Why Bone Broth Made Me Feel Worse
Last updated: February 2020
Recently, it seemed like everyone was raving about bone broth. It seemed to cure just about everything that could possible ale you. Enthusiasts were starting their day with a cup of broth, and even completing 24+ hour broth fasts. There were even bone broth restaurants popping up in New York City. The collagen and gelatin extracted from the animal bones during the long cooking process were suggested to be especially healing to the digestive tract... farewell leaky gut!
I decided to give it a try. And what I experienced is not what I expected. I felt worse. Here’s why.
Bone broth is high in histamines
Bone broth is a high histamine food and I was histamine intolerant. I also had SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). This condition is when bacteria that is typically safe to be in the digestive tract starts growing in the wrong area. Bacteria normally grows in the large intestines – not in the small intestines. For a variety of reasons (and some still a mystery), the bacteria from the large intestines starts growing in the small intestines. This can create bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and a host of other symptoms as well. There are specific foods that aggravate the symptoms of SIBO, especially onion and garlic – both of which are common ingredients in flavoring bone broth.
I was having a high histamine food with SIBO-aggravating flavorings (insert insult to injury). It took me a little while to understand why it was happening, because I honestly had such a hard time accepting that something that was so healing for so many people could be “harmful” to my digestive system.
Finding an alternative
Then, I discovered meat broth. This is the same concept, but instead of making the broth with just bones, you can make it with either a whole chicken, or just meat. This is still nutrient rich and gives the digestive system a rest, however; it’s low histamine. Because I was making it at home, I had control over the seasoning so, onion and garlic were obvious omissions. I also made sure that I consumed the broth shortly after cooking it, because leftovers are higher histamine foods. After having this for a period of time (the better part of a year), I’m getting ready to try out traditional bone broth to see if I’m able to tolerate it better now.
Are you ready to try bone broth?
If you’re considering trying bone broth, you could enjoy a cup each day, similar to how you would a cup of tea. You could use it as a base for soup or other cooking recipes. There are even bone broth ice pops that I’ve tried and are tasty.
Have you tried bone broth? Do you make your own or purchase store made? What benefits have you experienced?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):