By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
It’s the time of year for merriment. And for most people, holiday indulgences can leave you feeling sluggish and dull as you ring in the New Year.
But it’s not just holiday overindulgences that tax our liver and leave us feeling low. Every day we’re exposed to a barrage of assaults from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the chemicals we come into contact with.
Our modern world a toxic soup and we can’t help but bathe in it.
And while many people choose to more “drastic” measures (like a multi-day juice fast) to help counteract the damage, there’s a more practical way to lighten your liver’s burden and cleanse away occasional culinary sins and environmental toxins…
Drink bone broth!
The Non-Essential Nutrient That’s Essential for Detoxifying
Bone broth is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including the amino acid glycine. Glycine is the simplest of all amino acids and is considered “non-essential.” That means that it can be produced by the body.
But when it comes to detoxification, glycine is absolutely essential. In fact, without enough glycine, your liver’s ability to do its job comes to a slow grind.
You see, glycine is one of several starting compounds needed to make the body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent: glutathione.
The Most Miraculous Anti-Aging Substance (Your Doctor Hasn’t Heard Of)
Glutathione is made up of just three amino acids bonded together – glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. And while glutathione is a very small and simple molecule, its function in the body is extremely diverse… and unquestionably vital.
It’s so important that more than 89,000 medical articles have been written about it!
The first way that glutathione works its healing magic is by recharging the other antioxidants in your body. These include vitamin C, vitamin E and lipoic acid. Without glutathione, free radicals would overwhelm your antioxidant defenses and cause rapid physical deterioration.
But this amazing substance is also an essential part of your liver’s ability to detoxify the blood.
Here’s how it happens…
Glutathione: Your Body’s Crucial Cleanser
First, the blood is filtered by the liver. Think of this as the deep cleaning phase. Toxins and other unwanted chemical junk are removed from the blood and converted into water-soluble chemicals (called conjugates). These conjugates are then reduced to smaller fragments, which can then be more easily neutralized and excreted.
The next step is called phase II detoxification. This is where enzymes and antioxidants – including glutathione – step in to neutralize the metabolic debris and free radicals that were gathered or generated in the first phase.
Day in and day out, your body performs these complex housekeeping tasks. But this internal “maid service” does not come without a cost – each and every time the body cleanses compounds from the blood, glutathione and other vital nutrients are depleted.
And the more toxins you are exposed to, or the longer the exposure, the more costly this “housekeeping” becomes from a nutritional standpoint.
This is exactly why you need to…
Detox Weekly… Not Yearly
Humans are in contact with more toxins today than ever before in history. From radiation to the tens of thousands of chemicals we’re exposed to in our food, water and air – your health depends on being able to continuously and efficiently detoxify.
The best way to achieve this is to provide your body with a constant supply of the nutrients that facilitate internal cleansing – including glycine.
And making bone broth is the best and easiest way to incorporate the glutathione-boosting benefits of glycine into your diet.
Here are some quick tips to get the most:
Cook Slow & Low: Longer cooking times at lower temperatures help to ensure maximum extraction of glycine and other important nutrients in bones. To make bone broth simply add 4-5 large bones to a slow cooker and fill three-quarters full with water (you can add salt, seasonings, onions and vegetables, if you wish). Make sure you have enough water in the pot and cook for 24 hours on low to create a nutrient-dense broth.
Add Parts: Marrow bones are the standard for making bone broth, but you can get more glycine if you add parts like chicken feet.
Consider the Fat: If you make a bone broth predominantly from beef bones, the fat will be saturated. However chicken parts will produce more omega-6 fats. For this reason, you should consider scraping (if it’s cold) or ladling the fat from top of bone broth made from chicken.
Make Gelatin Cubes: If you won’t be using or consuming all of your nutrient-rich bone broth within four to seven days, simply spoon or pour the amount you want to store into ice cube trays and freeze. Then pop out the cubes and store them in a zip-top bag for quick individual use. They can be added to soups, stews and sauces or just gently heated for a soothing, cleansing drink.
To lighten your liver’s load, you should also avoid processed foods and chemicals, limit your alcohol consumption and engage in regular exercise. But for the toxins that inevitably make their way into your body, boosting glutathione and other key nutrients goes a long way to protecting your health. And consuming glycine-rich bone broth is one of the best ways to do that.
Ed Note: Do you want to learn more about boosting your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier? Check out Kelley’s comprehensive series The Food Cure where you’ll learn the 4 supplements and 13 foods you should be eating every day to maximize your body’s production of this miracle substance!
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