By now, you you’ve heard me repeat the importance of good gut health as the foundation of you and your family's health.
The gut houses around 70% of your immune system, controls your nervous system, allows adequate detoxing to occur and it needs to be in tip top shape for promoting balanced moods and hormone health. For little one's- the nourishment they receive and environment they are placed in for their first 2-3 years post birth, plays a crucial role in allowing their microbiome and gut health to establish and therefore set up their long term immune health.
What Can Go Wrong With Gut Health
When your body is exposed to factors such as stress, medications (particularly antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and the oral contraceptive pill) and inflammatory food and drinks on a regular basis, inflammation and a ‘leaky gut’ can develop.
To paint a picture of what leaky gut is like, imagine a fly screen with holes in it. This is what your small intestinal lining would look like in a case of leaky gut- allowing undigested food particles and toxins into the bloodstream, creating an inflammatory cascade and subsequently will over work your liver (to clean up the mess).
Healing leaky gut is a complex process. The overall aim is to address and overcome the culprit cause, improve overall digestion and introduce foods, herbs and supplements to allow healing to occur.
So what is a simple way you can do this through your diet? Bring on the bone broth!
The Liquid Gold
Let’s get into the good stuff. One of the ways I keep myself and family well, is through providing foods and drinks that are loaded with minerals and healing amino acids, like glycine.
An easy, economical and effective way to do this is to start consuming bone broths! Aka homemade stock.
When bones, from chicken, beef, lamb or fish are brought to the boil and reduced to simmer for long periods of time, many minerals, among many other important gut healing nutrients and amino acids, are extracted from the bones and into the liquid (broth). By using the broth through your diet, you are giving yourself the full spectrum of minerals and amino acids. Beats a tablet, hey?!
Easy To Absorb
The other benefit of incorporating bone broths into your diet, is their ability to aid digestion. Even if you are very digestive compromised, such as suffering from Irritable Bowel Disease, the vitamins, minerals and amino acids from the bone broth are absorbed through the gut wall with ease.
This means more nutrients reach your cells, at a much faster rate than actually having to break down and digest foods. All for building your state of health and happiness. For these reasons, broth is one of the first 'solid' foods recommended for introducing your bubs' within the pages of my baby book, Thriving Bubba.
Ability To Heal
Along with the high mineral and vitamin nutrient content, bone broths contain important nutrients, such as gelatin (cooked form of collagen) and the amino acid glycine, that can support the healing process of the gut wall. This is important for you if any digestive upsets such as constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, reflux, abdominal pains, or any other food intolerance symptoms occur.
Food intolerances are a sign of a leaky gut, that encourage the entry of undigested foods and unwelcome toxins, into the bloodstream, leading to high levels of inflammation in the body.
Among strengthening your hair, skin and nails, adding bone broth into your daily diet, is a powerful medicine for your digestive tract. Their use can help treat the condition of leaky gut, soothe inflammation and reverse food intolerance’s. Even if you don’t suffer from digestive upsets, don’t be so sure you are free from food intolerance’s. These can manifest, up to around a week after having the culprit food, in other ways, such as digestive upsets, sinus congestion, joint pain and fatigue.
Make Your Own
So you’re convinced of the benefits of the humble bone broth and want to get started? Heres a a simple recipe for you to make up your very own liquid gold:
My Simple Bone Broth Recipe
What you’ll need:
A whole organic chicken/ chicken carcass/ whole fish/ fish bones/ organic lamb and/or organic beef meat bones, knuckles and joints*
Splash of organic apple cider vinegar (helps to extract the minerals from the bones)
*You can use these either pre roasted, fresh or frozen. An easy way to avoid wastage, is to keep bones left over after cooking them and freeze them until you have some time aside to make your broth.
2 pinches Himalayan/ Celtic Sea Salt. I use this one for brain and hormone health.
At least 4 litres filtered, or spring water
Optional extras to add more flavour: non bitter vegetables and herbs, such as onion, turmeric, licorice root, chilli, coriander root, garlic, celery, leek, carrot, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme and bay leaves.
What to do:
Put joints, carcass, bones and any meat, of fish/ chicken/ beef/ lamb, into a large pot (or slow cooker), add peppercorns, salt, optional herbs and veg and fill with enough water to cover. Heat to boil.
Cover and then reduce heat to a simmer for 2-72 hours (the longer the better). Longer cooking times are easier if you have a slow cooker. Note: if you have issues with histamine intolerance, start out with making shorter cooked broths (around 2-3 hours).
Remove the bones, joints and meat.
Pour the stock through a sieve to remove small bones and peppercorns. Discard the scum that floats on the top of the stock, but keep the fat.
You can get extra nourishment from extracting bone marrow from the larger meat bones. This provides nutrients which support the immune system. While they are still warm, bang the tubular bones on a wooden chopping board and add the marrow to the broth.
How to enjoy your Bone Broth
Now its time to enjoy your liquid gold! Note, if you're starting out your bone broth journey, start with very small amounts (around 1 tablespoon), to avoid a strong detox reaction. Here are examples of adding broth into your day:
Drink 1-3 cups, warm, per day between meals. I recommend adding seaweed salt for an iodine source (crucial for a healthy thyroid). This is my preferred method, for gut healing. I also add 1 drop therapeutic gradeRosemary essential oil for additional liver cleansing and hormone balancing effects. Bubba has small amounts in her cup over the day (without the essential oil) and it's also mixed into her meals. Learn more about specific gut friendly guidelines for baby solid food introduction, here.
Use as a stock with vegetables, herbs or meat in slow cooked dishes, curries and homemade gravies. I try to always have a couple of cups on hand in the fridge for this purpose. If I don't have any broth on hand, slow cooking meats on the bone (such as lamb shanks, Rosso buck, beef ribs, chicken legs, or whole chicken) in water, salt and optimal herbs and veg, is another way of creating a broth as you go.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking your broth, add vegetables of your choice to make a soup, and add any cooked meat (if using a whole chicken or bones with meat), at the very end. Alternatively, you can make your soups as per the recipe and use your broth as you would when adding store bought stock.
The broth keeps for 3 days in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer.
Want to know more ways you can support your little ones' gut and immune health. My baby book, Thriving Bubba includes it all.
Naturopath For Glowing Mumma's & Thriving Bubba's
Kasey's passion is to empower women just like you to feel balanced, nourished, nurtured and confident throughout the journey to become Mum as well as Bubba-Mumma life.
As a Naturopath of ten years together with her recent motherhood experience, Kasey has created a community of women seeking support for their hormones, fertility, pregnancy, fourth trimester, motherhood and baby health.