Bone Broth for Fasting and Better Health
Bone broth has been getting a lot of attention in the media and health industry. Touted for its rich flavor and numerous health benefits, “Grandma’s cure” has become so popular that you can even find restaurants selling it by the cup. Many claim that bone broth is not only nourishing, but is healing to the body, a notion that we’ve seen bear out time and again in our practice.
We spoke in CHTV Episode 78 about one method of using bone broth to help heal, and that’s using it for fasting purposes. If you’re familiar with our methods, you’ll know that we often use short fasts and intermittent fasting as a way to jump-start cellular healing, promote weight loss, and drive down inflammation. Bone broth steps in an amazing support tool during a fast, one in which we have become huge proponents.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a type of stock, where marrow rich bones and a few other ingredients are slow cooked for long periods of time (12-24 hours, or longer) to release all of the collagen, marrow, minerals and other nutrients from the bones. The result is a gelatin-rich, soothing, nourishing liquid that can be used as a base for soups, in cooking other foods like fresh vegetables, and as a healing drink.
Humans have been making bone broth for thousands of years as a way to promote good health, aid in digestion of fibrous foods like vegetables, and as part of the philosophy to use as much of the animal as possible. This is NOT a new remedy. Bone broth has been around for a very long time. Losing touch with our ancient cooking and food preparation methods has proven to be very detrimental to the cells in our body, and, consequently how well we feel, think, and look.
When you make bone broth, beneficial components get released from bones are made more bioavailable (useable to cells), including:
It’s actually the collagen breaking down that produces the gelatin in bone broth. Gelatin has a reputation for aiding in the building and maintenance of connective tissue, is soothing and healing to the gut, and is great for hair, nails, and skin.
You can see how bone broth has the potential to calm everything down, and still nourish, giving your body a chance to reset and begin to heal itself. You may be thinking, “Great, but why should I combine bone broth with fasting?”
Why should I fast?
The first thing you should know is that fasting is different from starving yourself. Fasting is focused, tends to be short term, and has established health benefits. Starving yourself robs your body of needed nourishment and drives down metabolism. Fasting on the other hand is properly planned and a way to help your body calm down and reset, so it can have a chance to begin the healing process.
We use fasting in our practice for many reasons, handling each client as a unique individual; however, some main areas where fasting can be beneficial are:
- Jump-starting weight loss
- Helping to drive down cellular inflammation (R4)
- Giving the body a chance to start the healing process, especially in autoimmune conditions and digestive disorders, where food, even healthy foods, often trigger a response that leads to discomfort.
- Is beneficial in resetting leaky gut syndrome (watch more on leaky gut HERE)
- Helping to transition the body into burning fat efficiently (learn about ketosis here: Part 1 and Part 2 — watch my interview with keto expert Dr. D’Agostino HERE)
- Assisting in starving out pathogenic or bad bacteria, so helpful with digestive disorders like leaky gut, Crohn’s (watch Cellular Healing TV Episode 119 “Overcoming Crohn’s Diesase” HERE), SIBO, etc.
Fasting is a focused period where you eat very little or ingest only liquid, but still give your body what it needs to stay energized. Here’s where the bone broth comes in.
How a Bone Broth Fast Helps Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is basically an inappropriate permeability in the cells of the small intestine, which allow particles of improperly broken down food to enter the bloodstream. Your immune system then has no choice but to respond, treating these particles as pathogens. You enter into a cycle of eating, toxifying your own blood and body cells, and triggering a constant, generic, inflammatory response from your immune system. This can only go on for so long before the body cells become too toxic to perform properly. Digestive disorders, chronic autoimmune conditions, and overtaxed cleansing organs (like the liver) are the result, just to name a few problems that can arise from having a leaky gut.
It has been estimated that up to 95% of the current population is suffering from leaky gut syndrome, and many people may not even know that they have it. Hours later, days later, people can be reacting to foods that they ate.
Watch more on leaky gut HERE.
Bone broth with its collagen content soothes and helps to restore damaged cells, reducing gut permeability. The mineral and fat content help to nourish and maintain cellular energy. What’s more, bone broth can aid in eliminating bad bacteria.
Dybiosis2 is when pathogenic or bad bacteria become more prevalent in the gut than the beneficial or good bacteria. This can lead to all sorts of health problems including SIBO (small intestine bacterial growth), improper food breakdown and assimilation, digestive disorders, and more. What’s worse, when in a state of dysbiosis, it can be hard to get the beneficial bacteria to take hold and begin crowding out the bad. A bone broth fast is very beneficial for starving down bad bacteria in the gut, so that you can re-inoculate with good bacteria post-fast.
Bone Broth Fast – The Logistics
A basic bone broth fast typically lasts 4 days. You’ll consume nothing but bone broth during that 4 day period, though water or herbal tea is also fine if desired. You’ll want to get as much of the broth into your body as you can. As such, you’ll need to either buy a lot of bone broth (about 16 gallons) from a reputable source, or make your own, which is much more cost effective and very easy. All you need is a slow cooker, and 4 simple ingredients.
Go here for comprehensive instructions on making your own bone broth, and how to approach a 4 day bone broth fast. All you need are 100% grass-fed beef bones, Himalayan pink or Celtic sea salt, raw apple cider vinegar, and filtered water. If you want to watch a demonstration, then see the CHTV episode, where Meredith shows you how easy it is to make.
Beef or chicken based broths are the most popular, but lamb, fish, buffalo, and venison are also options, and hold similar benefits. Some also like to combine different animal bones to create unique tasting broths. The one rule of thumb is to use bones from only the best quality, properly raised animal. For example, look for grass-fed AND finished beef, or pasture raised poultry, supplemented only with organic feed. Animals that are raised on pesticide laden feed, or given foods that are contrary to their nature (i.e. corn-finished, feedlot beef) not only offer depleted mineral stores to your broth, but could be passing on toxins that were absorbed in life. If you can’t source good quality bones, then consider an online source, or purchase healthy broth ready-made.
Bone Broth Fast FAQ’s
➤ I’m bone broth fasting, but I have to work while on it and I’m feeling tired. What can I do?
Try the 2-2-2- principle. This is 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil (organic, cold pressed), 2 tsp. of sea salt, 2 Tbsp. of grass-fed butter (linoleic acid), usually taken in the morning at the start of your day. You can also take 2 Tbsp. of MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil. This helps to stabilize blood sugar, provide energy, and keep electrolyte levels up during a fast. It also won’t feed the bad bacteria that you’re trying to eliminate.
➤ Where does a bone broth fast fit in with a cellular detox program?
Typically, we like to do at least one fast before we start detox. It’s really part of the preparatory phase. We like to have one fast before we detox because it prepares the gut for detox and also supports all cellular detox pathways.
➤ Can I exercise during my fast?
We don’t recommend exercising during a four-day fast other than walking or some gentle yoga. We want to conserve energy for healing.
➤ How should I break the fast?
Ease out of the fast with soft and nourishing foods as you transition back to the Cellular Healing Diet. Some ideas include avocados, baked sweet potatoes, poached eggs, smoothies (get our free gut healing smoothie eBook, HERE), blended soups and stews, and fermented veggies (probiotics for re-inoculation).
With increasing clarity we are seeing just how right Grandma was when she put bowls of fermented garden vegetables on the table and cooked with flavorful bone broths. These foods helped to keep us nourished and healthy and why we consider bone broth fasting an ancient healing strategy to improve modern health Thankfully, the knowledge on how to truly feed the human body for optimal health isn’t lost, and we can use superfoods like bone broth to help restore and maintain our cellular health.