There has been a lot of hub-bub about the benefits of bone broth in health circles lately. It is wise (and sane) not to immediately get on the bandwagon of every latest health fad. In the case of bone broth’s effect on the immune system, however, it is definitely worth a look. You may know that bone broth consumption has actually been around for thousands of years, but you might not know how bone broth can help specifically with cancer prevention and healing.
Bone Broth Has Ancient Roots
Weston A. Price spent an entire decade interviewing the world’s healthiest people. When he arrived in the Rocky Mountain Range in the far north of Canada, he wrote this about the eating habits of the native peoples there:
“…It is important that skeletons are rarely found where large game animals have been slaughtered by the Indians of the North. The skeletal remains are found as piles of finely broken bone chips or splinters that have been cracked up to obtain as much as possible of the marrow and nutritive qualities of the bones.”
There is a reason why native peoples have been consuming bone broths for thousands of years and why your grandmother’s chicken soup always seemed to cure what ailed you. The health benefits of simply simmering the marrow and joint bones of beef, chicken, lamb and even fish for 24 to 48 hours are tremendous. In fact, bone broth contains 19 essential amino acids and as well as other healing substances in an easy-to-absorb way to literally lubricate, nourish, restore and fortify every system in the body.
Bone Broth and Cancer
Bone broth should be an integral part of your cancer healing and prevention toolbox. Below are some ways that drinking at least one cup of bone broth every day, especially first thing in the morning, can be beneficial to cancer prevention and healing in particular:
1.) Bone broth super-boosts the immune system. We all have a certain number of cancer cells swirling around in our bloodstream at any given time. It is the job of a healthy immune system to hunt these pathogenic cells out and destroy them before they get out of hand. Bone broth contains particular substances that are vital in this process. First of all, bone broth contains the amino acids arginine (essential for immune system and liver function), glutamine (which helps with metabolism), and glycine (which aids in glutathione production and also quality of sleep). Bone marrow that liquefies over time as your soup simmers is especially beneficial to the immune system. This marrow will contain lipids, especially alkylglycerols, which are vital for the production of white blood cells. Alkyglycerols also appear in colostrum from mother’s milk and have been found to control cancer tumor cell growth.
2.) Bone broth contains collagen, which can stop the spread of cancer. The collagen content in your soup bones will break down into gelatin in the broth. This is why when you put the broth in the refrigerator after it is done, you will see a jiggling layer on top (tip: DON’T throw that away!). This naturally-sourced gelatin is very beneficial on many levels, especially for autoimmune disease and leaky gut, two conditions which have been linked to high cancer risk. In addition, because collagen itself supports the function of healthy connective tissues, it may also prevent cancer tumor metastasis, according to the ground-breaking research of Dr. Matthias Rath and others.
3.) Drinking bone broth helps to reduce inflammation. An inflammatory response is often at the root of a cancer diagnosis. In fact, according to a comprehensive report published by the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, approximately 15% of all cancer cases are directly related to infection of some kind. Several studies have linked the substance chondroitin sulfate, found in bone broth, to both anti-inflammatory as well as immune-regulatory effects.
4.) Bone broth helps heal the gut. Recall that about 80 % of all immune system cells reside in the digestive system. This means that as you heal your gut, you are also healing your immune system. Bone broth is an important component of this healing. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the book and nutritional program Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), “bone broth helps to seal and heal the gut.” This in large part is due to the glycosaminoglycans (or GAGS) found in it. GAGs help to restore the intestinal lining. They also play a role in maintaining collagen and elastin content between tissue fibers.
5.) Bone broth supports detoxification. Anyone who has been on a healing path with breast cancer or any other disease knows that detoxifying the body is one of the key steps to regaining health. Regularly drinking bone broth assists the body’s natural detoxification pathways by helping the digestive system remove waste. It strengthens the liver, and its potassium and glycine content supports detoxification pathways as well. Finally, the antioxidant glutamine as well as other amino acids contribute to the elimination of heavy metals.
So there you have it: the 5 BIG REASONS why bone broth should be a part of your cancer healing and prevention protocol. Of course, these 5 benefits just skim the surface; there are dozens of other ways in which a warm, nourishing cup of broth can be beneficial to you and your health.
How to Make Bone Broth
Recipes for preparing bone broth abound online and in most health-focused cookbooks. The most important thing to remember when preparing bone broth is to always use bones from organic, hormone-free, free-range beef, poultry, bison, or lamb that were not fed GMO feed and to only use wild-caught fish if you are doing a fish broth. Going organic is especially important if you are making bone broth because toxins tend to store in the fatty tissues of all mammals. In addition, be sure to use toxin-free cookware and natural, filtered water (not tap water). A sturdy stainless steel pot or toxin-free ceramic crockpot works best.
Simmer your bones with a little salt and pepper for at least 24 hours and then curl up with a steaming cup, a good book and a few minutes of total relaxation while you allow your body to heal!
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