Think back to your childhood. You are home from school, sick on the couch, watching over dramatic soap operas with horrible acting. What is your mum whipping up for her sick kid in the kitchen?
Was it chicken soup?
Mums know everything…including the tricks you played (which is why your kids won’t be able to pull fast ones on you either). Most importantly, Mums know what’s good for you…especially when you’re not feeling well.
Chicken soup can definitely make a case of the sniffles that much more tolerable, but it pales in comparison to its bigger sibling, bone broth. Bone broth may sound some like voodoo ritual that takes places over a simmering, smoky cauldron, but this gut-healthy soup has been dubbed “nature’s vitamin.”
Since the beginning of time, bone broth has been used to alleviate symptoms associated with a myriad of ailments including:
- Food Allergies
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Weakened Immune System
Read on as we explain what exactly is bone broth and how one pot of stock can do all of these great things (and more)!
So, What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth can come in many forms including:
- And more
Essentially, bone broth is a stock that is made by steeping the bones of animals in a soup. This is an age-old tradition that our ancestors started. In previous generations, people made bone broths as a way to ensure that they use every last part of the animal. Not only do the bones add taste, but with time we have found that these bones also add tons of nutrients.
What sets bone broth apart from buying stock in the store is that those stocks are just spices, sodium, and water. Very little vegetables and meat are used in the final product. So, you can imagine that it’s almost unheard of that manufacturers seep actual bone into their stock for up to 24hrs. Due to these money-saving, corner-cutting methods on the behalf of food companies, ready-made stocks sitting in the middle of grocery store aisles cannot light a candle to the amount of nutrition in genuine bone broth.
What Makes Bone Broth So Healthy?
Now, most people wouldn’t think of a bone being nutritious because we don’t typically eat them. Believe me. I tried. Didn’t end so well.
However, if I learned anything in science in class (besides naming the periodic table, which I kill at), I have learned that any time you heat something up, it changes the chemical composition of the object that is being heated. Much like when you tear into the skin of a chicken breast and get to the nutrients, hot water tears into the ligaments, releasing the bones’ nutrients into the broth.
Some of these unique compounds include:
- Collagen – The most abundant protein that fills in the area between joints
- Glycine – Amino acid that is a builds tissues, joints, and muscles
- Glutamine – Amino acid that aids the immune system and gut, especially in times of stress
- Proline – Helps break down proteins
Bone broths also contain many other nutrients that are easy for the body to absorb such as:
- And more
The multitude of vitamins and minerals released by the bones during the broth-making process is the reason why many holistic medicine practitioners have dubbed the stock, “Nature’s multivitamin.”
The Many Benefits of Bone Broth
Although we know that our ancestors used to seep bones in their stocks, it wasn’t until recently that the health benefits came to light. As more people caught on to how nutrient-dense bone broth was, researchers began spending more time unearthing just what “Nature’s multivitamin” could do.
Here are some of the most beneficial qualities of consuming bone broth:
As noted, bone broth is chock full of collagen and glycine. These are proteins and amino acids (building blocks of protein) that fill the area in between joints. When the body lacks in these essential proteins, inflammations take their place. Ask any landlord how hard it is to get rid of a squatter. That’s how hard it is to treat arthritis when inflammations fill up open areas.
Improves Gut Health
Many say our gut is our second brain. After all, a healthy gut is key to optimal overall health. Therefore, it is important that we keep our gut happy. As bones are simmered, they release a component responsible for holding the bone’s shape. This important compound is gelatin.
Gelatin restores gut lining that becomes damaged over time by a myriad of reasons (namely prescription and over-the-counter medicines, foods we are intolerant to and more). Over time, these abrasive chemicals being introduced to your system may cause your stomach to develop leaky gut syndrome.
Doesn’t sound too pretty, huh? Luckily, gelatin repairs the lining, allowing for the growth of probiotics (a fancy word for good bacteria). When probiotics are in place (much like collagen and glycine in arthritis relief), it helps sooth and reduce inflammation.
On top of gelatin having such a profound impact on the gut, bone broth also contains these other powerful compounds that may reverse the effects of leaky gut syndrome.
These compounds include:
Preserves Healthy Skin
Collagen is quite the buzz word in Hollywood. However, instead of injecting your eyes with it so that you look like you are in a constant state of shock, you can save some money and grow collagen naturally. Through bone broth, collagen is ingested into the body. From there, the compound forms elastin, which is responsible for the elasticity, glow, and youthful texture of skin. Elastin is also effective in fighting off cellulite, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, and reducing puffiness.
Detoxes Your Body
With bone broth, you can go on a detox without starving yourself. Although our bodies have the ability to rid themselves of foreign metals and toxins, we continue to replace the toxins that we remove from our bodies with more foreign substances as we consume processed, artificial, and flavored foods.
Bone broth aids the body in removing waste that can lead to toxic buildup. It also helps the liver and tissues in removing toxins from the body. Lastly, bone broth’s high levels of glycine and potassium offers a 1-2 punch in cellular and liver detoxification.
D-I-Y Bone Broth
Making bone broth is a rewarding, fun, and not to mention, delicious process. It can also save you money. In order to create your own bone broth, you can use leftovers and scraps from meals throughout the week, such as a chicken carcass from your Sunday roast. This not only saves you money, but makes good use of the whole animal (just like our ancestors).
When you are buying bones for your broth, it is important to purchase organic, grass-fed bones. They say you are what you eat, but you are also what you eat, eats (a bit of a mouth full there). Non-organic meats are usually treated with hormones, antibiotics and eat poor or GMO diets. Hormone injections are done so that the animal may grow bigger, faster. The reasoning behind this harmful process is so that each animal can make more money for the meat industry. If you use these types of meat bones in your broth, then you consume what the animal was exposed to. In turn, this may throw off your own hormone production cycle and affect other areas of your health.
Additionally, if the animal isn’t grass-fed, then it is fed a feed that contains meat scraps from animals that have also been treated with hormones or GMO corn or grains. So, now you’re getting a double-dose of unwanted hormones and if you have issues with grains, this could also affect you.
How to Use Bone Broth
Once you’ve made your bone broth, you can use it for a tasty nutrition boost in almost any situation. I like to use bone broths for:
- Drinks (as a coffee or tea replacement)
- Instead of water or stock in cooking and baking
- Liquid to cook babies veggies in and then mash or puree with the broth
- Liquid to cook gluten free pasta alternatives in (e.g. buckwheat pasta)
Heck, I have even frozen them into ice blocks disguised with kefir and pomegranate juice and fed them to my fussy toddler. That’s just how versatile bone broth is.
Purchasing Ready Made Bone Broth
Some of us are just too time poor to make our own bone broth, so I thought I’d share some other fantastic options. There are amazing businesses out there doing all the hard work for us like Undivided Food Co. that make amazingly nutritious broths that can be delivered Australia wide in liquid form. If you are in Sydney, use the Code: GUTHEALTH at check out to receive a 5% discount off of your order every time you purchase.
Another option is using a bone broth concentrate. I tend to use more of this than anything else. These come in both powdered and paste form. I use a powdered concentrate when I travel so I don’t have to cart jars of broth around on my trips. Two amazing concentrates that I can recommend are Changing Habits and Tonemade.
Now that you have the low down on this nutrient-dense broth, be sure to leave your details at the end of this blog to receive my easy D-I-Y recipe. It’s time to get your bone broth on!
And………………if you’d like to nerd out on bone broth even more (I know you want to), you can read this amazing article here!
Please note – The longer you simmer a bone broth, the more amino acids are concentrated within it. Whilst this is highly beneficial for most people, some people can have a reaction to the glutamates (one of these amino acids). So start of with a short duration broth and see how your physiology responds.