Autoimmune diet protocol for thyroid conditions often requires excluding many foods from the diet. Restrictions often make it hard to sustain and follow. Furthermore, many people make a very common mistake by focusing only on the foods that they cannot eat and feel even more deprived.
One of the ways to make autoimmune protocol easier to follow and implement is to start to pay more attention to foods that you CAN add to your diet.
The number one thyroid food to eat is bone broth. While it is a new food to majority of people, bone broth when prepared right has tremendous healing potential and can be very nutritious and delicious.
Today I would like to introduce Jaclyn the author of the book Bone Broth: A Recipe For Health. In her book Jaclyn shares bone broth recipes that heal, gives tips and tricks how to get maximum nutrition from your food and explains how to improve many health conditions by incorporating bone broth in your autoimmune diet.
1. What is bone broth and why it is good for us?
Bone broth, in its simplest form, is water in which animal bones have been simmered. With that said, there are plenty of inexpensive ingredients that we can easily add to enhance nutrition and flavor, including but not limited to meat, vegetables, seasoning and herbs. While its nutritional makeup is complex and its health benefits of bone broth are far-reaching, the concept and preparation are thankfully quite simple!
Bone broth is good for us for so many reasons. In fact, that’s why I dedicated an entire book to it! Its healing properties are a result of the powerful minerals and nutrients found in the bones, which are leeched into the broth by using an acid such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in its preparation (more details in the book). Calcium, magnesium, collagen, glycine and proline are just a few of the nutrients that contribute to healing.
2. How did including bone broth into your diet help you to overcome your own health conditions and reach your personal weight goals?
Having struggled with weight my entire life, I began eating according to the principles of the Paleo diet in 2010. If I’m honest, it was to slim down for my upcoming wedding… and it sure worked. After about one year of Paleo living, I happily surpassed my weight loss and physique goals.
However, as many people experience, I was still suffering from various health conditions, perhaps even more so than before. Such symptoms included GI distress, joint pain, elevated cholesterol and fertility issues, among others. In light of this realization, I (finally!) changed my focus from aesthetics to health.
Under the care of a holistic practitioner, I started following a modified GAPS diet full of nutrient dense foods, including loads of bone broth. In fact, my family did as well. My husband joined me (because I am the cook!) and so did my Dad (at my urging). Well… we all saw incredible results – for symptoms we were trying to treat as well as others. We were floored!
For me, all of the aforementioned symptoms were resolved in less than 6 months. Additionally, I maintained my weight and physique and not only regained my fertility, but fell pregnant! My husband effectively treated his GI symptoms as well as adrenal and skin issues, and my Dad at the age of 65 has never looked or felt better. We’re working on my Mom now.
3. What are the healing properties and benefits of bone broth and how can it help to treat autoimmune conditions?
Some say, “Good bone broth can resurrect the dead!” While I can’t vouch for that, I can tell you that there is extensive research showing that bone broth has some pretty incredible health benefits. Here are just a few bone broth benefits that might be of interest to people with autoimmune thyroid conditions and Outsmart Disease readers:
In regards to autoimmune conditions in particular, bone broth helps primarily by aiding in healing the gut. As Outsmart Disease readers probably know, one prevalent theory regarding autoimmunity is its relationship to leaky gut syndrome.
The idea is that leaky gut (in conjunction with genetics and other environmental factors) is one of the triggers of autoimmunity. Therefore, healing the gut is critical to treating autoimmune conditions such as Celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s and Hashimoto’s disease, among others.
Bone broth, as part of a comprehensive autoimmune protocol that also involves removing the trigger foods and other toxic substances, decreasing inflammation, achieving healthy gut flora, and supporting digestion can help repair, heal, and seal your gut – and in turn help to heal GI conditions, autoimmune diseases, and other disorders associated with leaky gut syndrome. Considering all mentioned bone broth benefits, it is a number one food to add to your autoimmune thyroid diet.
4. How is homemade bone broth different from a broth you can buy in the supermarket and why do we need to spend our time to make it ourselves?
Store bought broth (or stock or bouillon) has very few of the medicinal qualities of homemade bone broth. This is primarily due to the fact that most mass manufacturers omit the bones – the primary source of the nutrients that make bone broth so healthy!
In fact, store bought broth may actually be detrimental to your health. Reading the labels may reveal all sorts of additives such as preservatives, MSG, sodium, vegetable oils, artificial flavors or colors and even sugar.
Let’s set aside the health benefits of homemade bone broth (or the lack of health benefits of store bought broth) for a moment and focus on taste. Whether you consume it on its own or add it to more complex dishes, the taste of homemade broth is far superior to anything that you can buy at a store in a box or can.
5. How to make bone broth that has high healing potential?
The book, Bone Broth: A Recipe for Health, contains many tips and tricks for preparing bone broth with maximum nutrition, including ensuring proper bone to water ratio, using bones with high gelatin content, simmering at the proper temperature for the ideal length of time, and of course, using an acid such as apple cider vinegar during the preparation process. Do not skip this important ingredient, as it is the key to producing highly nutritious gelatinous broth!
Bone broth can be made using bones from almost any animal, such as chickens, turkeys, cows, lambs, etc. However, people with thyroid disease might be interested to know that broth made from fish (including the head!) provides iodine and is especially nourishing for the thyroid gland if hypothyroidism was caused by iodine deficiency.
We have included a fish broth recipe in the book that calls for the entire carcass of a fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish or snapper. The resulting broth is divine on its own, but also serves as a wonderful base for fish stews and curries.
6. According to your experience, what is the best way to include bone broth into the diet?
My personal favorite way to consume broth is as chicken soup – I add chicken, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and dill to my homemade chicken broth, and create a delicious and nourishing meal. My second favorite is ‘as is’ or ‘Meat Tea’ as we call it in the book.
My husband and I sip on a huge mug of chicken, oxtail or lamb broth each morning – I warm it on the stove with some Celtic sea salt, fresh parsley and garlic. It’s both energizing and soothing at the same time. On occasion, I’ll even send my husband to work with a thermos of broth.
But for folks who are new to broth, the easiest and most palatable way of introducing it into the diet is by using it as a base for dishes. In the book, we include a “Top 10 List” for ways to easily incorporate it into your diet.
The options are endless, from stews to curries to chili. Along these lines, my favorite dish is creamy butternut squash or pumpkin soup with chicken broth as the base. It’s as easy as adding cooked squash and seasoning to your broth and pureeing it with a hand blender.
Alternatively, it’s easy to “hide” broth in meals by using it in place of water when cooking or reheating meals – i.e. use it to stir-fry vegetables, cook rice, or reheat meat dishes. The nutrients in the broth will be absorbed into the meal, providing you with all of the bone broth benefits without having to fully adapt to the taste.
Read more in Jaclyn’s book Bone Broth: A Recipe for Health
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