So you want to look young and radiant? Who doesn’t! People are so eager to look younger that they are lining up for injections of Botox in their face. In Hollywood where I live, we especially see a lot of it, and also plenty of Botox injections gone wrong as well. All those people who went through Botox are going to be pretty upset to learn that getting expensive injections in their face was completely unnecessary. They could have just drank their “Botox” instead for just a few cents per serving. No, I’m not talking about some fancy Botox drink. I’m talking about good ol’ bone broth – and amazing skin happens to be one of the benefits of bone broth.
What is Botox anyway?
If you look up “what is Botox” online, one of the first things you will see is Botulinum toxin. Yep, that’s Botox’s real name. The fact that Botox’s name includes “toxin” should be a great big warning sign that you probably don’t want this stuff in your body. You’ll notice that the name resembles “botulism”, that disease you get from eating contaminated foods and causes problems like paralysis and possible death. Well, that is because the Botox toxin causes botulism (source).
Even though Botox is toxic and lethal in high doses, it does have some benefits. Scientists found out that the toxin can cure some conditions like esophagus spasms. Then some doctors hit the jackpot. In the late 1980s, they found out that Botulinum toxin can reduce wrinkles. They did some tests and Botox was approved by the FDA in 2002.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox blocks nerve impulses that tell your muscles to contract. This is why the toxin is good for treating some muscle spasm conditions. In your skin, it works the same way: it stops your skin from contracting. If your skin can’t contract, then it can’t be wrinkled.
Botox injections last for about 3 to 8 months. Then the wrinkles start coming back and you’ve got to go get another injection. Since Botox costs about $800 per treatment, you can end up paying a lot for your eternal youth.
You can find Botox shots for a lot cheaper. But I wouldn’t want to get them done at a cheap doctor (well, actually, I wouldn’t want to do Botox at all…). If not done correctly, Botox can leave you looking like a sinister Frankenstein.
But Wrinkles Aren’t Caused By Muscles!
The real reason that Botox is such a stupid treatment for wrinkles is because wrinkles aren’t caused by muscle contractions. Wrinkles occur when the collagen in your skin breaks down. You know, that stuff which gives your skin its elasticity. As we lose collagen, the skin becomes thinner and creases (aka wrinkles) form. So, if you really want to get rid of wrinkles permanently, you’ve got to increase your collagen levels.
You can apply collagen creams to your face to get rid of wrinkles, but the skin is inferior at absorbing it. There are a lot of oral collagen supplements that you can buy which is slightly better because the collagen is better absorbed. But they are pricey and liquid is always easier to absorb than pills…
So where oh where can we find collagen in nature?
You guessed it! In the skin, bones and joints of (preferably pasture raised) animals!
My all-time favorite source of collagen is bone broth. When you cook down bones, it breaks down the collagen so it becomes more easily digestible (source). This form of cooked collagen is better known to us as gelatin. I love gelatin so much that I even wrote an entire eBook about it, which you can find here: The Gelatin Secret: The Surprising Superfood that Transforms Your Health and Beauty.
Once you’ve cooked down bones to make your gelatin-rich bone broth (get my very simple recipe here), you are left with a nutrient-rich liquid. It isn’t just rich in collagen. It also has:
- Bone marrow (depending on the bones), which is really important for blood health and immunity
- Glycine and proline, which are amino acids that help produce heme (in blood) and glucose, and aid in digestion. They also make your skin look great because they help support collagen.
- Cartilage, which is important for joint health. Especially valuable if you have arthritis.
- Minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Oh, and bone broth also happens to be a digestion superfood. This is because it contains loads of gelatin. Gelatin helps digestion by soothing the GI tract. It also binds with water, which makes it a lot easier to eat cooked foods because water is reintroduced into the food (source).
You might think that digestion doesn’t have anything to do with skin, but this isn’t the case. Your digestive system is in charge of absorbing nutrients (which are obviously important for healthy looking skin), removing toxins (which cause all those nasty breakouts) and keeping you hydrated (dehydration will definitely cause some wrinkles).
If you want to find out more about digestion and beauty, I highly recommend reading the book I like to refer to as the “Skin Bible”: The Skintervention Guide by Liz Wolfe. It is a Purely Paleo Skincare guide which is all about how to naturally get rid of problems like weak hair and nails, acne, and even scars, attacking the issues naturally from the inside and out.
How to Get Your Bone Broth In
I like to sneak bone broth in to as many meals as possible. Soup (like this easy chicken soup) is the obvious choice but you can substitute it in places where you’d usually use water. For example, when I braise some greens, I use a splash of bone broth to give them some moisture and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The liquid will evaporate but the minerals will remain. If you eat grains, I would definitely recommend cooking them in bone broth (and topping them with plenty of butter, but that’s another post). Wanna get hardcore? Sneak the tiniest amount even in popsicles like these sneaky green popsicles. As long as you don’t go overboard, the flavor will go unnoticed and every little bit counts.
If you get bored easily, you may like this book of 30+ bone broth soup recipes which is on sale for less than $6! I have a copy and pull it out regularly.
Bone broth is impossible to overdose on. I highly recommend drinking a mug of it each day like you would your coffee! Add a little sea salt to it and it’s like a cup-o-soup.
I love these travel mugs because they keep my bone broth warm all day long and my peeps at the office need not be subjected to me reheating a mug of soup all day long . (I may or may not have been doing that prior to using this mug).
Ok, so if you don’t want to chug mugs of bone broth, there’s still another option – and it’s delicious!
Grass-Fed Gelatin Gummies
No I’m not talking about these store bought ones. Please don’t buy these, but do read the reviews and laugh your butt off. Gummies made from grass fed gelatin (you can find quality gelatin here) and sweetened with raw honey (instead of refined sugar or chemical sweeteners) are one of the healthiest treats you can have! (here are my recipes for lemon gummies, orange gummies and strawberry lemonade gummies) And they are also something that the entire family can agree on. They’ll think they are eating candy and you know that you’re feeding them bone-building blocks and a gut-healing superfood.
Want dozens of recipes which include gelatin and bone broth? Check out my new eBook The Gelatin Secret. You get recipes, instructions for making bone broth at home, and loads of information about how gelatin nourishes each part of your body.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Do you chug bone broth? Have you noticed improvements in your skin since going paleo? Are there any funky expensive creams you swear by and refuse to give up?
Latest posts by Sylvie McCracken (see all)
- What Everybody Should Know about Gut Flora Dysbiosis - May 27, 2016
- How the Gut-Brain Connection Links to IBS - April 28, 2016
- How the Digestive System Works (and what can go wrong) - April 20, 2016