There are many dietary belief systems these days, all of which purport to be the best. But do they support healthy teeth? In this first article of a series, we’ll take a closer look at a typical recipe in the diet of those who favour a paleo type approach – bone broth. A staple item in cooking many other recipes, bone broth delivers a powerhouse of nutrients that support healthy teeth and bones. Let’s have a look.
When choosing a dietary approach, it can be hard to decide which direction to choose. Of course as dentists, we favor any diet that cuts down on excess sugar and carbohydrates, as these also convert to sugar in the mouth. Sugar is a key factor in the proliferation of the oral bacteria that produce cavity-causing acids.
There are some basic principles that seem to carry across to many healthy dietary systems. Keeping in mind that some diets may exclude whole categories of foods, these include the following:
- – plenty of fresh produce, organic or locally grown with minimal pesticides, if possible
- – no antibiotics, chemical preservatives, or unnecessary additives or fillers in meats and dairy products
- – minimal added sugars and processed carbohydrates
Bone Broth – What Is It and Why Should I Make It?
Bone broth is, quite simply, a nutrient-rich broth that is made from fresh meat bones. We found a terrific recipe that includes a comprehensive analysis of the benefits of this delicious soup here.
Bone broth can be made from the bones of almost any animal, as long as the animal has been raised in a healthy, humane manner. The goal is to derive the nutritional value from the animal, not take in unhealthy antibiotics or other food additives, nor support the factory-farmed animal industry. Typical bones come from beef, lamb, venison, chicken, turkey or pork. Also important are marrow bones, oxtail and the ones simply known as “soup bones.”
The benefits of making and using bone broth in other recipes lie in the abundance of nutrients it provides. These include minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium, all in forms that your body can assimilate easily. It also contains more of the important amino acids glycine and proline than the usual cuts of meat we consume. You’ve heard of chondroitin and glucosamine, the supplements that are sold to reduce joint pain and inflammation? Bone broth is also rich in these.
Other benefits include the presence of collagen, a protein that is found in bone marrow, cartilage, ligaments and tendons of bones such as knuckles and feet. The collagen creates gelatin, which helps to reduce bone loss, and the glycine and proline are great for building up the immune system. Now it makes sense why chicken soup is such a favorite home remedy, right? Our grandmothers knew what they were talking about…
As far as its direct impact on teeth, we know for certain that calcium and phosphorous are essential for healthy, strong teeth. Bone broth is a great non-vegetarian option for people who choose to stay away from dairy products, the most popular and familiar source of calcium.
Incorporating Bone Broth Into Your Diet
The nice thing about bone broth is that it becomes the basic stock for almost any soup or stew. You use it in place of pre-packaged broth or soup stock, as it is much more nutritious. It makes a great base for onion soup, chili, beef stew or any other hearty dish. It can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen for later use. And how great to incorporate something into your regular diet that supports your oral health so completely! Think about using bone broth as a way to maintain healthy, strong teeth.
People who regularly use bone broth have made it a staple item in their kitchen. Like anything else, once you get used to the quality of the homemade version, it’s hard to go back to the kind that comes in a can.
Let us know if you try using bone broth – we’d love to hear your recipe suggestions!