This fantastic article was written by Sarah Biren, a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. We encourage you to check out her website here!
It can be hard to keep up with food trends. Remember the days of sweet potato toast and cauliflower pizza crust all over the Internet? Yet, some things never go out of style. Bone broth has been an ancient remedy across countless cultures and known to heal anything from a common cold to an upset stomach.
We all know that bone broth clears the sinuses, but the benefits don’t end there. Nutrition researchers Kayla Daniel and Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation found that bone broths contain easily-absorbable minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, and sulphur. They also have chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are compounds that are often converted into concentrated supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain.
The major benefits of bone broth include:
- Improves joint health
Bone broth is one of the best sources of collagen, a protein found in animals, which is cooked into the broth and helps restore cartilage. The gelatin component of this broth acts like cushion between the bones and prevents friction that results in pain. Research by the Department of Nutrition and Sports Nutrition for Athletics at Penn State University showed that when athletes consumed collagen for 24 weeks, the majority of the subjects improved in joint comfort and performance.
- Overcome food intolerances and allergies
Gelatin strengthens the gut lining and aids the growth of probiotics and good bacteria in the gut, restoring healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract. The nutrients in broth are also easily absorbable and supports intestinal health.
- Maintains healthy skin and reduces cellulite
Collagen forms compounds within your skin that maintains youthful texture and appearance. It reduces signs of aging like wrinkles and puffiness, and can help reduce cellulite.
- Heals leaky gut syndrome
Collagen, amino acids, and other compounds in the broth seal fractures in the gut lining which effectively heals a leaky gut.
- Supports detoxification
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Nowadays, we are exposed to a variety of toxins from pesticides to artificial ingredients. Bone broth is a powerful detoxifier which helps the liver expel waste and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.
- Aids the metabolism
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, in bone broth supports a healthy metabolism by building and repairing muscle tissue, sending nutrients to our cells, supporting bone mineral density, and maintaining muscle and tissue health. (1)
How To Make Bone Broth
Many canned or other store-bought versions of bone broth are made with MSG, and lack gelatin and all other healthy properties of homemade. Luckily, this soup is easy to make; just make sure you are using high quality bones from grass-fed cattle, pastured poultry, and wild-caught fish. You can use the bones from other recipes where you roast meat or chicken.
The trick for a perfect bone broth is to simmer the soup for a long time. As in, a seriously long time. For fish broth, the pot simmers for 8 hours. For chicken, 24 hours. For beef, 48. It sounds crazy, but the result will be well worth it.
Vegans may be wondering if there is a way they can benefit from this soup. There are natural foods that promote collagen production like seaweed, celery, soybeans, beets, kale, and spinach which can be cooked for a vegan bone broth. (2)
Recipe for Bone Broth
- 2 pounds of grass-fed bones; choose between beef, chicken or fish
- 1 gallon water
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- additional herbs and spices to taste
- 2 cloves garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking
- If you are using raw bones, especially beef, roast them for 30 minutes in 350 degrees for optimal flavor.
- Place the bones in a large pot and add the water and vinegar. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid accentuates the nutrient absorption in the bones.
- Chop and add the vegetables to the pot along with any salt, pepper, or spices you are using.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Remember the simmering times:
- Beef – 48 hours
- Chicken – 24 hours
- Fish – 8 hours
- During the first few hours of cooking, remove the impurities that float to the top. Scoop out the foamy layer with a spoon. Grass-fed and healthy animals produce less of this gunk than conventional meats.
- During the last 30 minutes, add the parsley and garlic if using.
- Remove the pot from heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain with a fine metal strainer to remove the bones and vegetables. When the broth is cool enough, store in in glass jars in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later.
You can use this homemade broth as a base in soups, stews, sauces, and gravies, or drink a cup of it daily as an effective health boost. (3)
- Dr. Axe. Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite. https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/ Accessed: September 28, 2017
- Jill Ettinger. This Vegan ‘Bone Broth’ Recipe is Way Healthier for You Than the Other Stuff. http://www.organicauthority.com/a-vegan-bone-broth-recipe/ Published: December 14, 2014. Accessed: September 28, 2017
- Katie – Wellness Mama. How to Make Health-Boosting Bone Broth. https://wellnessmama.com/5888/bone-broth/ Updated: September 1, 2017. Accessed: September 28, 2017
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