Keep The Collagen… Do Not Toss That Turkey!!!!

In comes the food coma from Thanksgiving dinner and all that Tryptophan from the turkey. It is just so good how can you stop eating??!! After such a gluttonous meal, what do you do with the turkey bones afterward? Personally, in my memories I recall them getting tossed. It seems so silly to go to the store and purchase chicken and turkey broth as a base for soups and many recipes when one can be made out of what is thrown in the trash. It took me many adult years of cooking to learn this valuable tip from a friend

There are many benefits to making your own broth other than the cost savings (though that is important too!). There are many healing and anti-aging properties of making bone broth. Bone broth contains many cell-energizing nutrients.

Do you want increased pliability in your muscles and younger more supple looking skin? Think Collagen!! Collagen is an important component of bone and creates much of the matrix that holds the minerals together. This collagen also contains a significant supply of amino acids which are important building blocks all your cells. When you cook bone broth for a long time, the collagen in the bones turn into gelatin and here is how it helps you:

  • Strengthens Your skin. Collagen is like natural Botox; erasing wrinkles and reversing sagging and stretch marks on the skin and improves overall elasticity. It also stimulates the growth of healthy hair and nails.
  • Fights Inflammation. Research shows that even basic chicken soup helps to calm down inflammation by preventing pro-inflammatory immune cells called neutrophils from moving to an inflamed area. The glycine in the collagen rich gelatin is an amino acid that has many important roles one of which is suppressing local and systemic inflammation. These anti-inflammatory benefits may also help with symptom reduction for autoimmune disorders.
  • Heals Your Gut. Research indicates that the collagen/gelatin strengthens the gut walls and decreases damage from excess acid while increasing protective mechanisms such as the slippery mucus lining on the inside of the digestive tract.

Surprisingly, bone broth is NOT high in one mineral you would expect: Calcium. However, the calcium that is present in bone broth is highly bioavailable (meaning it is exceptionally easy for the body to absorb and utilize). There are many other minerals contained in bone broth including phosphorus and magnesium. If you make fish bone broth then iodine can be added to that list but I will not go into that here since this is all about TURKEYS!!!

When Magnesium and Calcium are adequately balanced they maintain proper tension in the muscles. Too much calcium and the muscles are easily excited causing increased tension and tightness. Excessive magnesium can create loose and sloppy muscles that may be difficult to strengthen. Magnesium also helps with nerve conduction, enhances your digestion and helps with skin repair. Typically the American diet creates more of Magnesium deficiency vs a Calcium deficiency. Phosphorous plays a critical role in energizing your cells and helps activate enzymes to assist with digestion and assimilation of your food in the digestive tract.

This nutrient dense broth also contains important components that protect and repair joints. The joints are the places where the bones in your body meet. These joints contain cartilage, which is like a slippery Teflon coating allowing the surfaces to glide on one another without grinding. Animal bones contain cartilage too! (the stuff at the end of the turkey drumstick is cartilage). In addition to being rich in collagen building blocks, cartilage is packed with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. These nutrients are building blocks for healthy, spongy cartilage in your own body and the hyaluronic acid lubricates both the muscles and the joints allowing everything to move smoother. Hyaluronic acid also hydrates the skin, helping to erase fine wrinkles.

You can obtain an abundant supply of four key amino acids – glycine, proline, arginine and glutamine – from bone broth since they are building blocks of collagen. Glycine has multiple benefits:

  • Plays a key role in the liver detoxification pathway to help remove toxins out of the body
  • Reduces oxidative damage
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity, making it easier for your body to burn fat (so much for putting on a few pounds from all that turkey you ate!)
  • Assists in the regulation of human growth hormone, which powers up fat burning (again… help with reducing the extra pounds from a gluttonous Thanksgiving meal!)
  • Helps facilitate restorative sleep

The body requires a good supply of proline, arginine and glutamine to keep the muscles, joints, gut and skin healthy. Proline assists your body in synthesizing proteins, metabolizing foods, healing wounds and protection against oxidative stress. Arginine has wound healing properties, has been shown to help with erectile dysfunctions and may protect the delicate tissues of the brain from degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimers. Glutamine is a powerful healer of the gut and may even help protect against ulcers.

Just WOW!!!! All these benefits from something you would normally toss in the trash!!! There are a lot more things you can add to increase the nutrient density of your bone broth and if you are interested, I encourage you to do some research and discover this on your own. Such a discussion can get quite lengthy and goes outside of the general scope of this article.

As fantastic as it is to be able to utilize these throw away remains; it may not be something you can do consistently to get the adequate collagen to effectively repair your muscles, joints and other soft tissues such as skin, ligaments and tendons. All of these tissues completely rebuild themselves in less than 6 months; therefore, having the correct building blocks allows for adequate tissue repair by creating cells that function optimally. Supplementing with good nutrients may be helpful to get you a continuous supply of healthy building blocks. I have used and recommended Natures Sunshine to others for many years for multiple reasons. Results are consistent and reliable and I appreciate their diligence on quality control are two of the main reasons. If you are interested in learning more about Natures Sunshine quality control click here to check out the short video at the top of my website.

Some suggestions I utilize to replace bone broth with the nutrients include obviously Collagen, a multivitamin for the minerals along with many other vitamins and Everflex for the glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid for the joints. Everflex also contains MSM which helps reduce inflammation. There are two suggestions for Natures Sunshine multivamin; the Synerpro and the Time Release. I like the Time Release since it gives sustained delivery of vitamins and minerals to nourish your body over time; however, it is a bit more expensive and does not contain as much calcium, phosphorous or magnesium as the Synerpro. You may have to make a judgement call on what you feel is best for your body.

I hope you have found this article to be helpful in making healthy decisions for yourself and your family while allowing you to make the most of your Turkey for Thanksgiving! If you want additional direction or have concerns regarding any specific health challenges; contact me for a consultation via email at The first 15 min is complementary and can be done as a video conferencing call or over the phone per your choice. I look forward to connecting with you and assisting you further in attaining your personal health goals.

In Abundant Health,


About Lisa Marie Keller

Lisa Marie Keller wants to live in a world where it is commonplace to dance to the music of life. As a pain management specialist, she's been working as a Physical Therapist resolving the pain of her patients for a variety of conditions including but not limited to chronic back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain foot pain and even headaches for over thirteen years. Following seven years of traditional schooling and more years than she would like to remember at the School of Hard Knocks resolving her own pain and body dysfunctions she has become the Queen of Conquering Pain. When she’s not pondering on how to solve the next health dilemma, you can find her dancing around in her living room to music that is played much too loud, making snobby comments about amazing wine and fantasizing about where she is going to travel to next. Her first book — Free My Back — hit the Amazon Marketplace in August 2014. You can get a free e-book version of Free My Back by registering at
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