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  • Heather Woodruff

Gut Healing with Bone Broth & Meat Stock

(Yes, they’re different!)

My heart skipped a beat a few months ago when I spotted a bone broth bar while walking the tourist shops on Salt Spring Island. My IBS specialist brain screamed ‘yes!’ my heart said ‘thank-you universe!’ and of course my belly said ‘I need that!’

Why the strong reaction? Because traditionally made bone broth (and meat stock) are powerful digestive healers.

Before I jump into why I’m obsessed with this liquid gold I want to be clear to you what I actually mean when I say bone broth and meat stock. And to do this I need to explain what I’m NOT talking about which is not bouillon cubes or tetra pack broths/stocks (even the organic ones). Unfortunately these do not have the same health benefits as traditionally made bone broths or meat stocks.

And you may have noticed that I clearly differentiate between bone broth and meat stock. Why? Because they are indeed different and each serve a unique purpose when it comes to healing the gut. Let me break it down for you…

Meat Stock

Is made from meaty bones (lots of meat with only a little bone) and cooked for a relatively short period of time; 3 hours max for poultry and 6 hours max for beef. This produces a very gelatinous stock that is essential for healing and sealing the gut. Meat stock is better for the early stages in a gut healing protocol especially if you also suffer from nervous symptom issues like seizures, headaches, brain fog, confusion, etc. Check out my Beef Meat Stock Recipe.

Bone Broth

It is made from a lot of bones cooked for a long period of time; 12 – 24 hours for poultry and 24 – 72 hours for beef. Bone broth is much higher in amino acids compared to meat stock which is excellent for building a strong digestive track. However the high amounts of glutamic acid can be overwhelming to the body, especially for the brain in the early stages of healing the gut. See my above comments of nervous system symptoms. Check out my Healing Chicken Bone Broth recipe.

In a nut shell start with meat stock until your belly has calmed down before moving to bone broth.

Now on to the incredible healing components of both bone broth and meat stock!


Enhances our digestive secretions (allows you to digest our food more easily). This is especially helpful for heartburn, acid reflux, balancing cholesterol and optimizing fat digestion.


Which is the primary fuel for our intestinal cells (they can’t work, heal or thrive without fuel!). Glutamine also helps to prevent any further gut lining damage.


This is the glue that holds the body together (including our digestive tract) and provides the intestinal lining with much needed nourishment to reduce gut inflammation. As an added bonus it’s great for the skin, joints and bone health.


Research shows that gelatin strengthens the intestinal lining which helps eliminate food sensitivities. This also allows probiotics to thrive in the gut and actually do their job.

Besides all that, bone broth and meat stock are gentle and easy to digest which is essential for those with chronic tummy trouble. You may be eating the healthiest diet in the world, but if your gut is imbalanced you very well may not be digesting all the goodness you are putting in.

A soup made with bone broth or meat stock gives the digestive tract a break allowing it the time and space to heal.

Want to learn more about my therapeutic gut healing program? Book your FREE 30 min call with me by clicking here.

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