7 Benefits of a Bone Broth Fast: Stronger Gut, Skin + More
September 27, 2022
Original article and page source found here.
By now you might be familiar with bone broth and all this time-honored, traditional food has to offer — collagen, amino acids and numerous trace minerals, just for starters. Maybe you’re now looking to take things to the next level and try a bone broth fast, but you aren’t quite sure how to safely go about this.
As you’ll learn, bone broth is one of the most nutrient-dense, healing foods for the digestive system and therefore a great way to kick off a healthier way of eating and to help resolve symptoms related to poor digestion and other concerns.
What Is a Bone Broth Fast?
A bone broth fast involves drinking bone broth several times per day but not eating much other solid food.
Although it’s been consumed around the world in one form or another for thousands of years, bone broth is made from animal parts that in modern times are normally discarded. These include bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments — all of which aren’t edible on their own but make nutrient-packed additions to slow-simmering stock.
Bone broth is boiled slowly over several days — normally with veggies, an acid and fresh herbs in addition to animal parts — allowing all of the ingredients to release their stored nutrients. There are several kinds that are most popular, including chicken bone broth and beef bone broth.
Fasts are not for everyone, and sometimes certain kinds can pose risks since they involve consuming little nutrients due to greatly reducing calorie intake. However, if you make a good candidate, consuming bone broth is ideal for a fast because it’s chock-full of both macronutrients and micronutrients.
Within fish, chicken and beef bone broth, you’ll find amino acids (which form proteins) like glycine, arginine and proline; vitamins and minerals; collagen; electrolytes; and even antioxidants like glucosamine.
One of the things that makes a bone broth fast stand apart from other types of fasts is that it’s an ideal way to obtain more collagen, a type of protein needed to create healthy tissue found throughout the body. Collagen is found inside the lining of the digestive tract, within bones in bone marrow, in skin, and in the tissues that form joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
Within collagen are other special nutrients, including amino acids like proline and glycine, plus gelatin — each of which has its own unique functions.
Why is bone broth good for fasting? The benefits of consuming bone broth while fasting include:
stronger immunity against common illnesses or allergies
reduced symptoms related to digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome, IBS or IBD
generally enhanced digestion with fewer cases of bloating, diarrhea, gas, acid reflux and constipation
healthier joints, ligaments and tendons
more youthful-looking skin thanks to collagen
higher intake of importance minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and more
Before we dive in to the advantages of consuming bone broth, let’s first talk about the many benefits of fasting. Fasting, when done right and by the right people, has been shown to promote better health by:
improving weight loss and helping with weight maintenance
reducing fasting insulin levels and normalizing blood sugar activity
promoting the secretion of human growth hormone, which is important for burning fat
having positive effects on body mass and health markers in professional athletes
reducing risk for diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart complications
normalizing appetite by controlling hunger hormones like ghrelin
lowering triglyceride levels
even slowing down the aging process and increasing someone’s life span
Here’s more about how a bone broth fast can benefit you:
1. Improves Digestive Functions
Bone broth is a natural source of collagen, a type of protein that’s needed to form tissue that makes up the lining of the GI tract. Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing leaky gut syndrome, IBS symptoms and acid reflux.
It’s been shown that patients with IBD produce less collagen in their digestive systems. Increased intakes are capable of helping strengthen and normalize mucus membranes in the GI lining, closing tiny junctures and stopping indigested food particles and chemicals from leaking out of the gut into the bloodstream.
When collagen breaks down, gelatin is formed, which is known to help people dealing with food allergies and sensitivities to foods, such as cows’ milk and gluten. Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids called arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline, which have certain anti-aging effects and promote probiotic balance and growth.
2. Makes Your Skin Glow
Collagen helps form tissues found in skin that give it strength, smoothness, elasticity and youthful appearance. In fact, studies have found that higher intakes of collagen are associated with improvements in skin barrier functions, increased hydration and reductions in signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines and sagging.
Although you likely won’t notice any improvements within just a few short days, higher collagen intake is also known to decrease the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite develops due to lack of connective tissue, which is made from collagen.
3. Supplies Important Minerals
Some fasts fail to provide important trace minerals that we need for ongoing energy, immunity, digestion and more. Because bone broth is made from animal bones and parts that are concentrated sources of numerous minerals, it provides minerals and electrolytes, including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate and fluoride.
This can help prevent an electrolyte imbalance, dehydration that can occur during a fast, fatigue, brain fog, moodiness, and muscle spasms or weakness.
4. Helps Prevent Muscle Wasting
It’s possible during a fast to wind up losing some weight, which can really be due to muscle (and therefore strength) loss. Luckily during a bone broth fast, you still obtain amino acids, such as glycine and proline, that help prevent the breakdown of valuable protein tissue found in muscles.
In fact, a bone broth fast might even help you with muscle recovery, reduce joint pain (since collagen is known to fight symptoms of arthritis) and even relax tense muscles naturally.
Glycine is an important amino acid for actually building muscle strength, ushering nutrients into cells to be used for energy, controlling blood sugar levels and even synthesizing human growth hormone.
Because glycine plays a role in the process of gluconeogenesis, which takes place in the liver, it can provide cells with an energy source even when little calories or carbohydrates are consumed. This, in turn, can help prevent sarcopenia, muscle wasting as we age.
5. Helps Detoxify the Liver and Digestive System
Consuming bone broth is an effective way to boost your supply of the antioxidant glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful detoxifying agents.
Glycine is a precursor needed for the production of glutathione, which helps the liver flush out excess chemicals, stored hormones and other waste. Other minerals, acids and electrolytes can also boost detoxification processes, including acetic acid (found in apple cider vinegar, which is often added to bone broth recipes), magnesium and sulfate.
6. Boosts Immunity
Bone broth fasts can increase beneficial bacteria living in the gut, and gut health is highly correlated with stronger immunity (not to mention many other aspects of health, like hormonal balance and weight regulation). Good bacteria in the gut (often called probiotics) can actually turn on certain genes that help regulate inflammation and turn down numerous types of unwanted symptoms.
7. Can Improve Sleep, Memory and Cognition
The amino acids found in bone broth act like inhibitory neurotransmitters for the production of chemicals and hormones that help us sleep, think clearly, stay motivated, remember information and make decisions.
Higher intake of glycine, for example, has been found to help people who can’t sleep get better rest, lower symptoms of anxiety, improve mental performance and even enhance memory.
Bone broth is also a great way to obtain electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium and sodium, that sustain energy and assist in muscle, nerve, digestive and cognitive functions. Magnesium, for example, is known to help decrease headaches, restlessness, muscle spasms during sleep, muscle pains and digestive discomfort.
How to Do It
New to drinking bone broth and/or fasting? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the process:
How long should you do a bone broth fast?
Most people do this type of fasting for a period of three to four days, while consuming several quarts of bone broth daily and eliminating many problematic foods.
Plan to fast for a period of three to four days. This amount of time is best for helping kill off harmful bacteria in the gut, repair the GI tract and repopulate the gut with probiotics.
Longer than this might be tolerable for some, but it also raises the risk for more problems, fatigue and deficiencies in certain groups of people. If you plan on doing intermittent fasting, a longer duration up to 90 days might be beneficial.
How much bone broth should you drink during a fast?
Each day you ideally should consume between three to four quarts of bone broth. Making the broth yourself is the best way to ensure it’s high-quality and doesn’t cost you too much.
About 12 ounces is the proper amount for one serving. You should consume this 12-ounce serving about five times a day — 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., for example.
What foods should you definitely avoid while fasting?
While fasting, you’ll ideally not eat anything at all, unless you’re doing intermittent fasting and it’s within your “eating window.”