Foods that Heal the Gut – 3 part series
Foods that Heal the Gut
3 part series – bone broth, yogurt, fruits and vegetables.
If you know me, or are a patient of the clinic, you have heard me say that the gut is the portal to overall health, and I truly believe and know this to be true. Digestive wellness is make up of various factors such as the delicate and unique microsystem of flora, the integrity of the mucous membranes of the GI tract, and the quality of the digestive enzymes and acids in your stomach and small intestine. If any, or in many people cases all, of these aspects of digestion are altered from balance then issues with health can arise. An imbalance in your GI tract contribute to immune system dysfunction, increased susceptibility to virus and bacterial infections, can further lead to increased food sensitivities and intolerances and then to autoimmune disorders. Altered digestive health can also be a contributive factor in migraines, pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, skin condition like eczema and psoriasis and also cognitive conditions such as depression and ADD (did you know your gut makes serotonin – a happy neurotransmitter)
We should be nurturing our gastrointestinal track on a daily basis. Daily our GI system come under attack from the “food” industry, GMO crops, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, environmental chemicals, prescription drugs etc. There are certain foods; many are traditional foods eaten across various cultures, which we should consume on a regular basis in order to keep the upper hand on our overall health and well-being. In this blog series we will be discussing the gut benefits of bone broth, fermented foods particularly yogurt and fruit and vegetables.
Bone broth is a traditional food which in our modern age is not often made or consumed on a consistent basis, but we should return to this traditional food due to the amazing benefits of minerals and collagen and their actions at preserving a healthy GI system. Long and slow cooked broth made from organic bones (such as turkey, chicken and beef) will be rich in a vibrant array of minerals because the bones themselves are highly mineralized. A well-made bone broth will give your body bioavailable forms of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, and fluoride. Minerals are an essential raw material component which supplies each cell with cofactors for them to carry out their unique function. Minerals must be consumed through the diet as although they are essential for cellular function, the body cannot make these minerals.
The next highlight of bone broth and biggest benefit to the gut is collagen. Collagen has been found to help heal the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach as well as the small and large intestines. Some studies supporting the component of bone broth and GI health state:
- Collagen and gelatin have been shown to benefit gastric ulcers. (1)
- Besides collagen, cartilage contains something called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Studies have found an underlying deficiency of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. (4) Correcting a deficiency and helping to repair a compromised gut wall is another good reason to consume bone broth regularly.
- Glycine (a component of collagen) improves digestion by increasing gastric acid secretion. (2)
- Glutamine, also found in bone broth, is important metabolic fuel for cells in the small intestine. (3)
Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe:
- Place bones into a large crock pot and cover with filtered water (you want to completely fill the crock pot but leave room for the water to boil.
- Add 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 med diced onion
- Add two Tbsp of apple cider or white vinegar to water. (The acid from the vinegar will help to pull out important nutrients from the bones and enrich the broth)
- Turn pot on high and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low for at least 6 hours.
- A long and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around bone
- Chicken and turkey bones can cook for 6-48 hours. Beef bones can cook for 12-72 hours
After cooking, Let the broth cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This fat layer protects the broth beneath, and should only be discarded when you are ready to eat.
- “Gelatin treats ulcer.” Medical News Today. Aug 22 2006. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/50126.php
- Wald, A and Adibi, SA, Stimulation of gastric acid secretion by glycine and related oligopeptides in humans, American Journal of Physiology, 1982, 5, 242, G86-G88
- JD, Schulzke. Therapeutic options to modulate barrier defects in inflammatory bowel disease. Dig Dis. 2009;27(4):450-4. Epub 2009 Nov 4.
- Russell, A. L. “Glycoaminoglycan (GAG) deficiency in protective barrier as an underlying, primary cause of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease interstitial cystitis and possibly Reiter’s syndrome.”Medical Hypotheses. April 1999 Vol. 52; 4. P 297-301.