Already love bone broth, and wondering whether you should try kicking things up a notch with a "bone broth fast"?
A bone broth fast pairs the many benefits of drinking bone broth, such as increasing your intake of calming amino acids and joint-supporting collagen, with those of doing a short fast.
The result for many people is improved digestion, often increased energy, clarity of mind, and even fresher looking skin.
What exactly is a bone broth fast and how does it work?
Most bone broth fasts involve:
- Consuming 3 to 4 quarts of bone broth (here’s a recipe) several times per day, usually for 2 to 4 days
- Avoiding other solid foods (unless there's a medical reason not to do so). You especially want to avoid foods that trigger inflammation, including refined grains, trans fat, and added sugar.
- Drinking water or herbal tea whenever you're thirsty. If you're hungry, it's best to snack on either cooked or raw fruits and veggies between broths.
- Taking a rest from intense exercise during the fast
Once the fast is over, it's a good idea to consume probiotics/fermented foods to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria.
Who is a bone broth fast best suited for?
It's hard to think of anyone who couldn't benefit from consuming more bone broth, in general. Consumption of homemade bone broth dates back thousands of years, to a time period when just about all parts of an animal were used in some way—including the bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments, which hold many valuable nutrients.
Unlike most packaged broths or stocks, bone broth's amino acids, minerals, collagen, and electrolytes are completely natural—and therefore easy to absorb.
That being said, for reasons you'll learn about below, certain people can especially benefit from a bone broth fast. These include anyone with leaky gut syndrome symptoms, along with people living with IBS, irritable bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, or those with food allergies, aching joints, low energy, and sluggish digestion.
Are bone broth fasts dangerous or risky?
While not everyone should try one (including pregnant women, those who are already underweight, or people taking medications without talking to their doctor first), a bone broth fast has an advantage over other fasts because it helps to prevent dehydration and muscle wasting.
The amino acids found in bone broth (like glycine, for example) essentially have anti-aging effects, help retain muscle strength, usher nutrients into cells to be used for energy, control blood sugar levels, and are even beneficial for synthesizing human growth hormone.
What are the most important reasons to try a bone broth fast?
The benefits of a bone broth fast include:
- Nutrients: High intake of one of the most nutrient-packed foods available to us. This is a major perk considering bone broth supplies nutrients that can be hard to get from other foods, like collagen, which helps form our joints and skin, and the antioxidant called glucosamine.
- Improved digestion: Bone broth is a superfood for the digestive system, providing numerous electrolytes and trace minerals, plus amino acids like glycine, proline, and arginine. These all help to actually repair the gut lining. This repair perk can lower symptoms related to IBS or IBD; improve bowel movements; and reduce dehydration, bloating, diarrhea, gas, acid reflux, and constipation.
- Getting a break from "taxing" foods: Processed, nutrient-stripped foods are basically "empty calories." They are difficult to metabolize, usually very high in sodium and/or sugar, often increase inflammation, and can increase the chances you'll develop a nutrient deficiency. Cutting junk foods out in place of bone broth for a period of time can boost immunity against common illnesses or even allergies. Fasting itself is even associated with lower cholesterol levels; normalized blood pressure; and reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart complications.
- A fresher look: Bone broth is one of the purest sources of collagen, which is the substance naturally found in our skin that helps retain its elasticity, smoothness, and firmness.
- Reduced fatigue, aches, and pains: By decreasing nutrient deficiencies, fluid retention, and inflammation, and while upping your intake of collagen and amino acids, a bone broth fast can start to decrease brain fog and also nagging joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, and bone pains.
- A transition into consuming bone broth more regularly: This type of fast is simple to follow, inexpensive, and customizable to fit your needs and goals. A bone broth fast can be a great way to kick off a healthier way of eating in general, helping to tackle symptoms related to poor digestion and other health concerns long term. Once you start experiencing the benefits of consuming more bone broth, chances are you'll want to stick with the habit even once the fast is over.