What are the benefits of bone broth? Let me tell you.
Bone broth and intermittent fasting are the new black. So hot right now.
Combine the two together and you have, voila, bone broth fasting! Drinking primarily broth for several days in a row.
Sounds interesting in theory…but what exactly are the logistics and benefits of a bone broth fast, and should you do it?
Let’s chat about it.
What is a Bone Broth Fast
Bone broth fasting is exactly what it sounds like—eating or drinking nothing more than bone broth (LOTS of bone broth) and water for several hours or several days.
Many folks will go through 2 to 3 quarts of bone broth per day (8 to 12 cups) in order to “reset their gut” or give their digestive system a break—something that sounds like a dream to many of us that have had gut issues our entire lives.
Fasting is a time for physical and mental rest as well—not just gut rest.
When you’re not in go-go-go mode and intaking lower energy foods, your body chills out, your mind chills out, and your gut chills out too. For this reason, if you currently have HPA Axis Dysregulation, hormone imbalances, you continue working out daily, or you’re in the middle of an otherwise stressful time, it’s probably not the best time to do a fast and reap the benefits of bone broth.
5 Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth
Regardless of whether or not you do a bone broth fast, or just drink bone broth, there is no denying the benefits of bone broth. Here are 5.
Benefit #1: Soothing for Your Gut Lining
“Bone broth for leaky gut” is a search term with over 1 million hits on Dr. Google. While bone broth alone is not the panacea for leaky gut, the truth is: bone broth can help repair a leaky gut.
This is because it contains many healing amino acids that sooth the tissues in the gut lining to aid in repair—as long as you’re eating a nutrient dense, gut-friendly diet to also support it!
Note: For some people bone broth can make their gut issues feel worse not better. If you feel bloated, constipated or like your gut problems worsen, this is most likely due to a histamine intolerance or “reduced oral tolerance” (food sensitivity) that your gut bugs are having to the broth. Broth is high in histamine due to the long cooking times (24-48 hours) wherein the histamine accumulates. If you don’t have enough healthy, balanced bacteria or digestive enzymes (DAO) to break the bone broth down, you may run into some problems.
Benefit #2: Boosts Digestive Enzymes
The amino acids and electrolytes in bone broth naturally stimulate both stomach acid and digestive enzyme production when consumed.
Broth also stimulates the production of liver detox enzymes, also known as CYP450 enzymes, that help break down toxins during phase 1 liver detox and push those toxins into phase 2 so they can be pushed out of the body. This is because bone broth is loaded with the amino acid glycine—an essential cofactor in the first phase of liver detoxification itself as well as one of three amino acids that make up glutathione, an important detoxification enzyme.
Benefit #3: Makes Your Skin Glow
Collagen and gelatin in bone broth are like a natural botox injection for your face. (Fun fact: gelatin and collagen are actually the same thing! Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. Cooking just gives them different textures).
For one, collagen and gelatin aid in the formation of new cells in skin that give it more strength, smoothness, and a glowing youthful appearance (Choi et al, 2014). Specifically, collagen contains the glycine, an amino acid that can significantly improve skin elasticity, skin moisture and prevent water loss.
Benefit #4: Natural Multi-vitamin
You can toss your multi-vitamin in the trash can if you drink bone broth on a daily basis. It’s chalk full of practically the same vitamins and minerals found in that plastic or gelatin supplement capsule and twice as more absorbable!
Some of the top nutrients in bone broth include:
- Bone/teeth health, proper nerve function
- Magnesi Brain balance, healthy blood pressure and heart, strong bones, proper elimination
- Vitamin A. Immune health, eyesight, no acne, cell growth and reproduction.
- Vitamin K2. Promotes the healthy bones and prevents the hardening of blood vessels and kidneys
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Brain health, energy, cellular and mitochondrion metabolism.
- Energy, helps make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
- Brain function/low anxiety, proper digestion, immune function, fast metabolism, skin health.
- Proper thyroid function; Acts as a powerful antioxidant.
- Helps build muscles and maintain healthy hormone levels.
- Reduces inflammation and works as a strong antioxidant in liver detoxification.
One cup a day will keep the doctor away.
Benefit #5: Contains Electrolytes
Bone broth is an excellent source of electrolytes. Electrolytes are small but mighty ESSENTIAL nutrients that help you feel balanced.
For one, electrolytes help the body to produce energy by sparking cell function—they get your cells moving. Electrolytes are also essential for conducting muscle functions, including your digestive tract muscles and the most important muscle movement of all, your heart beat. They also regulate the fluids in your body and help keep your cells hydrated so you can flush toxins out of your body, shuttle nutrients to various organs and keep your brain and energy levels up to speed.
Just one cup serving of bone broth has up to 400 mg potassium (10% DV), along with phosphorus (50mg), chloride (115mg), magnesium and sodium (150-200mg) for your daily electrolyte needs.
3 Day Bone Broth Fast
Ok, so with all those amazing bone broth benefits, you should obviously just drop everything right now and prep to do your own 3 day bone broth fast for a total gut reset, right?
Not so fast.
While many mommy bloggers and health and fitness Instagramers may rant about the benefits of bone broth fasting, anecdotally and clinically in practice, I have not found bone broth fasting alone to be a huge game changer in how a person feels if they are ALREADY eating a healthy diet.
In fact, I’ve actually witnessed bone broth fasting backfire for many folks who are desperate to “heal their gut” or eliminate more foods from their diet to get to the root cause, only to feel worse, not better on a bone broth fast—energy deprived, low blood sugar, more hormone imbalances, and MORE gut problems (as mentioned earlier, this is most likely due to a histamine intolerance).
Research actually backs this up—showing that intermittent fasting may not be as “beneficial” as once believed.
It’s one thing to be eating McDonald’s and Big Gulps every day and do a bone broth fast (uhhh, duhhh, you will feel amazing); however, for those of you most likely reading this article, you’re already pretty health conscious and probably mindful of your diet already.
That said, you can use bone broth as a powerful tool in your gut healing diet without necessarily going food-free to feel the benefits. Enter: my version of a “gut healing and food freedom” 3 Day Bone Broth Fast during which you focus on adding in bone broth to your diet along with other restful, stress-reducing and inflammation-reducing foods and lifestyle practices into your daily routine for 3 days so you can “rest and digest” better.
Ultimately, if the purpose of a fast is to help your body to “rest and digest”, I’ve found that if you can take 3 days to intentionally “chill out” and nourish your body with real Whole Foods, you feel even better than you do going food-free for 3 days and stressing out over your next broth meal. (Just some food for thought).
HOW IT WORKS
Just 3 “rules” for each day
>Rule #1: Drink at least 16 ounces of quality broth each day
>Rule #2: Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of clean, filtered (non plastic bottled) water each day + eat nutrient dense, real whole foods.
Avoid packaged, gluten containing, sugar or dairy rich foods; opt for lots of colorful and dark green veggies; organic proteins; healthy fats; simple meals; no red meat, alcohol or coffee for 3 days.
>Rule #3: Do your one prescribed daily Gut Love Habit to “rest and digest.” (Note: You can build upon your gut love habits each day or do all 3 for 3 days in a row if you’re feeling ambitious).
Day 1 Gut Love Habit
“Ground.” Start the day off with your feet in the grass, barefoot, soaking up the fresh air and taking in 5-10 deep breaths—10 seconds in through your nose and 10 seconds out through your mouth. Do some sun salutations if you like and “sun gaze”—look into the sun. This sets your melatonin level and circadian rhythms for the day into “optimal mode.
Day 2 Gut Love Habit
Candle down. At night, dim the lights in the house to just lamp light or candles. Turn off screens 2-3 hours before bed. Cool down the home to 68 degrees or below. Take a hot shower or do an infrared sauna session at night time. Read a book instead of scrolling through your phone. Crawl into bed by 10 or 10 at the latest—even if you need to just read.
Day 3 Gut Love Habit
Do something different—mix it up intentionally to get out of feeling “stale” in your workouts, your commute, your same ol’ meals. Try a new workout, a new route, a new recipe, or all three and beyond. Mix it up to get unstuck and invigorate fresh energy and perspective.
My Top “Lazy Chef” Broth Picks (You Can Buy at the Store)
Need bone broth and need it now?! No problem!
Traditional bone broth takes a solid 24 to 48 hours to prepare on the stove. However, if you want to start your 3 day fast and don’t have time to waste, thankfully the 21st century market has options.
My top picks?
I honestly don’t believe you can go wrong with either brand for the quality and authenticity both companies bring to the now saturated bone broth market, and it really comes down to your personal preference.
Here are 3 reasons why I choose Kettle & Fire and FOND as my top store bought broths of choice:
#1. Not Chicken Stock: You Are Getting Real Bone Broth
Many of the boxed, shelf-stable “broths” at the grocery store today are not broth at all.
They are actually just chicken or beef stock—a glorified watery version of a soup made from chicken or beef bones—no meat at all. Store bought chicken and beef stocks in a box are typically lower in protein; more processed; higher in sodium and less nutrient dense overall—particularly lacking many of the amino acids and vitamins and minerals that come from the whole animal.
Broth on the other hand is any liquid that has had meat cooked in it. It is made my simmering meat (which can contain bones, but does not have to), mirepoix, and aromatics in water for a relatively short amount of time, usually under two hours.
Unfortunately, they The FDA doesn’t distinguish between “broth” and “stock.” That’s why those words are used interchangeably on product labels and ingredient panels, says Noble. They both refer to the liquid produced after simmering meat and/or bones in water.
If a product is actually prepared as a broth, it is more likely to have the 5 benefits we mentioned above.
#2. Quality Ingredients & Processing
Kettle & Fire and FOND bone broth are not in the bone broth industry to make a quick buck. Both companies value the health of the customer and their cooking process and ingredient selectivity proves it. Their broths are slow-simmered for about24 hours at a high heat to allow time for nutrients, collagen, and amino acids to soak into the broth and both companies strive to maintain strict standards: no additives or preservatives, no antibiotics or hormones, no artificial flavors or color and no extra processed sodium.
For those who love alot of different spices, Kettle & Fire offers several different flavors including Turmeric Ginger, Mushroom Chicken, Lemongrass Pho, Chipotle Beef and Coconut Curry.
If you have autoimmune issues like yours truly and sensitivities to nightshades, sticking to the simple plain chicken or grass-fed beef brothbet; or opting for Fond Bone Broths really simple and clean ingredient stack with a little less spice in their mixes are probably your best bets (I am obsessed with the Youth Tonic with shiikate, sage and shallot).
#3. Heart-Centered & Mission Driven
View this post on Instagram
Why do you drink bone broth?? Comment below and let us know!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Not a daily broth drinker yet? Here are 3 amazing reasons to add this warm, savory, broth to your day to day routine:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. A nutritional powerhouse: Bone broth provides building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and is a precious resource for finding all of the valuable amino acids, collagen, gelatin and trace minerals your body craves!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2. Drink in wellness with every sip: From aiding anxiety to promoting general wellness to supporting serious diagnosis and auto-immune disorders, bone broth is the collagen rich, nourishing elixir missing from your life!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3. The ritual you look forward to every day: FOND takes the nourishing goodness of bone broth one step further by infusing nature’s medicine cabinet featuring powerhouse ingredients in every jar. With over 9 flavors and counting customers love the variety FOND adds to their life.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #FONDbonebroth #bonebroth #guthealth #healthygut #happygut #functionalfood #foodasmedicine #keto #paleo #whole30 #organic #announcement #bignews #nutrition #wellness #health
Kettle & Fire was started by two brothers, Justin and Nick Mares, with one simple mission: To make bone broth easy and accessible so more people could experience the benefits both boys did when they added it to their diet for their life long digestive issues, skin issues and sports injuries. Kettle & Fire, the first-ever grass-fed shelf stable bone broth, was born.
FOND has a similar story—a business that was born out of one woman’s own necessity when her chronic digestive issues almost led to her needing surgery. Enter: Bone broth and a healing company was born.
I like companies with heart and these two superstars meet that bill.