Broth – slow cooked bones and other connective tissue - is a gelatinous, nutrient-dense superfood. Easily digested, even when other foods are not, broth has been used in nourishing traditions the world over to heal and restore gut health.
What is Leaky Gut?
Good health relies upon an intestinal barrier that allows the absorption of beneficial nutrients, but prevents the absorption of harmful dietary and environmental compounds.
When the intestinal barrier is compromised by our modern lifestyle - including the consumption of food-like products rather than real food, and frequent use of antibiotics and painkillers - our gut becomes ‘leaky’ (increased intestinal permeability).
A leaky gut can cause and contribute to a host of conditions including:
- Joint disease
- Psychiatric disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's etc)
- Autoimmune conditions (diabetes etc)
Broth is easily assimilated by a leaky gut. It is nutrient dense, rich in minerals, and a highly available source of protein in times of malnourishment, or when little else will be tolerated.
Broth can help heal and seal a leaky gut, allowing the body to start utilising nutrients that are necessary as part of a healing protocol.
Broth aids recovery from wounds, injuries, and post-surgical trauma.
In our modern environment of readily available, highly processed food, and growing rates of chronic disease, broths offer a welcome return to simple, effective supportive nutrition.
What are the components of broth?
COLLAGEN holds the body together, plumps the skin, lubricates joints, and builds mucosal barriers to protect the body from pathogens. Broths contain gelatine – a protein-rich, bioavailable form of collagen.
PROLINE is an anti-inflamatory amino acid that builds healthy cartilage.
GLYCINE is an anti-inflamatory amino acid vital for wound healing and blood synthesis. Glycine is required for the liver to produce the antioxidant glutathione.
GLUTAMINE facilitates a rapid turnover of cells in the gut. This keeps the lining healthy and well equipped to heal in the face of constant challenge. It is also an essential amino acid for brain health.
GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS (GAGs) include hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and keratan sulphate. These hydrophilic (water-attracting) proteins have lubricating, cushioning and protecting properties.
HYALURONIC ACID is the main component of synovial fluid – the body’s shock absorber. It is concentrated in the gut, where it attracts digestive juices and lines the intestinal tract. It is also responsible for skin ‘plumpness’.
CHONDROITIN SULPHATE cushions and protects cartilage (hence its popularity as a joint support supplement).
BONE MARROW is the nutrient dense component of bone that generates stem and blood cells.
MINERALS such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur, sodium and potassium contribute to the excellent nutrient profile of broths.
For more on gut-healing and health, watch Dr Natasha Campbell McBride's GAPs lecture here.