Beauty & The Broth
Bone broths have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to nourish the kidneys, fortify the blood, and support our vital essence (or chi). Our own grandmothers also somehow intrinsically knew the healing powers of this powerful blend. Today, as modern science has begun to catch up on what our ancestors knew all along, the benefits of bone broth have been carefully studied and documented to include promoting joint and digestive health and enhancing beauty. The medical community, athletes and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow (Goop article, “Why Bone Broth Is So Good For Us“), Shailene Woodley, Mindy Kaling, Salma Hayek & Kobe Bryant (bone broth is one of the 3 pillars of the Lakers’ official team diet) tout the benefits of nutrient rich bone broth.
Last week we focused on bone broth and joint health. In this week’s blog, we will dive into the natural beauty benefits of these delicious foods. In the prior post we explained what bones, animal and human, are mostly made of – collagen, the main structural protein found in our bodies. The simmering of bones and ligaments for many hours releases their collagen (along with powerful compounds like proline, glycine, glutamine and minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorous). Our production of collagen declines for several reasons. Smoking, stress, sun and the environment adversely affect the collagen in our bodies and can be largely addressed preventatively (e.g, regular use of sunscreen, a diet rich in antioxidants). Then, there is the natural process of aging which begins to deplete our collagen levels.
As described last week, bone broth is a mainline to much needed collagen. Collagen rich bone broth helps form elastin and other compounds within the skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. The high levels of natural collagen helps the skin’s elasticity thereby keeping it taut and firm. Collagen integrity is accredited with helping reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging. Many people report a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen, since cellulite forms because of a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone and to “dimple”. Collagen helps eradicate these dimples from the inside, thus improving the overall health of your skin. In addition, if you have dark spots, flaky skin or acne scars, the collagen in bone broth, coupled with hyaluronic acid – found in bone cartilage, contributes to healthy looking skin by preserving moisture in cells. If that were not enough, glycine and proline (also in bone broth) help support collagen and make your skin look great.
In a study of mice where one group was exposed to sunlight (increasing time and intensity) and another group was exposed to sunlight (same way) but received supplemental gelatin (the cooked form of collagen) — it was found that the mice exposed to the light without the gelatin had a 53% average decrease in the collagen content of their skin, compared to the mice that received no ultraviolet light exposure at all. Astonishingly, the mice that were exposed to the light, but also fed gelatin had no collagen decrease at all. They actually had an average collagen increase of 17%.” (https://wellnessmama.com/23777/bone-broth-benefit)
The gelatin in bone broth also helps strengthen hair and nails and speeds their growth. There is new evidence that collagen can help to block DHT, one of the hormones responsible for hair loss. elasticity is not just important to your skin – it is also a quality seen in youthful hair. The collagen found in bone broth is the perfect way promote it. In addition, a healthy amount of collagen can contribute to the stimulation of new hair. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus-rich bone broth also helps your teeth strong, healthy and free from cavities.
If you prefer a vegetarian diet, a diet high in plant protein (soy protein, hummus, nuts, nut butters, foods made with almond flour, etc) can offer the support of plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, which have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on collagen (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-booth/who-took-my-collagen-and_b_209969.html)
Bone broth is just about impossible to overdose on. We try to drink it every afternoon instead of that afternoon coffee. We also try and use it in other forms, such as cooking grains in it, in sauces, or an evening nightcap. Whenever and wherever we can, bone broth works its way into our daily diet and beauty routine!