The Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth has been a healing food staple in various traditional cultures for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the broth bought in stores today (even the most expensive and organic) is almost completely void of the nutrients that the original provides, and in the worst cases has additives, chemicals and too much sodium. The reason why we all crave chicken soup when we’re sick is because of the amazing healing powers of bone broths, but for the benefits the broth MUST be homemade.
Nutritional Benefits of REAL Bone Broth
Lydia at Divine Health has done an amazing job of summarizing the hundreds of pages of benefits you could find on the subject. Below are some of the highlights, but click here for the full post if you want to dig in further-
- The gelatin in bone broth assists digestion by attracting digestive juices and preventing gastrointestinal bugs from attaching themselves to the gut wall. It has also been shown to help heal prior damage to the gut lining and offering relief for those with IBS, Chrohn’s disease and other digestive disorders.
- Bone broth contains minerals such as calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorous & trace minerals in an easily assimilable form. These minerals are pulled out of the bones in part due to using a vinegar solution prior to cooking. The vinegar helps to draw the mineral salts out of the bone.
- Chinese studies have shown gelatin to increase red blood cell and hemoglobin count, increase serum calcium level, increase the absorption and utilization of calcium, and prevent and treat myotonia atrophica (muscle wasting).
- The gelatin in bone broths assist in neutralizing whatever poison is causing problems during an intestinal bug or flu.
- Bone broth could be considered a liver tonic (or liver supportive). Broth helps the body to detoxify the body and is a great way to cleanse your system.
- Broth also contains, Chondroitin Sulfate, a jellylike substance, now famous as a supplement for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. It functions to support and provide adhesiveness. It lines blood vessels and plays a role in lowering atherosclerosis, cholesterol and heart attacks.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re interested in health and healing your body from the inside out- BUT we all want to look good too (all about honesty here!). The collagen in bone broth also can have an amazing affect on your skin and body tone (you read it right!).
The smoothness of your skin comes from an abundance of connective tissue more than anything else. Without this, you can get premature wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite. Give your body enough connective tissue support, and these things can be avoided and/ or reversed. Women genetically have less of this (which is why women have more cellulite than men) but ever see a thin person with lots of cellulite?!? This is a connective tissue issue- not a fat issue. Add in collagen through bone broth and support your connective tissue!!
So how do you make a bone broth at home? It’s super easy actually…
- Take either discarded bones from a meal (I love using the bones from a chicken after roasting) or you can buy them extremely cheap from your local butcher or grocery store. Always opt for organic and pasture raised to maximize nutrient content! Bones rich in marrow- ribs, feet, vertebrae, skull, etc. offer the biggest nutritional bang, but they’ll all work and feel free to combine bones from different animals.
- I use a slow cooker but you can use a standard stock pot if you’d like. Cover the bones with filtered water until well covered. Add in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (this step is key to pull the nutrients from the bones). Feel free to add in any veggies or herbs to spice up the flavor (I like adding onion, celery and garlic into ours).
- Once everything is combined, bring the liquid to a boil then turn to low and simmer for a LONG time. The longer the better, you’ll get more nutrients out. Minimum 24 hours for any broth, chicken can go up to 48 hours, beef up to 72 hours.
- Once done, let your broth cool a bit then transfer to jars for storage. In the fridge, a perfect broth will turn gelatinous when it cools. If yours doesn’t, it’s still a nutritional powerhouse, just add some more vinegar and simmer longer next time.
Your broth should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can freeze it to use later.
Many cultures drink broth on its own (for all the nutritional benefits above, duh!!) but if that’s too much for you, use yours in soups, stews or any other recipe that calls for broth. It will take a little more time than buying a box at the store, but a good broth is one of the best things you can do for your body and feel great from the inside out!!
For additional reading on the subject…