Category Archives: Immune System

Beautiful Bone Broth: An Ancient Food Tradition in All Cultures

20131107_6578I have been perfecting my bone broth and its a beautiful thing.  Can you see the gelatin consistency in the pictures?  That is what you want it to look like.  Beautiful!!  All ancient cultures have some form of a bone broth whether made out of fish, beef, or chicken.

Although low in calcium, bone broth has other trace nutrients, namely the amino acids proline and glycine, that are essential to building strong bones.  These amino acids are some of the key components to building collagen which is the structural component to bones, tendons, joints, skin, corneas, cartilage, the gut, and blood vessels. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about 25%-35% of whole body content.

Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel has a well researched article called: Research Reveals Low Calcium Content in Bone Broth. A key point she brings up is that collagen is more important to bone strength and fracture resistance than calcium alone as it forms the cross links (or scaffolding/structural component) for your bones. Along with collagen supporting nutrients, it contains magnesium, phosphorus and silica–just to name a few.  Bone broth is a wealth of easily absorbable and digestible minerals.  So if your diet is low in calcium from milk you can benefit from bone broth for the re-mineralization and strengthening of your bones and joints.   Yes, its a super food that should be incorporated into every kitchen in America.


Using a Mason jar to store broth in the refrigerator

Lets dig a little deeper into how gone broth is beneficial to joints and skin. Bone broth contains gelatin (mostly composed of the amino acids proline and glycine), glucosamine, and chondroitin which are good for your joints and skin. For example, glucosamine increases hyaluronic acid in our joints and skin.  Hyaluronic acid helps lubricate your joints and improves skin moisture and smoothness (less wrinkles).  Get this-Cellulite is not just too much fat collecting but a break down of the structural component of skin called collagen which keeps fat in its place.

Thought: Could adequate collagen in your diet help prevent or lessen stretch marks?  Maybe.


Freezing as frozen cubes from an ice tray is a great way for adding to baby food or your own recipes

Another thought:  I believe bone broth is especially good throughout a person’s lifetime to keep their skin and joints in top condition.  Yes, we are a product of our genetics and what our ancestors ate, but we also can reverse predisposed genetic trends, keep the good genes working, and pass along healthy genes to our children.  Find a great explanation of the benefits and nutrients found in bone broth and a recipe: click here.

Want to increase the gelatin content? Add chicken feet to your sock.  To increase the your gelatin content in your diet 100% pure gelatin can be added to just about everything.  For supplementation, taking about 2 tablespoons per day for an adult is a good rule of thumb.  Two good sources are:  Bernard Jensen Gelatin or Great Lakes Gelatin.

Some good informational reads:

Cold and flu season coming up ~ what do I do?

Here Comes the Fall and Winter

Embrace the crispy cool air and fun winter clothes and changing of the season, but let’s keep our bodies healthy for those outdoor adventures!!


What can I do to keep up my immune system during the cold and flu season? And how do I relieve cold symptoms naturally?


  • Chicken soup ~ Homemade of course!!  It helps relieve congestion by thinning mucus and acts as an anti-inflamatory.1,2  Recipe Card. Click here for some interesting soup traditions: Israel, Ancient Rome, and Greece
  • Water ~ Keeping hydrated is a must.  During the colder seasons the heater is run which can increase water loss from your body.  Water helps flush out the toxins and impurities in your system, and its important to stay hydrated if you have a fever.
  • Salt Water ~ 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt water in 1 cup (8 ounces) of water can help relive a sore or irritated throat.
  • Vitamin C ~ Based on a recent Crochrane review, because Vitamin C has a consistent effect on the duration and severity of the common cold with regular supplementation, it may be beneficial for the individual to test whether therapeutic Vitamin C is beneficial to them. (Therapeutic supplementation mean taking is after the cold has started.)  Also, 5 studies showed that regular supplementation in  marathon runners, skiers and soldiers on subarctic exercises reduced the incidence of the common cold. Those participating in extreme physical exercises causing stress to the body may benefit by taking Vitamin C.3
  • Zinc ~  A review done shows that taking zinc orally may shorten the duration of the common cold, however, adverse affects were common.The FDA warns against taking intranasal zinc.  Getting adequate dietary zinc is a safe route without the side effects and can help build up your immune system to protect against the common cold. Zinc is found in a variety of foods including: liver, meats, fish, oats, seeds, shrimp, maple syrup, green peas, milk and yogurt, almonds, cheese, and beans.5 
  • Probiotics ~ Full of good bacteria, sources containing live cultures help keep your gut healthy which is one of the first lines of defense against bacteria and viruses invading your body.  Foods containing live cultures include: yogurt, keifer, and fermented foods.
  • Honey ~ Soothes the sore throat and helps alleviate coughing.  Honey can be mixed with fresh squeezed lemon juice and warm water.
  • Garlic ~ Based on a Cochrane review the verdict is still out on whether is helps prevent or treat the common cold.6 However, it has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal properties and has been used medicinally for generations and generations.7 We seem to eventually prove the ancient wisdom true so adding garlic to your dishes is probably a good idea.
  • Vitamin D ~ A good source of Vitamin D during the shorter days is cod liver oil.  Make sure the source is pure.


1. Rennard, et al. Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro. CHEST 2000; 118:1150 –1157.

2.  Babizhayev MA, Deyev AI. Management of the virulent influenza virus infection by oral formulation of nonhydrolized carnosine and isopeptide of carnosine attenuating proinflammatory cytokine-induced nitric oxide production. Am J Ther. 2012 Jan;19(1):e25-47.

3.  Harri Hemilä and Elizabeth Chalker, Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Review, 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000980

4. Sience, et al. Zinc for the treatment of the common cold: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ July 10, 2012, vol 184 no. 10.

5.  Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH.

6.  Lissiman E, Bhasale AL, Cohen M. Garlic for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Mar 14;3.

7. Harris JC, Cottrell SL, Plummer S, Lloyd D. Antimicrobial properties of Allium sativum (garlic). Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001 Oct;57(3):282-6.