As we discussed in our last blog post, 70% of our immune system is in our gut, so to reduce the frequency, duration and severity of winter’s nasty cold and flu viruses, it is important to foster good gut health.
A great way that you can heal your gut and strengthen your immune system is through incorporating bone broths into your diet. Yes, all those grandmothers with their “Jewish penicillin” are actually onto something! A South American proverb even goes as far as to say “Good broth will resurrect the dead.” Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but science is definitely catching up to traditional wisdom when it comes to the health boosting benefits of bone broth.
Here are just some of the benefits of bone broth for your immune system.
- It helps to heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion. It is rich in gelatin, which is a hydropholic colloid. This means it attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, to support proper digestion.
- It aids in the digestion of nutrients.
- It is rich in amino acids such as glycine, proline and arginine, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Bone broth is a great source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium, in forms that your body can easily absorb.
- It inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses. Chicken soup contains carnosine, which helps to fight the early stages of flu. Chicken soup also helps reduce upper-respiratory cold symptoms.
Bone broth is also economical and easy to make. You can use fresh bones, or save your bones and freeze them until you have enough. Likewise, you can add fresh vegetables or use vegetable trimmings that would otherwise be thrown away to make it an even more frugal dish. The other important element is to add an acid, such as unfiltered apple cider vinegar, as this helps to extract more minerals from the bones. Depending on the type of animal bones being used, your broth should be left to simmer for anywhere from four to 72 hours to extract as many minerals as possible. It can then be strained, refrigerated or frozen, ready to be incorporated into a wide range of health and immune boosting meals.
Sharon Hespe, is a degree qualified naturopath that specialises in food intolerances. She runs a successful clinic in Hurstville Grove in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Her philosophy is to treat each person as an individual, as we all have different health challenges, some are food related, gut related, stress related, or the reason for their health problem has not yet been discovered.