FITNESS & NUTRITION

Tips for Healing and Injury Prevention

Bone Broth for Healing and Injury Prevention

Leading an active lifestyle or competing as an athlete pushes the body to its limit. Testing these limits is what makes a workout exciting and separates the good from the great in competition. It’s what you strive for when training or just kicking your butt in boxing class. Sometimes those limits are crossed and unfortunately injury and sickness can occur. This is frustrating, debilitating and simply not fun. How can you prevent injury and sickness or nurse yourself back to health quickly without having to spend too much time on the couch?

Healthy diet, stretching and hydration are a few of the staples, but the secret that will put you ahead is adding bone broth to your regimen. This nutrient packed liquid will boost the immune system and strengthen virtually every critical piece of your anatomy – veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, bones and help speed up the healing process. For all you runners, boxers and cardio enthusiasts it also increases your endurance! Here are some specifics and a couple recipes to try.

Bone broth is made by slowly cooking poultry, beef, buffalo, lamb, pork or game bones with water and vinegar to extract the gelatin from the bones and marrow. The gelatin is the good stuff; packed with nutrients and amino acids it makes this broth a healing, detoxifying, protein rich, energy elixir. The broth can be used as a base in soups, chili, or in any recipe that calls for liquid. If you’re not into cooking, simply drink a small cup everyday on it’s own to reap the benefits.

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Top Notch Protein for Joint Health

Bone broth is an exceptional source of protein, especially for the amino acids proline and glycine. These two amino acids, even though documented as “non-essential” are the major components in collagen and cartilage, making them critical for joint health. These guys assist in rebuilding your tendons and ligaments – the tissue that connects your muscles to the bones. Serious strength training and weight lifting require strong connective tissues to avoid tendon and ligament tears which will take you out of the game for quite a bit and often times require surgical repair.

Beyond connective tissue strengthening and repair, bone broth nutrients such as glycine help ease joint pain and stiffness associated with playing sports that stress the joints – running, jumping, anything with impact. It has also been found to be effective in reducing pain from arthritis, osteoporosis and tendonitis.

More on Proline and Glycine

Proline is crucial for intracellular signaling – messages that are sent across your cell membranes in response to stimuli such as hormones, proteins and other biological molecules. Your cells will be grateful for the proline that helps maintain effective communication and efficient functioning. This amino acid has also been found to assist in reversing blocked arteries.

Glycine’s small structure and molecular composition allow this amino acid to thrive in hydrophobic and hydrophilic environments and change shape easily, making it a fantastic multi-tasker in the body. It has a role in synthesizing everything from hemoglobin (blood cells) to DNA nucleotides (ATGC, the building blocks of our DNA). It is part of our natural detoxification process and glucogenesis, one of the metabolic pathways to maintain blood sugar levels. Glycine also aids in our digestion by helping secrete gastric acid, which can prevent acid reflux. Acid reflux can occur when you don’t have enough stomach acid to digest your food properly. These undigested food particles expand the stomach pushing what little acid you have into the esophagus. And lastly, this super versatile amino acid is important for fast wound healing.

Additional Benefits

Beyond the awesome benefits mentioned above bone broth has a laundry list of positive effects for the body. The broth contains glutamine, an amino acid found to heal “leaky gut” by strengthening the stomach lining. The liver will get a boost from the broth by helping the efficiency of detoxification and will increase bile production for a healthy colon. Bone broth is filled with significant antioxidants to prevent DNA mutation and cancer. Adding vinegar to the broth helps extract important minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium. These minerals maintain electrolyte balance when you know you’re planning to do an intense, sweaty, endurance workout. This just scratches the surface of bone broth benefits, but I think it’s enough to convince any athlete or anyone training to add this phenomenal elixir to your diet. Check out the recipes below and go get some bones!

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Basic Bone Broth

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of bone (poultry, beef, pork, game, buffalo or a mix of bones)

3-4 quarts of water

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 carrots roughly chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic

2 tbsp of vinegar (any kind, brown rice, apple cider, etc.)

sea salt and pepper

1 bay leaf (optional)

Add in whatever spices you like – garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne, etc.

Directions: Put bones in a large pot or slow cooker, add water. Bring to boil for a few min, then reduce heat to simmer. Skim off the excess fat from the top. Add in all the vegetables and spices and cover. Simmer on low for about 18-24 hours, if you have to leave the house, it’s ok to turn the heat off let it sit and turn heat back on when you return. Strain broth removing bones and veggies. Put liquid in container and keep in fridge, heat as needed. It will stay good for about a week. You can also freeze a portion to use later. The bones will be good for one more round of broth so rinse and put those in the freezer for next time.

 

 

Extra Special Bone Broth

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of bone (poultry, beef, port, game, buffalo or a mix of bones)

3-4 quarts of water

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 carrots roughly chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves roughly chopped

1 package of shiitake mushrooms

2 tbsp of peeled ginger root

2 pieces of Kombu seaweed

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of brown rice vinegar

sea salt

Any spice you like – cloves, black peppercorns, cumin, fennel etc.

Directions: same as above.

 

Sources:

  1. Rebecca Wood and Leda Scheintaub, (March/April 2015). Homemade Stock. Well Being Journal, Vol. 24, no. 2. p.27-29
  2. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/
  3. http://www.russelllab.org/aas/Pro.html
  4. http://paleoleap.com/eat-this-bone-broth/

Abbey Matson
About the Author:

Abbey Matson.

After a decade working in several different industries spanning fashion, mental health, finance and clinical research, Abbey recognized how often general wellness is ignored. We have become accustomed to feeling sub-par and eating anything convenient, regardless of the negative repercussions on our health and life force. Abbey founded Mind to Body Health so she may support others in creating a life that allows the individual to feel well and function at full potential. Contact her today and learn to break detrimental habits that are slowing you down at info@mindtobodyhealth.com

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