The Best Bone Broth for Gut Health
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Bone broth seems to be all the rage these days, but what exactly is it about this bone juice that has everyone obsessed? Bone broth is so much more than a trendy drink: it has the power to aid in healing many modern issues, from leaky gut to wrinkles!
The Power of Bone Broth
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is made from animal bones, tendons, ligaments, marrow, skin, and other flexible connective tissues. In modern times these parts are usually discarded as they aren’t easily eaten on their own. However, when simmered in water for long periods of time, animal bones and tissues make a healing nutrient-dense elixir. The best bone broths are made from the parts of organic, grass-fed animals. To pack even more nutrient density, you can also add organic vegetables to turn bone broth into a flavor-packed sipping broth or use it as the base for a soup.
Bone Broth’s Secret Weapons: Collagen and Gelatin
The protein providing strength to animals’ (including humans!) bones, cartilage, and tendons is called collagen. When cooked, collagen turns into gelatin, a jello-like substance.
The best bone broths contain collagen and gelatin which provide your body with a host of immune-boosting properties, amino acids, and gut lining support to aid and heal many modern ailments.
Bone broth is easily digested, unlike many other foods which can be hard to break down. But the real power of bone broth is that it is actually healing to the digestive system. It has been found to aid in cases of leaky gut, IBS, food allergies and sensitivities, and much more.
Collagen is a protein that forms the GI tract lining. Consuming the collagen and gelatin in bone broth helps heal the walls of the gut lining, preventing food and toxins from escaping and causing inflammation and other damage outside of the tract. This is major good news for those suffering from poor digestion and gut-related health issues (leaky gut, IBS, Crohn’s).
The collagen and gelatin from bone broth are also great for anti-aging effects. They keep the skin youthful by reducing wrinkles and improving elasticity, aid the growth of hair and nails, and strengthen your bones! Collagen also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite over time.
Essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and silica are all electrolytes in bone broth which keep you hydrated, help with bone health, and can reduce brain fog and fatigue.
The amino acids found in bone broth include glutamine, arginine, glycine, and cysteine, and proline. Together these amino acids offer a wide range of benefits, including:
- Skin elasticity
- Build up the walls of the intestines
- Aid in proper bile and stomach acid production
- Enhance the immune system
- Anti-inflammatory, reducing oxidative stress and autoimmunity
- Promote human growth hormone
- Liver detoxification support
- Generate glutathione
Where to Find Bone Broth
You can make bone broth yourself, at home! Below is my favorite recipe for cooking up a big batch of anti-aging bone broth. If you are someone who would prefer to purchase bone broth, or are looking for something easy to take on-the-go, I recommend Kettle & Fire bone broth. Kettle & Fire is the best bone broth I have found, and they use premium ingredients like 100% grass-fed bones, organic produce, and apple cider vinegar to create a delicious and nutritious product that is easy to heat up and sip, or use as a base for soups and other recipes! Bonus: it’s also paleo and keto friendly! You can check out Kettle & Fire bone broth here.
Bone broth is incredibly simple to make, especially when looking at the benefits reaped from consuming this healthy elixir. The collagen, gelatin, amino acids and minerals in collagen make bone broth an incredibly simple and powerful solution to create healthier joints, skin, bones, and gut. If you’re looking to try my favorite bone broth for both flavor and health benefits, click here.
Scaldaferri F1, Pizzoferrato M, Gerardi V, Lopetuso L, Gasbarrini A. The gut barrier: new acquisitions and therapeutic approaches. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct;46 Suppl:S12-7.
Top Anti-Aging Foods
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Everyone ages, the question, therefore, is not will you age, but how will you age? Will you suffer from chronic pain and inflammation, develop diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and cancer, lose your mental capacities or your ability to walk and run? Or will you remain in good health with good posture, retain a great state of mind and mental clarity, keep balanced hormones and healthy relationships?
The truth is, the choice is yours, and it is exactly that: a choice. If you are determined to live a long life with your body and energy at their fullest potential, you can do so! However, there are no magic creams or pills that will prevent you from showing signs of aging. The secret to aging gracefully and successfully lies in a series of healthy diet and lifestyle choices which we will outline below.
What is Aging?
Disease, dementia, cancer, loose saggy skin, slowed brain function, slow and weakened body: these are NOT predetermined signs of aging! These are the consequences of the Standard American diet (SAD) and lifestyle that have been normalized by our society. Recent discoveries have shown that inflammation, the shortening of your telomeres, and mitochondrial deterioration are what control the aging process.
What Causes Aging?
Inflammation causes the diseases and health decline that are hallmark symptoms of aging, which can eventually lead to autoimmune disease and cancer. This can be combated by finding the root cause of inflammation (commonly diet-related) and taking steps to prevent it.
Telomeres sit at the end of our DNA, and their length is related to our biological age (different from our chronological age, which counts birthdays, your biological age is how old your body is in relationship to your health). Telomeres are shortened by unhealthy habits such as smoking, and eating inflammatory foods.
Our mitochondria produce 95% of our energy, in the form of ATP, but the byproduct of the energy production is harmful free radicals which cause damage to the mitochondria. Science has shown certain foods, as well as the enzyme CoQ10, to be powerful in defending against free radical damage.
How to Age Successfully
We are able to curtail disease, wrinkles, and a general decline in health through taking proper care of our bodies. A big part of preventing disease and deterioration as you age is dependent on your diet. The following foods are just some of the many healthy options we have that are full of the nutrients and minerals vital for good health and longevity:
Bright colored fruits and veggies provide beta-carotene and vitamin A, which protect against cellular damage and premature aging. They are also great for your skin and eyes, meaning less wrinkles and better vision. These include: bell peppers, carrots, sweet potato, and broccoli.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and kale, contain several top antioxidants. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and sulforaphane are cancer-fighting antioxidants present in leafy greens. The folate in spinach improves your short-term memory and might even lower the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Vitamin K1 is found in collard and salad greens, which is linked to vascular health, strong bones, prevention of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and can treat certain cancers.
Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, making them an unexpected friend of your eyes. They are a natural source of vitamin D, as well as choline, which protects your brain, nervous system, and heart. Be sure to buy organic, pastured eggs for all the benefits they have to offer!
Blueberries are chock-full of antioxidant power. By fighting oxidative stress, blueberries can help neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. They help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis while boosting your vision and immune system!
Citrus contains vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen. Collagen is responsible for healthy joints as well as tight, healthy skin. The quercetin in citrus has anti-aging properties and also helps fight inflammation.
You are what you eat, so if your goal is to be healthy and thriving in old age, the food choices you make today need to be healthy ones. Luckily, these foods are not only dense in important nutrients, they are also delicious!