By now, many of us have heard the term “bone broth” buzzing around. I’m currently on day 1 of a bone broth fast- going for 48 hours and possibly pushing for that 72 hour mark if I’m feeling good. But usually, I stick to one full day of bone broth fasting, about once a month. I’ve received a lot of questions around the subject and since I’m currently living off the stuff, thought it’d be a perfect time to explain a little more.
There is a LOT of info into when it comes to bone broth components and benefits. Since I like to keep things short and sweet, we will get into those details in another post. For now, we’ll focus on the highlights of what you’ll find in this magical bone broth:
Collagen (turns to gelatin when heated) : the most abundant protein in our body. The word’s root is kolla, meaning ‘glue’, which is fitting since it serves almost as a glue holding our bones, skin, and connective tissues (basically our whole body) together. I could write a lot more but, we will save that for another time too.
Amino acids (protein building blocks)- notably glycine, proline, and glutamine
BENEFITS/ REASONS FOR BONE BROTH FASTING:
Gives your gut a break. I relate this to my kitchen. Digestion is an energy intensive process for our body (like cooking), and its working around the clock. The same way we have to stop cooking to give our kitchen a deep clean, giving our gut easily digestible bone broth gives it a chance to relax and tidy up.
Collagen rebuilds & strengthens our gut. Collagen works to repair and rebuild the gut lining, reduces inflammation in the gut, and strengthens the protective mucus layer in the gut (1, 2).
Post Party Detox. Glycine expedites liver recovery from alcohol (3) and is used to synthesize glutathione (see my hangover cure post).
Prepping for the fast: if you’re going for a full day of broth-ing, make sure your dinner the night before includes protein, a generous amount of healthy fats to keep you full, and leafy greens- the volume and fiber will help keep you full, too.
If you’re dying… please don’t torture yourself. Especially if you’re new to this. Even an intermittent fast of 16 or 18 hours is great (timer starts from the end of dinner the night before- eat early and eat sooner the next day!). You’re still getting the benefits of consuming the bone broth. Honestly, there have been PLENTY of times that I go into a bone broth fasting day and halfway through, decide it’s not going to work.
Workouts: This varies depending on what you’re used to but rule of thumb, keep it minimal and light. And if you are doing anything, do it first thing in the morning so you have more energy
Drink water! And tea, coffee, seltzer is also great to keep your belly fuller with bubbles. But avoid sugar and adding anything other than stevia/monk fruit to your tea/coffee.
Water with apple cider vinegar, cayenne, and stevia/monk fruit (optional) can help if you’re feeling that hunger creeping in
Add ins: Add spices like ginger, pepper, cayenne, turmeric, and/or a heaping teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil- blend to make a frothy, delicious drink that satisfies your hunger better.
Be flexible. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok to reschedule, your body knows what’s best- listen to it!
CHOOSING YOUR PRODUCTS
Broth vs. Stock vs. Bone Broth
All 3 come from simmering meat and/or bones with some mix of vegetables in water over time.
Broth comes from meat (which may or may not contain bones) cooked for up to 2 hours.
Stock comes from bones cooked for 2-6 hours
Bone Broth (basically just stock cooked longer) comes from bones cooked for 12-48 hours- this long cook time extracts all the goodness from the bones
Make sure your bones are grass fed and pasture raised! This really does matter.
My Favorite Brands & Flavors:
Brodo- Hearth flavor is amazing
Epic- Beef jalapeno (if you like spiciness)
Bonafide Provisions- Frontier flavor
Osso Good Bones- beef broth, but so many others I want to try (like spicy pork!)
Kettle and Fire- love the many flavor options, particularly lemongrass ginger, chipotle beef and mushroom chicken with lions mane (I’ll get into my love of mushrooms another time too!)
1. Frasca G, Cardile V, Puglia C, Bonina C, Bonina F. Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2012;5:61–67. doi:10.2147/CEG.S28792
2. Scaldaferri F, Lopetuso LR, Petito V, et al. Gelatin tannate ameliorates acute colitis in mice by reinforcing mucus layer and modulating gut microbiota composition: Emerging role for 'gut barrier protectors' in IBD?. United European Gastroenterol J. 2014;2(2):113–122. doi:10.1177/2050640614520867
3. Ming Yin, Kenichi Ikejima, Gavin E. Arteel, Vitor Seabra, Blair U. Bradford, Hiroshi Kono, Ivan Rusyn and Ronald G. Thurman. Glycine Accelerates Recovery from Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics August 1, 1998, 286 (2) 1014-1019;