Vim & Vitality Blog
Bone Broth or Meat Broth: Pick Your Medicine
Once upon a time, people raised and slaughtered their own meats, or they hunted and killed wild animals. And these same people utilized EVERY part of the animal they killed, including bones and organs. Native Americans knew that the adrenal glands of the animals they killed contained the highest Vitamin C content of any food known to man, so they would share a small portion with every person in the tribe.
Today we buy our meats from the store, neatly wrapped in cellophane. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and ground beef are much more common than a whole chicken or a side of beef, and the organs are few and difficult to find. In fact, most Americans have never even seen an animal organ, much less purchased one! Personally, I hate both the aroma and taste of liver. In fact, I distinctly remember my mother frying it up for my father with onions, and the entire house reeked of the odor! Gizzards and rice were one of my parents’ favorites, and I believe it was an inexpensive meat to purchase. I can also still recall opening the refrigerator to be confronted with a large cow’s tongue on a plate, taste buds and all still intact. Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it! But what I also remember is my mother talking about how good these foods were for our health.
Our grandparents would not waste a thing, roasting bones from large hoofed animals and boiling up the carcasses from chicken or turkey that had been picked clean. They were thrifty on the one hand and wise about health on the other, realizing that the bones of animals provide us with unique benefits for our bodies. Grandma was right about chicken soup being good for a cold-- the calcium and other minerals from the chicken bones work to increase our immune function!
There is a renaissance of sorts taking place with people drinking broth, with broth shops popping up all over the place, featuring a variety of broths that are threatening to rival Starbucks coffee! Imagine if the whole country switched from their sugar-laden breakfast drinks to broth instead! But what else does broth do for us besides boost our immune function? Well, it depends on which kind of broth you are talking about: meat or bone broth? It was just recently that I myself learned the difference, and there is A LOT of incorrect information out there, especially on the internet, so beware! According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, meat broth (stock) is the best for those people in need of gut healing. She covers this in detail in her book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome, where she links compromised gut function to neurological and psychological issues. But just because you don’t suffer from any of the previously mentioned conditions does not mean that you wouldn’t benefit from consuming meat broth. According to Monica Corrado, a local Nourishing Traditions chef and educator, meat broth is beneficial for:
“Everyone, especially those that are between the ages of 0 and 65…especially:
- Anyone who has been vaccinated
- Anyone who has taken even one round of antibiotics or had them administered
- Anyone who has traveled abroad
- Anyone who has had allergies, including seasonal allergies and food allergies
- Anyone who has had skin disorders, eczema, rashes, etc
- Anyone on the Autistic Spectrum, with Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia
- Anyone with an auto-immune disorder” (October1, 2014; June 4, 2013)
Meat broth (stock) is recognized as the best type for the beginning stages of gut healing protocols, specifically the GAPS diet (from Gut and Psychology Syndrome). This is because of the high gelatin content from connective tissues as well as the high amount of free amino acids. Additionally, the low glutamic acid content in meat broth as opposed to bone broth is also beneficial. (1) And glutamic acid or glutamine is converted in the body to glutamates, which are a group of excitotoxins:
“These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point they will quickly die. Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. Food-borne excitotoxins include such additives as MSG, aspartame, hydrolyzed protein and soy protein extract.” (2)
As a side note, NutriSweet is an excitotoxin that contains one more amino acid than MSG, and both are toxic to the nervous system!
Back to the topic, those with impaired digestive and/ or liver function are more likely to experience trouble with glutamates in the form of headaches. Monica Corrado taught us that a headache after drinking bone broth is a telltale sign of “leaky gut.” So bone broth is for later stages of GAPS after the gut has been sealed and inflammation has been resolved. The benefits of bone broth include:
- Prevention and relief from arthritis and joint pain
- Prevention of kidney stones
- Increases metabolism and body temperature
My takeaway: meat broth heals the meaty part of the body, (gut, skin, etc.), and bone broth heals the boney parts of the body (bones, joints, etc.). However, both contain gelatin which contributes to more youthful looking skin by promoting collagen formation. Does your Starbucks do the same for your skin?
Check out Monica’s blog for recipes for both kinds of broths, and get going making your own for your specific health needs! Need an extra push getting started at doing this at home? Sign up for one of Monica’s classes! Meanwhile, schedule a consultation with me to get your health back on track.
L’chaim-- To Life!
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