The Joy of Brothing

Dr. Natalie MacIsaac, ND

There’s something to be said about the knowledge behind certain old wives’ tales, like eating a steamy bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re sick being a good thing. That’s because besides being delicious, a healthy bone broth will actually benefit you from head to toe.

And even though brothing has recently been made cool by the likes of Hollywood stars and celebrity chefs, naturopaths have always touted the benefits of a heady broth.

Traditionally, broth has been used by many cultures to cure a variety of conditions. Known by names like Jewish penicillin, bone broth got its start in the ancient world, being used by Egyptians to cure common colds, flu, and asthma symptoms. Further East, the Chinese used broth to support the digestive system, build blood and nourish the jing, “the reservoir from which we draw energetic sustenance during our entire lives.”

Increasing Growth Hormone

Scientifically speaking, the majority of bone broth benefits stem from the nutrient density and the increased stimulation of one very important hormone, HGH (growth hormone), which stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration. Released while we sleep, HGH is responsible for our beauty sleep, and can be negatively affected by poor sleep, high stress, or snacking before bed.

Found in the gelatin derived from the breakdown of collagen in joints and skin, HGH increases height in children and adolescents, boosts the metabolism, increases bone strength, promotes the breakdown of fat, improves mood and memory, balances blood sugar, and stimulates the immune system.

Improving Digestion and Immune Health

Maybe unknown to broth drinkers of millennia past, bone broth aids digestion because of its amino acids and minerals, which are easy to digest and absorb, making them soothing and healing to an inflamed and irritated gut.

Glutamine, an amino acid found in broth, is a natural remedy for leaky gut, where the barrier between the digestive lining and the rest of the body is inflamed and broken down, allowing large molecules that should stay in the digestive system to cross over into the bloodstream, setting off a cascade of autoimmune reactions and allergies.

And because good digestive health is the first line of defense in the treatment and of all immune conditions, including seasonal allergies, bone broth rich in minerals like zinc, potassium, magnesium and calcium supports the proper functioning of our stomach acidity and bile production, and are necessary for protein and fat metabolism, and healthy cholesterol.

So, as we move into allergy season, brothing – or having your daily cup of broth—will not only support your energy levels, but it will help prevent seasonal allergies. Not just for chilly winter nights, simply adding an easy bone broth to your diet will help keep your 2015 health plan in check.

For more information, book an appointment with a Sage Clinic naturopath, who will assess your digestion and help fully prepare you for allergy season.