Struggling with gut problems is not only painful and exhausting, it’s confusing. Some sources claim that superfoods are going to help you deal with all of your gut health problems, others recommend taking supplements for achieving the best results. All these different sources can be difficult to wade through for someone who just wants to feel better.
The first step is to eliminate as many of the root causes of poor gut health as possible. There is no drug or regimen that is going help balance your gut if you’re constantly putting stress on it and damaging it with what you eat and drink.
- Avoid certain foods: Some food types are simply not good for your gut. This includes processed foods, and foods that contain high amounts of sugar, unhealthy oils, gluten, dairy and soy. These foods have an inflammatory effect on a person’s gut.
- Alcohol: This is one of the biggest culprits of leaky gut, and not many people are aware of that fact. Even those who have no problems with their gut are working their way towards developing them if they drink large quantities of alcohol frequently.
- Medical drugs: One of the causes that significantly impacts gut health is medication. Many drugs put a lot of stress on the digestive tract, especially antibiotics, which kill off all the good bacteria with the bad. This is why you often see directives to take with food, and why upset stomach and digestive issues are often listed as side effects. We can’t often choose to not take prescribed medications because our health conditions require them, which is why maintaining a healthy diet is so important, so as not to pile more stress on our gut in addition to the medications we must take.
- Stress Itself: A study published on the US National Library of Medicine clearly shows that stress has a tremendous impact on gut health. Furthermore, gut health is directly connected with our brain activity. The more stress a person is exposed to, the higher the chances of developing a variety of gut disorders.
So, what steps can we take to reboot our gut? Well, one way is through a short bone broth fast.
Bone Broth Fast
The main idea behind any fast is to give the entire digestive system a “break” from having to digest and process food. A bone broth fast is a particularly good way to reboot your gut health; it’s rich in valuable nutrients that your gut and body need while also being very gentle and easy to digest, thus it will cause no stress on the gut and allow it to heal and reset.
Length of fast
To reap the most benefits, the fast should last for 72 hours – three full days. This can be difficult for a couple of reasons. One, our bodies are generally not used to being on a liquid-only diet. Something you can try is to do several shorter fasts to help you and your body get used to the idea. Try a 1-day fast one week, and then a 2-day fast the next instead of just jumping right into a 3-day fast.
The other difficulty is our busy schedules, which can interfere with any attempts at dietary changes, especially one that will likely make you feel light-headed. No one wants to feel hungry and unfocused while trying to work. However, the current COVID-19 health crisis means that right now, many of us are living with shelter-in-place orders, which means we aren’t as on-the-go as normal. This makes it an optimal time to go through a gut health reboot fast.
How to make bone broth
Making a bone broth requires a large pot or crock-pot and plenty of time, because bones need a lot of simmering time to release those powerful nutrients. There are dozens of recipes for bone broth out there; Minimalist Baker has a good one, but feel free to use another if you have one you prefer. Chicken bones require 24 hours to release all the nutrients, whereas beef bones can require up to 48 hours to release them. Once the time has passed, you can put the liquid in a container you will use for the next three days. It is as simple as that.
For those with less time or who prefer not to cook, there are lots of bone broth products you can purchase. Don’t feel guilty if you choose to go this route – these products are just fine.
How to conduct a bone broth fast
You can choose between two different ways to fast.
- The first one is based on solely drinking bone broth at least five times a day. This represents your meals and “snacks.”
- The second is more of an intermittent fast. You drink bone broth throughout the day and have a healthy dinner in the evening.
Both approaches will help you reboot your gut health, but the first one is going to be more effective. When it comes to fasting intervals, it is best to do one bone broth fast every month and add the bone broth to your diet until you run out of supplies. For example:
- Day 1: at least five 12oz cups*
- Day 2: at least five 12oz cups*
- Day 3: at least five 12oz cups*
- Day 4: three 12oz cups of bone broth and two healthy meals
- Day 5: Three 12oz cups of bone broth and two healthy meals
- Day 6: Two 12oz cups of bone broth and three healthy meals
- Day 7: Two 12oz cups of bone broth and three healthy meals
*Drink as much bone broth as you want. There is no limit. Remember, this diet is not about calorie restriction or losing weight. It’s about giving your gut a rest from digesting solid food. Any time you feel hungry throughout the day, have a cup of bone broth. You can also try having the broth in a bowl and using a spoon – this will slow down how quickly you eat/drink, which can be helpful in terms of making the brain feel as though you’ve “eaten” a meal.
Also – the bone broth is not meant to replace water. You should continue to drink water. You do want to avoid all other liquids, including tea and coffee if at all possible. Caffeine can irritate the stomach and again, we’re trying to do everything possible to avoid that.
This seven-day approach will help you completely reset your gut health.