Between a global pandemic and our communities opening back up this year, we've got no shortage of conversations about immune health going on around here.
And while many factors can feel out of our control during this time, we have control over so many lifestyle changes and healthy habits that influence our immune system!
In other words, focusing on what we eat, how we move, and how we feel can positively impact our immune system and help us stay healthy.
Terrain theory helps us view our immune health through a new lens. Terrain theory suggests that our immune health may be a reflection of our healthy habits and behaviors rather than simply being susceptible to germs without considering our unique lifestyle influences.
Thus, healthy habits can impact the ‘terrain’ -- our body’s immune response -- and improve our response to infections, viruses, etc in the process.
Recently, we discussed a variety of Ways to Support Your Immune System.
To recap, consider these healthy habits to introduce into your routine:
Choose low-sugar and minimally processed carbohydrates
Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep each night
Practice stress management
Move your body every day
Supplement with key nutrients
And of course… drink bone broth!
You might be wondering, how does bone broth specifically improve our immune health?
We’re so glad you asked!
Bone broth affects our health by restoring a healthy gut environment, providing anti-inflammatory benefits, boosting our hydration status, and increasing our protein intake.
Let’s dive in!
Gut health & Immunity
Bone broth has been shown to heal the mucosal lining of the GI tract and prevent intestinal permeability. Think of our inner gastrointestinal lining as a chain link fence.
Stress, inflammatory foods, and toxins can all wreak havoc on the “links” in the fence and decrease our immune health over time.
One of the magical properties of bone broth is its ability to repair the damaged links and strengthen gut health by reducing inflammation.
Decreased inflammation from the gut lining can play a powerful role in enhancing our immune system! A leaky gut, or a GI tract with increased intestinal permeability, allows foreign particles to slip through the chain link fence.
These particles can trigger our immune system and worsen our body’s response to fighting other inflammatory molecules.
If you have leaky gut or another GI condition, bone broth is a great immune-enhancing addition to your daily routine!
The anti-inflammatory properties of bone broth can also improve immunity. In fact, inflammation is closely tied to immune health - the more inflammation we have, the more work we give our immune system to do.
We see the anti-inflammatory effects of bone broth manifesting themselves through improved joint health and healthy bones.
Bone broth contains many of the compounds that are used to build healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage.
Collagen, gelatin, chondroitin, and glucosamine from bone broth all contribute to joint health and other anti-inflammatory benefits. These compounds work together to decrease inflammation in our joints.
Looking for more info on collagen? We have all your need-to-knows right here.
Glycine and arginine, two key amino acids in bone broth, also have serious anti-inflammatory properties. Further, glycine is well-known for creating a restful night’s sleep, and arginine has been studied widely for its role in reducing blood pressure. Double win!
Sleep & Recovery
Both quantity and quality of sleep are important for immune health. In fact, impaired sleep quality has been shown to significantly lower our immune system and increase our risk of getting sick.
Glycine, one of the amino acids in bone broth, can improve sleep quality.
Quality sleep includes being able to fall asleep easily, staying asleep throughout the night, and creating more REM deep sleep.
Consider drinking one of our bone broth tonics in the evenings for more restful sleep.
Hydration Status & Health
Bone broth is rich in naturally-occurring electrolytes: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus.
Electrolytes are powerful minerals that work to optimally hydrate our cells and improve muscle function. Hydration status is closely linked with a well-functioning immune system. Even more than that, dehydration may influence our bodies ability to fight infections and increase our likelihood of getting sick.
You might wonder why drinking water alone isn’t enough for proper hydration… and that’s an excellent question!
While drinking enough water is a great starting place, without optimal electrolytes, that fluid doesn’t actually make it inside the cell to be used. In other words, electrolytes move water from our interstitial fluid into our cells to optimally hydrate our tissues.
Electrolytes help quench our thirst more than just water alone and can positively impact our brain function, physical stamina, and so much more!
If you’re interested in learning more about bone broth’s hydrating effects, we’ve got you covered!
Protein & Immune Boost
Protein intake has been correlated with a robust immune system that is able to fight infection.
Bone broth is rich in amino acids, like glutamine, arginine, glycine, and proline. All of which have been studied for their role in immunity.
Among the immune health benefits, increased protein intake has been shown to improve weight loss over time, help regulate appetite, and suppress overeating. We're all about a multi-functional sip!
Remember, your lifestyle can influence how resilient your immune system is. Add bone broth to your daily routine to boost your immune system and enjoy its many other benefits while you are at it!
Aside from nutrition, immune health is also affected by how much we move and our stress levels. Consider committing to more movement each day and addressing your stress to round out your immune system health trifecta.
If stress management tends to trip you up, we have you covered with 8 Ways to Decrease Stress today!
Shop with us for better immune health today! Shop our single-flavor 4-packs or build-your-own box today for better immune health!