Bone Broth: Why You Need It
Have you ever had chicken soup when you’re sick?
Chicken soup is a common remedy used in folk wisdom, and among grandmothers, as a soothing tonic when you’re under the weather. Now, we're gonna take it even further…bone broth and why you need it!
Ahhh, bone broth. It has become a wellness trend the past handful of years. People are doing bone broth fasts, swapping bone broth for their morning coffee, and you can even find bone broth touted in restaurants in New York, Denver, Portland, Los Angeles, and more.
So, what exactly is bone broth?
Bone broth is made from simmering meaty animal bones (such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish), connective tissue, vegetables, herbs and spices as well as wine or apple cider vinegar for a long time. Bone broth is sort of a hybrid between broth and stock. What mainly differentiates bone broth is the simmering time, which is generally 24-48 hours. That length of time is where the magic happens; the nutrients and minerals are drawn out of the bones, creating an immune-boosting, restorative, nourishing broth.
Bone broth’s got a history!
For centuries, and around the world, broth has been a staple in traditional cultures and has been revered for its healing powers. For example, dating back over 2,500 years in Chinese culture and medicine, bone broth has been used to support digestive health, nourish and strengthen the kidneys, as a blood builder, and to support your vital energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”).
In the 12th century, Jewish philosopher physician Moses Maimonides termed chicken soup, “Jewish penicillin” for its anti-inflammatory benefits as well as a homemade remedy to prevent illness and to treat asthma, cold, and flu symptoms. It’s no wonder chicken soup has been a part of traditional Jewish kitchens for generations!
Indeed, bone broth has many health benefits and what’s also fabulous is that it is both easily digested and soothing to the digestive system. But wait! There’s more:
Bone broth is good for gut health
Bone broth is a rich source of gelatin. Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen and when drawn out from the bones (especially the knuckles, feet, and other joints) it helps to repair leaky gut by restoring strength in your gut lining. That promotes improved nutrient absorption. Sealing holes in the intestines helps ease chronic diarrhea, constipation and even some food intolerances. Plus, gelatin can help with growth of probiotics, the good bacteria in your gut, which supports a healthy digestive tract.
Bone broth protects and supports joint & bone health
In addition to providing the calcium, phosphorus and magnesium needed for strong, healthy bones, bone broth is a rich source of collagen and glucosamine, which protects joints (and major bonus -- improves skin elasticity, hair and nails!). As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorbable to help restore cartilage. Bone broth also contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, both of which reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain.
Bone broth for detoxification
Bone broth contains potassium and the amino acid glycine, which support cellular and liver detox. Bone broth helps the digestive system expel waste and promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins. (Another fabulous bonus of glycine -- research has also shown that glycine found in bone broth may help improve sleep and ward off fatigue.)
Bone broth supports your immune system
Remember that 70-80% of your immune system is housed in your gut. So, consuming foods that help repair and strengthen your gut lining (like bone broth!) will help support immune system function and help reduce inflammation. In addition to the collagen/gelatin, bone broth contains the amino acids proline, glutamine, and arginine, which contribute to its healing properties as they help alleviate leaky gut issues and support gut integrity.
The healthier your gut, the healthier your immune system, the healthier YOU!
Simply put, bone broth nourishes your entire body, including your skin, hair, nails, your joints, and your gut.
How to use bone broth
Bone broth makes a great base for soups, stews, grains, gravy, and sauces. It can also be used to cook or sauté vegetables, and yep my fave -- straight up drinking from a mug! Basically, whenever a recipe calls for stock or broth, you can use your bone broth. You can even try swapping your morning coffee for a delicious bone broth latte! See recipe below.
How to make bone broth
Bone broth is much easier to make than you might think! All you need is a crock pot or stock pot, filtered water, animal bones, vegetables, herbs, spices and some wine or apple cider vinegar. There are many great tutorials and recipes out there for bone broth. Here’s one recipe to start with.
And, as promised, Bone Broth Latte (you’ve seriously got to try this mug of deliciousness!):
1 cup chicken bone broth
½ cup full fat coconut milk
½ heaping teaspoon ground turmeric
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt, to taste (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender (except pepper) and blend for about 20 seconds, which makes it frothy. Add to a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry! Just stir everything together in the saucepan. Pour into your favorite mug and add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving is in 2 days! Save all those turkey bones and make broth! Don’t feel like putting in the effort to make homemade bone broth? I hear you. But keep in mind that making your own bone broth is way more economical, and more delicious than buying store bought. If you’re not ready to make it, but eager to reap the benefits, these are two high quality brands I recommend: Kettle and Fire, and Bonafide Provisions.
It’s fall, and now is a great time to bring the grounding and healing benefits of traditionally made broth into your life. Let’s cozy up with a with a bowl or mug of warm, soothing broth. Are you with me?
P.S. Join me for a December Bone Broth Challenge! Since last December, I’ve done monthly challenges that include yoga for at least 30 minutes a day plus another nutrition or lifestyle-related thing. I kicked off my monthly challenges with bone broth in December 2018 and I’m doing it again! I am committing to consuming at least 8 ounces of bone broth every day for the month of December. I challenge you to commit to consuming bone broth every day, once a week, or whatever works for you. Join me on the bone broth bandwagon!
November 26, 2019