starve yourself and the only foods you can eat must be flavourless. Our range of bone broths will lay down the foundation for your 2016 new you! J
Eliaz, Isaac, MD,M.S., L.Ac. (2013). The truth about DETOX WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO DO IT RIGHT. Alternative Medicine, (12), 42-45. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1463167537?accountid=112781
Jung, C., Hugot, J.-P., & Barreau, F. (2010). Peyer’s Patches: The Immune Sensors of the Intestine. International Journal of Inflammation, 2010, 823710. http://doi.org/10.4061/2010/823710
Linus Pauling Institute (2008). Isothiocyanates. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/isothiocyanates
Morell, S. F., & Daniel, K. T., P.H.D. (2014). 7 reasons to bone up on broth soup’s on! Alternative Medicine, (19), 30-32. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1643098868?accountid=112781
Siebecker, A. (2005). Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 259-260(8), pp. 74+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.think.edu.au/ps/retrieve.do?sort=RELEVANCE&docType=Article&tabID=T002&prodId=AONE&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&contentSegment=¤tPosition=1&searchResultsType=SingleTab&inPS=true&userGroupName=think&docId=GALE%7CA129020533&contentSet=GALE%7CA129020533#
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