Is a Bone Broth Cleanse Right for You?

Raise your hand if a bone broth cleanse has crossed your mind as part of your New Year’s resolutions!

Whether its because you feel a ‘re-set’ is in order after too much sugar and drinking during the holidays or due to a health concern you’re finally going to address, bone broth positioned as a cleanse is certainly trending.

But do you actually need one?

And what does it do?

Two fantastic questions.

First, the concept of a cleanse in and of itself can be controversial.  

Arguably, a healthy body is eloquently equipped to be able to cleanse itself, right?   We’d never think of our heart or brain needing to take a break to reset!

At the same time, it’s reasonable to want to go to an extreme of ‘clean eating’ if one’s recent past was anything but.

So, if you’ve decided you want to shift things up a bit in favor of adopting a more nutrient dense, anti inflammatory manner of eating, incorporating some broth into the mix may indeed make quite a bit of sense.

 (Certainly more so than a juice fast, incidentally; here’s more on the skinny of doing a juice cleanse or fast and why it may not be the approach that best serves you in the long run).

Here are my top five tips on integrating bone broth into your daily routine and approaching a few days of brothing it up to the fullest so you feel fantastic, invigorated and ready for an incredible start to the new year (or any time!)

  • Set a realistic goal.   Something you can measure and accomplish in a manner which is reasonable and fair to yourself.   Deciding you’ve got to lose ten pounds in the first week of the year is anything but.   Remember how long it may have taken the scale to nudge upwards and work backwards to determine how much you can reduce in a sustainable way.
  • Choose your broth wisely.  If you’re not making it yourself, do your research to make sure the bones used were organic and grass fed and finished or pasture raised.    Bones from animals raised inhumanely or given improper food cannot create the quality of broth that sustainably sourced bones can.   Pasture raised chicken, running around freely, eating worms compared even to ‘free-range’ (which means little, unfortunately (1)) contribute all the viable nutrients to a broth, while bones and feet from factory farmed animals do just the opposite.
  • Add fat.  Once again, if you’re making your own broth at home, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the decadent gelatin which is where are the good stuff is (both from a nutrition as well as a taste standpoint) is, but if you’re buying commercial, sometimes the broth has been strained and skimmed to the point of leaving a less flavorful and even fat free version of it’s former self.    Adding fat from raw butter, for example, will add a nice dose of probiotics and create a far more satiating beverage that’ll keep you going for hours.
  • Add fiber.    Chose from your favorite array of low glycemic, packed with nutrition green veggies and try steaming, then blending them into your broth.    Not only will you be doing your GI tract a favor by keeping on top of mobility with fiber, you’ll be helping out the rest of your body with the plethora of vitamins, minerals and micro nutrients from these healthy carbohydrates.
  • Add in some gut-health boosters.   Topping your broth off with a few tablespoons of kim chi or sauerkraut or some prebiotic rich dandelion greens or garlic help to compound the gut health benefits of bone broth even more.   Bonus: Add some organ meats; great source of numerous vitamins and minerals, including many of the B-Vitamins, iron, and zinc as well as a special compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which can help to reduce the inflammation that exacerbates leaky gut.  Also rich in retinol (vitamin A), which helps to protect gut cells from damage.

Choose different types of broths, different veggies to add into the mix and don’t forget to keep hydrated.

Even if you opt to use a ‘broth-only’ approach for several days, by keeping broth as part of your daily regime going forward, you’ll continue to support your gut health and consequently, the health of your body as a whole.