The Healing and Immune Boosting Power of Bone Broth

The Healing and Immune Boosting Power of Bone Broth

A healthy habit that supports your immune system is regular consumption of bone broth.

Almost every culture has made use of bones in cooking to get the nutritional benefits as well as to make the most out of precious resources.

Here are some of the health benefits of bone broth for immunity:

  • Rich in easy to absorb minerals
  • Contains healing factors for the lining of the gut (helps to heal leaky gut)
  • Supports healthy hair, skin, and nails 
  • Supports healthy joints
  • Supports skin elasticity 
  • Naturally boosts the immune system 
  • Contains minerals, amino acids, collagen, gelatin, good fat
  • Supports bone health
  • Helps with detoxification

During these challenging times of living during a pandemic, it is more important than ever to access as many of the health and immune system benefits available to you as possible. Bone broth is one of the cheapest of those precious resources available to you and has the added benefit of being food as well as medicine.

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Now, you likely have more time than ever to cook so break out your pressure cooker, crockpot or stockpot and try it out. Sure, you can buy bone broth in the store, but it’s going to be missing the fat and gel that make it so good for you. Not to mention that it is quite expensive to buy when you can make it at home easily with scraps! Making your own bone broth is good for your health and your budget.

Dr. Amanda’s Simple Instant Pot Bone Broth

Ingredients:

  • Organic bones
  • Purified water
  • Apple cider vinegar 
  • Vegetables (optional)
  • Spices (optional)

Instructions:

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  • Add bones to instant pot up to almost 3/4 the way with some gaps between bones. (I used organic grass-fed beef bones)
  • Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.  
  • Add water up to the max fill line.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes to begin bone demineralization.
  • Add spices and vegetable scraps if you want. (I used 5 crushed cloves of garlic, some celery scraps, and pink Himalayan salt)
  • Close the lid to the pot and turned the valve to seal. I used the soup/broth and low-pressure settings for 120 minutes.
  • After it is done cooking, strain the broth into a pot then put it in mason jars. After it cools, put them in the refrigerator. After 12 hours the fat and gelatin will rise to the top.

You can store the bone broth in the refrigerator for 1 week. To store longer, freeze.

You can use a crock pot or stock pot, but will need to cook for at least 12 hours using those methods.

You can drink this broth plain or with butter and salt. You can also use this as the base for soups, gravies and for braising.  

Bone broth can be used for fasts. I have seen dramatic improvements using this type of fast for individuals with digestive issues as in addition to giving the digestive system a rest, it contains those gut healing factors. Bone broth is also a great complement to a keto or carnivore diet. Bone broth is the staple for the GAPS (gut and psychology syndrome) diet and can support a healthy mood and sleep.

I recommend consuming at least 1 cup per day for gut and immune benefits. With the current viral situation we are facing, I advise daily consumption over at least the next 3 months. 

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For more help on how to integrate bone broth into your nutrition plan and how to access mother nature’s medicine cabinet, contact the office to set up a phone visit.

Your Holistic Pharmacist,

Dr. Amanda Childress,
PharmD

Read Dr. Amanda’s Biography

How To Restore Your Gut Health: Healing The Microbiota

How To Restore Your Gut Health: Healing The Microbiota

What is gut health anyway?

Your gut health is intimately connected with the health of your microbiota. Specifically, your gut is the tract that goes all the way from your mouth to your anus. The term “microbiota” refers to all the organisms living in AND on the human body. The microbiota is made up of a large variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

Your microbiota live in a delicate ecosystem. These bugs keep each other in balance. When this microbial balance becomes disrupted, you develop “dysbiosis.” Dysbiosis refers to a microbial imbalance in which “bad” bugs opportunistically colonize OR bugs that are normally “good” in small amounts overgrow and become pathogenic. Correcting dysbiosis is how you restore your gut health.

How does gut health get disrupted?

Antibiotics:

There are many reasons why the microbiota gets disrupted. A common cause is the overuse of antibiotics. According to the CDC, 50% of antibiotics prescribed are either unnecessary or inappropriate.  The damage in this scenario is two-fold; first, antibiotics indiscriminately kill many of the bugs in the gastrointestinal tract. Secondly, with the overuse of very broad-spectrum antibiotics, what are left behind are what have been referred to as “superbugs,” which are very treatment-resistant and make it very hard for the microbiota to correct itself. 

Another issue surrounding antibiotics is that 80% of the antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. are given to livestock. This means that even if you have managed to go your entire life without taking a prescription of antibiotics if you have ever eaten conventional meat and dairy, you have been exposed.

Diet:

A factor that is just as important, if not more so, than antibiotic use, is DIET.  Eating processed, high acidity foods treated with chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics as well as loaded in refined sugar makes up the majority of gut health issues. The good news is that this is the most controllable cause of dysbiosis.

Eating foods that you do not digest well can also create dysbiosis.  When I tell patients they have a food sensitivity often they reply “But I’ve been eating that my whole life and it’s never been a problem!”  The truth is, that may be the problem in and of itself.  Eating a food that is not digested well may feel fine for days, months even many years.  It often takes a long time for symptoms to manifest. Meanwhile, it is costing your body much of its precious reserves and energy to process and damaging the gut.

Infection:

The fundamental issue of dysbiosis is the imbalance of microbes.  There are “commensal” microbes (“good bugs”) that have a beneficial role in the gut and also “pathogenic (“bad bugs”), disease-causing microbes that are not a normal part of the gut ecosystem.

There are a multitude of ways infection can come into play.  Scenario 1: dysbiosis exists and the commensal bugs get out of balance.  Some “good bugs” become overgrown or out of balance while other “good bugs” are not at a high enough level for good health.  2. Dysbiosis is created due to an infection with a “bad bug” such as a parasite, mold/fungus/yeast, and/or bacteria that is NOT native to your body’s ecosystem.

Microbiota in human intestine the nhcaa
Microbiota in Human Intestine

Regardless of what scenario has occurred, the infection must be resolved to heal the gut.

Other Causes:

A poor diet and antibiotic use are two very problematic factors that disrupt gut health; however, there are many other contributors. Toxic exposures, long term general medication use, exposures to pathogens foreign to your microbiota (overseas travel for instance), and being born from C-section and/or consuming baby formula as an infant are all contributors.

What does dysbiosis do to the body?

The gut is the hub for digestion, nutrient assimilation, creation of neurotransmitters and immune factor creation. As a result, dysbiosis symptoms and conditions can run the full gamut of physical as well as mental symptoms and conditions. The following list names many of the more common and or/well-established issues connected to dysbiosis.

Dysbiosis Symptoms:

  • Digestive Problems
    • Gas/bloating
    • Constipation AND/OR diarrhea
  • Unresolved skin rashes
  • Weak immune system/frequent illness
  • Dental problems
    • Gum disease
    • Cavities
    • Dry mouth
    • Bad breath
  • Vitamin Deficiency
    • Especially B12, Iron and Folate
  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Toenail fungus

Chronic Conditions Connected with Dysbiosis:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Migraine
    Headaches
  • Food
    Allergies/sensitivities
  • Autoimmune
    Disorders
  • Mood/Behavior
    disorders
    • Depression/Anxiety
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Infertility
  • Preterm
    Birth

How To Heal Your Gut

“Let food be thy medicine.”

Hippocrates

Food and Food Eliminations:

You can take the best supplements on the planet, but if your food choices are incorrect for your body, your gut will not heal and you are wasting a lot of money.

Microbiota destroyed by bad food the nhcaa

There are many ways to attack your diet. The most basic steps to take are to eliminate all processed, chemicalized and refined foods from your diet.  A good rule of thumb is to shop primary the outer perimeter of the grocery store, leaving the center aisles alone. Eating grass-fed beef and other meats and eggs that are free of hormones and antibiotics is important. White sugar is out, completely.

As many pathogenic bugs proliferate on sugars, keeping even natural sugars to a minimum is important. Most people should be eating no more than 100-75 grams of carbohydrates a day for good gut health. Some individuals with difficulties losing weight, unresolved infection and inflammatory conditions should eat less than that.

Depending on your specific health profile, you may need to implement an Antifungal Diet, an elimination diet, or, in more extreme situations, the GAPS diet.

If you have a lot of reactions after eating foods, you should find out what your food sensitivities are. As food reactions are not always immune in nature, allergy tests alone may not be enough to find your trigger foods. For this reason, elimination diets have a lot of value. My favorite elimination type diet to use is the Whole30. Journaling your food intake along with your symptoms often helps you find the foods that are triggers, as well. Keep in mind that often a food can still launch a negative response for about 3 days after consumption.

Supplements:

Pages upon pages could be written to go over this what supplements should be given to help dysbiosis. I will only cover the supplements I see most broadly applicable.

Probiotics:

Almost all gut issues require a good probiotic. There are many blends out there and many reasons why one might be superior to another. The following are some general guidelines:

  1. Vaginal Health
    a) Primarily Lactobacillus Strains
  2. Gut Health and Oral Health – Broader Spectrum
    a) My favorite: Flora 12 + from Energetix
  3. Baby Health -B. bifidum and B. infantis
    a) Prenatal through 2 years

I find that if you have potential parasites, yeast issues, and thyroid problems, it’s good to make sure you have the S. boulardii strain in your probiotic. Prosynbiotic from Standard Process and Flora 12 + from Energetix contain this strain. There is also a stand-alone S. Boulardii from Physica I use if a patient needs to amp up another probiotic for those concerns or if they generally do not do well with supplementing probiotics (this can happen if a patient has Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth also know as SIBO).  S. boulardii is actually a beneficial yeast that is not killed during most antibiotic therapy and has strong antiparasitic and anti-candida properties.

Probiotic foods:

If you have taken many probiotics in the past with little results or do not feel well with probiotics, you may be a better candidate for a supplement called Ion*Gut Health (previously known as Restore). This supplement is not a probiotic but contains factors from soil that help to improve the health of the gut wall and to create an environment in the gut lining that can support a healthy microbiota.

Other Needs

If you have long term gut health issues that don’t resolve with the above interventions, you may need support for specific digestive organs (such as the gallbladder or intestines) or a leaky gut protocol. To find out what additional interventions you need, see one of our practitioners.

Your Holistic Pharmacist,
Dr. Amanda

Read Dr. Amanda Childress’ Bio

Have questions about how to improve gut health naturally? Email [email protected] or fill out this form.

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Bloating Can Be From Standard American Diet

Bloating Can Be From Standard American Diet

Obvious Indicators Of Bloating

One of the most obvious indicators that you’re bloated is if your stomach is significantly flatter in the morning than it is at the end of the day. Fat does not fluctuate that noticeably over the course of a single day, so if you’re slimmer in the morning, your digestion needs addressing. So what causes bloating?

Bloating also comes with symptoms like constipation and gas. If you don’t have regular bowel movements (at least once a day), you are probably suffering from some bloating and constipation.

Here is one reason you may be bloated:

You may also have decreased bile which acts as a lubricant in the intestines. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder which squirts it into the intestines to digest fat.

Not only is it a lubricant, but it is also anti-microbial for “bad” micro-organisms which also cause bloating. Now you can see that if you don’t have enough bile, it can definitely create problems like abdominal gas and bloating.

You may even notice pain on the right side of your torso, pain in the right shoulder or knee, poor absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K), and the feeling that you are never satisfied with your food.

Fix your gallbladder!

Gallbladder issues are very common especially in people who eat the Standard American Diet. So… Stop eating any high carbohydrate foods like grains and sugars.

There are no drugs that can fix your gallbladder. Only supplements can. Bile salts, ox bile, enzymes, phosphorus, and herbs that flush the gall bladder, thin the bile and make the liver create more bile.

Contact us if you need help understanding how to fix bloating or other digestive symptoms.

Related Articles:

Solution to Your Digestive Problems?

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Solution to Your Digestive Problems?

Solution to Your Digestive Problems?

“All disease begins in the gut,” said Hippocrates.

No one can argue with the father of modern medicine about digestion problems and solutions! Especially, the 45 million suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); 1.6 million people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and 3 million people with Celiac, in the US.

Low carb Paleo type diets are excellent at managing symptoms and reducing inflammation,
but what caused it in the first place? Inflammation is just another symptom, it’s not the cause. Learn some digestion tips below.

Both diarrhea and constipation result because of problems with motility. Motility refers to the wave-like contractions of the muscles in the GI tract which move food and waste throughout it. There are two types of motility.

  1. Peristalsis, the motility that moves food that you have eaten.
  2. The migrating motor complex (MMC) is a cyclic, recurring motility pattern that occurs in the stomach and small bowel during fasting.

That “growling” sound your stomach makes? No, you are not hungry. That is your stomach and your intestines engaging in MMC and starting the cleaning process. The MMC wave-like movements push undigested food and waste out of our small intestines. This is crucial to keep our gut bacteria balanced:

  • Clearing the small intestines prevents the bacteria from feeding off of the waste and grow out of control. (84% of IBS patients test for SIBO (Small Intestines Bacteria Overgrowth).
  • The sweeping wave-like motions clean out excess bacteria by being pushed back into the large intestine.
  • Increase in gastric, biliary, and pancreatic secretions, help clean out the small intestine of bacteria buildup.

In a healthy person, with a balanced gut flora, the MMC cycles last at least 90 min. It’s important to understand that the moment we eat, those cycles are stopped and interrupted, and the Peristalsis motility starts.

When we are following the 6 “mini meals” recommendations and grazing on food all day, we never give our body a chance to fully clean the waste from food, leading to overgrowth of candida and/or bacteria, inflammation and Intestinal Permeability.

So, what is the solution if you suffer from digestive disorders?

Intermittent Fasting may be the answer to your digestive issues!digestive-problems-fasting

Fasting for at least four hours after meals might be beneficial in re-regulating the MMC, but the longer we fast, the more time the body has, to complete the process.

The keto diet and ketosis also showed to not only help reduce inflammation but also modulate the immune response, increasing glutathione levels, an important antioxidant, that people with auto-immune disease are notoriously low in.

Talk to your practitioner about digestive problem solutions, the right diet for your condition, and if you would benefit from specific amino acids supplementation.

Dr. Taggy Bensaid
Naturopath

Digestion and Constipation

Digestion and Constipation

Digestion and elimination is a complex process that we often take for granted, until it becomes uncomfortable, too seldom, or too frequent.

To help you learn how to avoid constipation, I will briefly explain the anatomy of the digestive tract and then focus on a few key points to help you work on your digestion and especially your regular elimination. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the digestive tract and the problem of constipation. The education here is applicable even if you do not experience constipation. Also, understand that slow thyroid and other considerations like taking pain medications can also alter your digestion and elimination.

The digestive tract begins at the mouth and ends at the anus; this “tube” is called the alimentary canal. The alimentary canal is composed of the:

  • mouth (for chewing and breaking down food, and adding enzymes for carbohydrate breakdown)
  • pharynx (connects the mouth to the esophagus)
  • esophagus (this is the tube to your stomach)
  • stomach (where acid and enzymes break your food down)
  • small intestine (mixes food with bile and pancreatic juices, this is where most of your nutritional absorption occurs)
  • large intestine (waste is moved and water is absorbed)
  • rectum (readies the waste to exit the body)
  • anus (sphincter that controls the elimination process).

Other organs that have a role in digestion are the salivary glands, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. These organs deliver enzymes and bile for the digestion of food.

4 Rules to keep a healthy alimentary canal and avoid constipation:

1) Eat Clean: The food you eat is important for timely and healthy digestion and elimination. If you are eating highly processed, sugary, and genetically modified foods your alimentary canal is going to be sluggish, toxic, slow or inconsistent. Research which foods are good for digestion and constipation and stock up on them.

2) Drink Water: If you are not drinking adequate water for reabsorption to occur, your stools may become too hard and be difficult and slow to pass.  Sodas, juices, and coffee do not count as water.

3) Chew your food: Peristalsis is a sequential movement that mixes and moves food and waste through your alimentary canal. The action of chewing stimulates peristalsis of the entire alimentary canal.  This is why I generally recommend that if you are having digestion and elimination problems to avoid protein shakes since chewing is not required and the movement of the bowels does not get stimulated naturally.  

4) Schedule time for elimination: If you do not make time for bowel movements you will not be able to “go.”  In other words, if you wait to go until you absolutely feel you need to, it is often “not good timing” and instead we “hold it.” This leads to an unhealthy process of reabsorption of the hydration from your stool, making your stool harder and more difficult to eliminate. Often, once you have time, you no longer feel the need.  Schedule regular times at least twice a day to relax and have a bowel movement. Even if you don’t necessarily have a bowel movement, it is important to retrain your body. Eating meals on a regular schedule will help create an elimination schedule for your body as well.  

Think of this like going to the grocery store hungry, or cooking dinner. If you wait until you’re absolutely hungry and no planning or timing was set aside, it would be likely that you would binge when you eat and buy unhealthy foods.

So remember, eat healthily, chew your food well, drink adequate water between meals, and make time for yourself to have regular bowel movements every day.

Yours in health and happiness, 
Kristen Clore OTR
Nutrition Response Practitioner & Certified Wellness Coach

Cramps, Anxiety, and Excessive Sweating: A Digestive and Circulatory Problem

Cramps, Anxiety, and Excessive Sweating: A Digestive and Circulatory Problem

I have been seeing a teen patient for eleven months.

In that time we have worked on several complaints for her including anxiety, excessive perspiration, and severe menstrual cramping. In the last two months we made considerable progress with cramps with a Standard Process supplement called Collinsonia Root. Learn how we’ve been treating cramps, anxiety, and excessive sweating naturally.

A couple months ago I discovered a supplement that I considered to be more of a digestive support supplement helped a patient with some of her circulatory problems. One use of Collinsonia Root is for hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and stool softening. Now I am looking at it from a different viewpoint. And, I am having great results.

Collinsonia Root helps with liver congestion and can improve digestion and elimination. And, it can strengthen veins. All of this together decreases inflammation in the abdomen and can help with menstrual cramps.

Nutrition Response Testing is such a wonderful tool for finding out the secrets of the body.

In the case of this patient we have worked on her immune system, supplemented iodine, and her diet is impeccable. All of her initial complaints are greatly improved. Putting all this together has been possible with Nutrition Response Testing and creating a nutritional program specific to her body. Come in today and let us help you with your health concerns. Your body can tell us some miraculous things.

I look forward to seeing you soon and helping you with your health.

Kerry Cradit

Read Kerry’s Bio