Bone broth has been touted as a “cure-all” and the most recent “superfood”. It has a long-standing history as a comforting and healing food that I believe most could benefit adding to their diet. It is one part of an Eating for Health diet.

Four reasons to consider adding bone broth to your diet:

  1. Bioavailable collagen
  2. Bioavailable nutrients
  3. Less waste, good for your budget
  4. Healthy flavor enhancer

History

Bone broth is actually an ancient food. Our hunter-gather ancestors prepared it as a means of using every part of the animal; and in doing so, they reaped the benefits of this nutritious food. Looking back in history, you will find that almost every society has used broths or stocks for the healing properties.

Health Benefits

Bone broth can be beneficial for joint health, strong hair, skin, teeth, and nails, weight loss, digestive disorders, and even mental health.

So what makes bone broth so “good” besides the yummy comfort food that it is? There are a few ingredients in bone broth that are great for our bodies. The first two are collagen and gelatin. Collagen is the “glue” that holds our bodies together. Collagen and gelatin are believed to promote healing of wounds, soft tissue, to support the formation and repair of cartilage and bone tissue.

Amino acids are another component of bone broth. They are the building blocks to support, heal, and grow our bodies. These amino acids are in a more bioavailable (absorbable) form for your body to receive as nourishment.

Some of the Amino Acids found in bone broth.

  • Glycine is essential for the synthesis of collagen, supports detoxification, decreases oxidative stress, helps fight cancer, supports neurological function, supports wound healing, improves insulin sensitivity, and supports immune function.
  • Glutamine assists the body in gut health and immunity.
  • Proline is a fundamental part of collagen and cartilage production.
  • Alanine serves important functions in athletic performance, maintenance of blood glucose, supports liver function, and immune function.

Bone broth is pretty easy to make. Yes, it takes a little time to get started, but once the cooking has started, it is matter of just keeping an eye on it. For me, I find it easier to make it in the crock pot versus on the stove top. There are MANY recipes available online and in books.  Authors may not agree on all techniques and ingredients for making bone broth, so trying different recipes can be an adventure. Here is a simple recipe to get you started on making bone broth. This recipe could be used as a sipping broth, base for a soup, or used when cooking rice or grains.

Chicken Bone Broth

Yield: 3-5 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
  • 2 chicken feet, optional
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4-6 quarts of cold, filtered water (enough to cover the bones)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Note all ingredients should be organic when possible.
  2. Check the inside of the chicken for any plastic bags that may contain the giblets/neck. Remove the bag, retrieve the giblets, and use them in the recipe.
  3. Place the chicken, apple cider vinegar, and water in a slow cooker. The water should cover the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Periodically skimming any "scum" or "foam" from the top.
  5. Remove the whole chicken and let cool. Remove the meat from the bones. Refrigerate the meat which can be used in other recipes. Place the bones back in the broth, add the vegetables and herbs, then continue cooking for another 2 to 5 hours. Add water as needed. Do not boil, only simmer. (I like to remove the meat at the 8 hour mark so it does not dry out. Also, I find that adding the vegetables in the last 2 to 5 hours produces a better taste. Vegetables can give the broth an over-cooked taste if in the stock too long.)
  6. When the broth is done cooking, turn off the heat and cool slightly. Remove all solids with tongs or a slotted spoon. Bones can be reused two more times. I keep them in a bag in the freezer until ready to use again.
  7. Filter the remaining broth with a fine mesh strainer. Discard filtered solids and refrigerate the broth in glass containers.
  8. Once broth is chilled, a fat layer will form. This can be removed and used in cooking.
  9. When reheating, never boil, just simmer. If desired, add salt and seasonings when reheating.
  10. Store in glass containers in refrigerator up to one week or in the freezer up to three months. If you are going to freeze the broth, use wide mouth jars ONLY and leave 1 to 2 inch head room for expansion.
http://www.chroniclesinhealth.com/index.php/2018/01/25/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth/

Tips for Making Bone Broth

Use the best quality bones and vegetables you can obtain. This is especially important for the bones. Commercially raised animals will have been given antibiotics, this is something you do not want to “pull” from the bones. Grass-fed/pasture-raised animal bones and organic, when available, will produce the most nutritious bone broth.

Roasting bones before adds flavor and a deeper color to your broths, but it is not necessary. Experiment with roasted and unroasted to see which you like better.

Wrap-up

For me, I have been using bone broth for over a year now, but just these past couple of months have I added it to my daily diet. I believe it is helping with some joint pain that I have been experiencing, especially in our cold Minnesota winters.

Now if you don’t have the time to make bone broth, there are many companies that are producing this healing food for purchase. EPIC and Kettle and Fire are a couple of brands that can be found in stores or online. You want to make sure the ingredients are grass-fed/pastured-raised and organic and no added ingredients like flour or rice.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will add healing bone broths to your diet. Do you regularly use bone broth? What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Sources

  • Harvey, K. (2016). Bare Bones Broth Cookbook. Harper Wave. New York, NY.
  • MacSharry, G. (2012, May). Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease. Retrieved from https://www.consultantnutritionist.com/General-Health-Nutrition/Traditional-Bone-Broth-in-Modern-Health-and-Disease.html.
  • Morell, S. (2014). Nourishing Broth. Grand Central Life & Style. New York, NY.
  • Petrucci, K. (2015). Bone Broth Diet. Rodale. New York, NY.
  • Resnick, A. (2015). Bone Broth Miracle. Skyhorse Publishing. New York, NY.
  • Skinner, E. (2017). The Bone Broth Miracle Diet. Skyhorse Publishing. New York, NY.
  • Wilson, Q. (2016). Bone Broth: 101 Essential Recipes and Age-old Remedies to Heal Your Body. Sonoma Press. Berkeley, CA.

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