I’m here with Rachel Jesson. She’s a health food specialist and she is in practice with Ian Craig who heads up our fitness column in the magazine, Natural Medicine. He wrote an article recently Rachel, ‘Nourishing your connective tissue’. Welcome. Thank you. And please explain, why nourish the connective tissue? Because it’s such a specific thing. Nourish your body, nourish your brain – I could relate. But nourish your connective tissue? Well, your connective tissue is basically holding you together, so it’s a vital thing to be nourishing. And one of the main ingredients would be the collagen. So a good nourishing-form of supplementation would be something like a good grass-fed stock. We’re looking at going with a very gelatinous form of stock. I would avoid buying commercially bought stock. You could go to an organic outlet, if you’re unable to make it yourself. It’s incredibly easy. It’s the cheapest cuts of meat where you create your stock, put a lot of vinegar in it with some distilled water and then you let it sit for two or three days and then you strain it all. You then get this end product of this gorgeous stock. The more gelatinous it is, the better it’s going to be for you. So it’s just something that you add to your meal plan, your food. Absolutely. It’s not a collagen supplement that you now also have to take, or can you? It is a collagen supplement – that’s the thing! It’s packed with chondroitin, glucosamine. But I mean it’s not a supplement in a pill form or powder form. You can make it yourself. No. It’s the best thing your body knows! Your body can assimilate it – it’s the easiest thing. They give stocks to people who don’t have teeth to help with the protein and the recovery. It’s just the best bio-available form of food that your body absolutely knows how to assimilate and know what to do with as opposed to a synthetic version. Right. So you got me there with the don’t have teeth. Are you talking about people who don’t have teeth due to malnourishment? Due to illness? Whatever. People that are lacking nutrition because they can’t chew their food? Or if they have a kidney disease. Or if they’re on a special GAPs diet. Any restriction of diet often includes some form of a stock. I’m not only talking beef stock or a venison stock. We’re talking fish, you know. If you add the fish heads into a stockpot. And you have an underactive thyroid, say, you’re getting the thyroid from that fish. So it’s incredibly beneficial. It’s nourishing to your thyroid gland so it’s supplying and helping you with those hormones. Again, it could be a gorgeous vegetable stock filled with seaweeds and a host of vegetables. I’d like to hear more about that. Good. Mushrooms, the shiitake mushrooms and all the beneficial mushrooms, then you boil that up and strain it all. The you use bits of heads of carrots, skins of onions and garlic –you just throw the whole thing in. It’s dead easy. So it’s like a really good soup? It is except it’s strained, so you won’t have the bobs floating about. You strain that all out and you could either drink it. If you really want to have a cup of if which is absolutely fine and really good for you if you do have, you flavour it a bit more. I was just going to ask you. Yes. Also if you’re going for chicken. Absolutely! Whatever you’re growing in your garden preferably, fresh, you can pop that into your stockpot as it’s going. And then you just create a flavour, you might want to sprinkle some quality salt and pepper – anything that’s going at that particular time. Or if it’s over a three-day period you pop stuff in. It doesn’t just have to be animal-specific. Right. So you can add some chicken with some vegetables. You create your own. Whatever works for you. And sometimes it’s good to have a little notebook so that when you actually get it perfect, you’ll know what you’ve done. So are we talking a little bit about bone broth as well now? Bone broth and stock, there seems to be quite a ‘no-one really knows’. They use broth in the culinary version. Chefs would use a broth. And a broth is literally just a clear fluid made from an animal. So you boil up the bones, you strain it and it’s actually a clear fluid so they’ve done something to create the clarity in the broth. Whereas stock is you’ve got bits (little bits) – so, it’s not clear. You know what I mean? And then you’ve got the more gelatine in it because the more cartilaginous bits you use. You’re probably using more bones in the broth and more knuckles, ears, hooves and stuff in the actual stock. So it’s really much of a muchness. What they really do though is it’s incredibly kind on your gut, stock. Very-very nourishing, we live in a depleting world. We’re looking at a very replenishing food. A stock should be standard in hospitals as a form of hospital food. Because it’s better than what they feed you. Absolutely. A jelly and a custard is not going to heal you but stock is going to heal you. Often you find that with being in a hospital that they force you to be on antibiotics and you’re unable to eliminate. So, the stocks – you’ll know when you’ve had stock because your elimination is fantastic. If three hours after that hearty meal. And you can use it you don’t have to drink it as it is. Use it when you make curries. Use it if you’re doing a mince/spaghetti Bolognese dish. Use it in your soups. It’s got a huge list. As ice blocks which I think I’ve spoken about before in smoothies. Or just over grains that you’ve cooked up. Not even. You can actually cook your rice or your beans in the stock and you’re amplifying the nutritional density of the food just by doing that. So we’re talking about two things here, I think. And the one is about boosting your nutrition, especially when you’ve been ill so for convalescence, but also this article on connective tissue. What prompts a person to think, ‘Oh. My connective tissue needs to be nourished right now’? Is it mostly athletes that think that way? No. It could be anybody even who’s just had an injury. If you sprained your ankle because you tripped over the dog or you fell in the drain by mistake or whatever. Right. And you’ve actually hurt yourself. A little alarm bell is going and you’re thinking, ‘I really need to do something. How am I going to make myself feel better without taking a horrible pharmaceutical to make myself feelbetter?’ So, strengthen your body? Absolutely. And what happens is we all have scar tissue – some form of scar tissue – somewhere where we’ve hurt ourselves. And that scar tissue needs to be nourished even more than the regular connective tissue because it’s a mesh of fibres, it’s not smooth. It’s all intertwined almost like a ball. So we really want to look after that. And you would do that through massage, some nice cross friction to try and get those fibres aligned again. And again with what you put in. And again we want clean blood, you know. So nice green juices, it’s a good cleaner for your body and for your blood. When you’re nourishing your connective tissue, you’re giving it clean good wholesome blood. You’re also getting it the ability to clear out toxins because the connective tissue traps a lot of toxins. Absolutely. But you do need the good stuff. You do need the chondroitin. You need the glucosamine. You need all that (the MSM) that comes from food. That’s got to be available. And amino acids as well as good foods, high in vitamin C that are really going to boost your body to get that healing process and the nourishing process all over your body from head to toe. Great. Thank you. You’re welcome. Thank you very much, Rachel.