Bone broth has been receiving a lot of attention lately and has even become “trendy” with bone broth bars and cafes popping up on the coasts. The word is out on the health benefits this traditional beverage can bring.
It has been ingrained in our heads that when you are sick, chicken soup is the way to go. Heck, there is even a book attributing the healing benefits to chicken soup in relation to soul healing.
What many don’t realize is that it isn’t just your ordinary, out of the can chicken soup that offers up such touted medicinal beliefs. Those are typically void of any and all nutrients minus sodium and sugar.
So where did this reputation come from? Chicken soup has long been considered a vital part of healing a person who is sick comes from a long history of traditional cultures using homemade bone broth to help restore those who are weak, sick, pregnant, undernourished and pretty much any other “less than healthy” individual. (1)
The health benefits of bone broth are quite astounding and could potentially take the place of some of those supplement bottles lining the shelves of your medicine cabinet. It is chalk full of amino acids glycine and proline, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium that are much more absorbable than your standard supplement. (1)
Aside from the minerals you are most likely familiar with, the medicinal factors in bone broth can be attributed to the high levels of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and gelatin. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are highly recognized in helping inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, colitis, diverticulitis and are commonly sold as supplements for joint pain. (2)
The gelatin found in bone broth is a result of the breakdown of collagen (a protein) from the bones. Gelatin aids in digestion and actually helps your body better utilize the proteins that you consume throughout the day. (1) It has also been claimed for its positive effects during cancer treatment to help rebuild and nourish.
Here is a list of some of the commonly experienced benefits of taking bone broth:
- Regulating digestion
- Improves immune system
- Hydrates body (Kobe Bryant claims to sip on bone broth post workout for recovery)
- Aids in autoimmune/digestive disorders
- Healing leaky gut/allergies
- Balances nervous system
- Muscle repair/growth
- Promotes healthy hair and nail growth
- Promotes strong healthy bones
Bone broth is made by using the left over carcass, marrow bones, ligaments and other parts like oxtail, knuckles and even feet of an animal and letting it simmer in water for a period of 12 to 24 hours. Using apple cider vinegar in the broth is helpful in drawing out the minerals from the bones during the cooking process. Adding in a variety of vegetables including celery, onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, and leeks can help add additional nutrients and electrolyte components, which are very hydrating to the body.
One thing to clear up. It isn’t designated to chicken soup alone.
On the contrary, bone broth can be made from the bones of any animal (beef, bison, chicken, venison, duck, turkey). However, you want to choose organic, grass-fed/pasture raised animals whenever possible.
To consume it, simply warm up a mug and sip on it as you would tea. It makes for a great addition to any meal and can also be used in your favorite dishes to some flavor.
Basic Bone Broth
Yields 1 gallon
Carcass from a chicken/turkey/duck OR 3-4 lbs beef/soup bones
2 carrots roughly chopped
3-4 stalks celery chopped
2 onions chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 bunch parsley
10 pepper corns
Choice of herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
- Place all ingredients in a stock pot or crock pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
- Allow stock to simmer for 12-24 hours.
- Using a strainer or mesh colander, strain stock and discard the solids (vegetables, herbs, etc.)
- Allow stock to cool before transferring to containers.
- Place in fridge (uncovered) for several hours to until the fat rises to the top. Scrape off fat with a spoon and discard or use later for sautéing vegetables.
- Keep stock in fridge for 7 days or freeze for later use.
*TIP: Fill an ice cube tray with stock for easy individual use in soups, stews or just a quick warm cup.