Liquid diets have long been touted as quick gut-fixers… And not for no reason.
So many diseases have been linked to a microbial imbalance — a disproportionate bacteria distribution in your gut — that people have come up with all kinds of solutions ever since humankind started listening to our guts.
Because there are more than 100 trillion bacteria in the digestive system — great than in the entire rest of our bodies — there’s a pretty big margin for error.
And considering how hard we make our guts work every day…
With processed fast food, poor hydration, overly complex meals, consuming produce covered in pesticides…
The liquid diet seems like a quick and easy solution. If you don’t force your damaged and weary gut to break down complicated and unnatural bioparticles for a few days, you give it a chance to re-establish diversity and stability.
But that begs the question: What kind of liquids are we talking about?
Sodas, or Jell-o, or only water?
Can you even subsist on water for days at a time? (Fun fact: You can go more than 3 weeks without food and survive, but not water.)
But if you could give your gut a break… and infuse it with healing properties at the same time, why wouldn’t you?
Enter bone broth.
What Does Bone Broth Even Mean?
You may be wondering — does your low-sodium store brand canned broth in the fridge count?
Answer: There is actually a difference between stock and broth. Broth is brewed with uncooked bones (usually with meat still on them) and stock is made from cooked bones (like a rotisserie chicken.)
What that means is that when you’re drinking broth, you’re drinking all of the minerals, nutrients, fat, protein, and glutamine in the bones that haven’t been cooked out yet.
Glutamine: An α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Gut cell food. Used to make energy.
Bone broth typically can take between six and 18 hours to cook, depending on the type of meat. (Chicken cooks faster than lamb, for example.) And an added bonus is that you can’t really overcook broth, because the goal is to dislodge and breakdown the cartilage until the collagen has broken down and becomes gelatin — which is great for your gut.
Can Bone Broth Heal A Leaky Gut?
The short answer: yes.
The more complicated answer is that everyone is different, and there are no guarantees. But, the gelatin in bone broth helps to rebuild the mucous lining of the intestines, fixing the structural integrity of the gut, and helps to digest the nutrients you’re consuming.
It also contains serious amounts of the amino acids glycine, proline, arginine, and cysteine, which are known for fighting and reducing inflammation — perfect for damaged guts.
Not to mention, of course, that bones house calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, silica, and other minerals which help you stay hydrated and strengthen your bones.
Bone broth also helps to feed the cells that line the gut, so not only is your gut not working hard to break down tough, solid, and mostly fake food, you’re increasing the size of the army that lines your gut and fights against permeation.
And finally, the expensive supplement pills containing chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine? They’re contained in bone broth, surviving from the cartilage and tendons.
Realistically, nothing is a quick fix.
But if you’ve been feeling particularly irritated (and if you’re someone with chronic gut problems, you can easily tell the difference between fatigue and an unhappy microbiome), doing a bone broth fast is one way you can give your gut some time to heal while you give it the tools to heal.