When it comes to building a functional body, movement and exercise must be supported by good breathing, proper hydration and eating nutrient dense, functional food. I invited Gavin and Candice Stone from Authentic Human to share some of their nutritional principles and nutrient dense recipes with us. This is the first in a series called Functional Food Fridays.
“We have been working with Naudi for over three years now and have developed a great synergy, Naudi helping us with functional realignment to address lower back and knee pain and get in some good solid workouts while we have shared ideas our knowledge and experience with Paleo eating (which Naudi adopted) and now a more personalized way of eating that while still excluding grains/gluten does include potatoes, rice and raw dairy.
We define functional food as that which will provide your body with all the raw materials needed to support a state of well-being, to prevent illness and repair dysfunction. For our first few videos we decided to focus on nutritional therapy which can be useful for those experiencing joint pain like lower back pain, knee pain or shoulder pain. It can also benefit those who have suffered injuries to tendons or ligaments like a torn ACL or LCL. About 80% of our bone and joint structure is composed of collagen. Over time and with excessive use or dysfunctional movement patterns, the collagen in and around joints and that forms ligaments and tendons deteriorates leading to pain.
The most functional food for helping these conditions will provide all the raw materials the body needs to repair and replenish bones, collagen, cartilage and synovial fluid. The best way to get these raw materials is by eating meat on the bone and making bone stocks. When you cook bones in moisture, at a low heat for a long time a process called hydrolytic cleavage occurs. What this means is that the water in and around the meat, when heated act as small knives that break apart the long protein chains and release the nutrients like amino acids, glycine and proline, minerals like Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium and most importantly the glycosaminoglycans, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. You may have heard of glucosamine and chondroitin which are a common supplement combo for arthritis and joint pain. At Authentic Human we believe that it is always better to get what your body needs from food because there is a synergistic effect between all the components that cannot be duplicated in a lab by isolating single nutrients or combining them.
Slow cooking meat on the bone also has another wonderful benefit – it tastes so darn good! There is a scientific explanation for this which is that your taste buds are really small and the hydrolytic cleavage produces molecules called ligands which are small enough to fit into the taste receptors and impart delicious flavor. Typically good complex flavor is a indication of good solid nutrient density. As we say at Authentic Human – Nutritious is Delicious!
Fat is also an important component of a bone-in meal and again nature wins vs supplements because several vitamins are fat soluble which means that they will only be used by your body when attached to fat. A good bone-in braise or stew will include some vegetables like carrots, kale, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower or any of your favorites. The vitamins in these will be packaged with the fat from the meat and go directly where they are needed. As much as 80% of our cell membranes are composed of fat.
Depending on the type of bone-in cut you use, there may also be some marrow which provides the nutrients our bodies can use to build red and white blood cells which are important for oxygen transport and immune system health.
While a meal like the Slow Cooked Oxtail Stew which we demonstrate in our video will have many of these nutrients, the best way to get a super dose is to make bone broth and bouillon. This will be our video demonstration next week.