The Secret Ingredient for Immune Support
As temperatures begin to dip and pumpkin-spice everything returns, so does the dreaded flu and cold season.
Want to kick the ick this fall? Or, better yet, be prepared before the season hits? Nutrients in bone broth can help support immune system function, long before armies of germs begin to assemble.
Remember when you got sick as a child, and mom would make you chicken noodle soup?
Turns out, mom really does know what’s best. Beyond being way more tasty than a spoonful of cough syrup, this super-soup has incredible wellness properties that science can back. (Especially when it’s made with bone broth!)
Have you ever noticed how you can breathe easier after a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup?
In a study where participants drank chicken soup, they were found to have more increased airflow than those who drank warm water. The test showed that the combination of the aroma, flavor, and nutrients inside the soup and broth help boost the body’s ability to open airways and increase mucus flow from the nose.
This ‘loosening’ property can be attributed to the secret ingredient for immune support: amino acids.
Specifically, the amino acid cysteine; which is very similar to a common medication with the same property, but it’s operating in a more natural form.
Amino Acids: Like Legos, But You Eat Them
Meet your new best friend: amino acids, the building blocks of life (that don’t hurt as much when you step on them).
Quickly explained, amino acids are the organic compounds that combine to form proteins. The human body uses amino acids to make the proteins that help the body break down food.
Well, that’s cool…but how do they help a runny nose?
Amino acids — such as glycine and glutamine found in bone broth — play a key role in regulating immune response and instructing immune cell function. A deficiency of amino acids can impair immune function and increase susceptibility to bacteria, viruses, and all of the super fun things they bring.
Everyone loves an infectious disease, amiright?
These dietary proteins play an important role in our immune response by:
- Regulating the activation of certain immune cells, or lymphocytes, that defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells.
- Promoting ‘Lymphocyte proliferation,’ which means helping increase the number of lymphocytes or immune cells available to help fight off foreign bodies.
- Producing antibodies, cytokines, and other cytotoxic substances, which all play a broad role to help immune system responses.
Diet plays an essential role in providing the amino acids to build the proteins the body needs to maintain an effective immune response. The human body cannot compensate for a diet lacking in certain ‘essential’ proteins, so It is important to include food rich in amino acids when strengthening the immune system.
Amino acids also play a powerful role in keeping the immune system in check by aiding in digestion and helping to keep the gut working properly.
Go With Your Gut
Did you know your gut is the first line of defense for the immune system?
Our gut is filled with good bacteria that help with digestion and interact with immune system function. Alterations of these gut microbes can alter immune regulation and – in the worst cases – can lead to autoimmune disorders.
So it’s important to give it the correct weapons to fight off invaders and protect the gut barrier from becoming damaged. Ever heard of “leaky gut”? A bacterial imbalance can cause our gut’s barrier to become damaged or “leaky,” disrupting immune function. A poor diet consisting of sugar, genetically modified foods (GMO), dairy products, and unsprouted grains can lead to an imbalance between the harmful and helpful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
The amino acids found in bone broth may help protect that gut barrier. And as an added bonus, amino acids in bone broth are in their natural form, making them easier to absorb.
Eating foods rich in amino acids helps stabilize the gut and allows better absorption of vital nutrients to keep the body’s ultra-nemesis at bay: inflammation.
The Anti-Inflammatory Ally
Inflammation occurs when the body’s white blood cells go into overdrive to protect it from bacteria and viruses.
Sounds pretty helpful, right?
But here’s the rub. An inflammatory response can also occur when the body is not injured and doesn’t have an infection. Sometimes, immune system cells begin to destroy healthy organs, arteries, and joints. No Bueno.
Ever heard the saying, “Food is Medicine”? Your diet plays a key role in preventing inflammation. And as you may have also heard, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Luckily, the amino acids found in bone broth, including glycine, cysteine, glutamine, and arginine, have strong anti-inflammatory effects. In bone broth versus a supplement, these highly bioavailable amino acids are in their natural, easy-to-absorb form, allowing them to reduce inflammation in many forms, including the upper respiratory tract, allergies, food sensitivities, asthma, and arthritis.
Reducing inflammation allows the immune system to respond more effectively when a virus or bacteria enters the body.
Anti-inflammatory responses can also be improved by reducing stress, exercising, and sleeping.
You Snooze, Or You Lose
How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Odds are, not enough. (No, falling asleep to Netflix in bed doesn’t count.)
A good night’s sleep is essential in supporting the immune system. While we’re dozing, the body’s immune system is working round the clock to release cytokines (proteins that assist in communication among immune and non-immune cells) which help promote sleep. When an infection is present, inflammation, or stress, these cytokines may need to be increased to help the immune system respond. But if the body is sleep-deprived, cytokine production may drop, leaving it more susceptible to illness. Plus, lack of sleep equals lower production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells.
So make that pillow time count.
Bone broth contains glycine, an amino acid that supports the Central Nervous System (CNS). When taken before bed as a supplement, studies show glycine may support sleep quality. It’s even more effective when paired with other sleep-supportive nutrients, like calcium and magnesium.
And if you do get sick, lack of sleep can also impact how long it takes to recover from an illness. So remember: if you catch a cold, catch some zzzs.
Take a Deep Breath
Before the season hits, now is the time to start preparing the body’s immune responses and building up those anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents. Sipping bone broth daily, starting now, is a better move than waiting for a cold to strike.
If you DO find yourself under the weather, it’s time to get sipping even more. Reaching for bone broth can help soothe symptoms and provide comfort when you’re not feeling your best.
Consumer reviews, testimonials and opinions are based on the experiences of individual Kettle & Fire consumers. Kettle & Fire is not suggesting that any individual consumer’s experience with our products is representative of the experience of others. These testimonials are voluntarily provided and are not paid for or offered in exchange for free products..