Health Benefits Abound in Bone Broth
Written by Michele Vieux
The name ‘bone broth’ may sound repulsive to you but once you realize that it’s just soup broth of the highest quality, you’ll be rushing to the store to gather the ingredients to make your own to enjoy. A sip a day can really keep the doctor away by preventing and treating illness, especially those related to gut health and cold and flu viruses .
Have you ever made a stock (bone broth) from scratch only to have it gelatinize in the fridge once it’s cooled? That’s exactly what you want and a good sign you have a high quality broth on your hands! The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid – it attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion. And it promotes healthy hair and nails !
It can also help you save money by cutting down on the need to supplement since it contains valuable minerals – many of which people spend an arm and a leg on in pill form – in a form your body can easily absorb and use, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals. Recognize any of those from your medicine cabinet?
Chondroitin and glucosamine, two supplements commonly taken for joint pain, can be extracted from the boiled down cartilage, so make sure you select bony pieces like necks, wings and feet for your broth. These elements, along with amino acids found in bone broth like glycine, proline and arginine, all have anti-inflammatory effects and glycine has been shown to help you sleep better .
It’s pretty common knowledge that calcium and magnesium play an important role in promoting strong, healthy bones and bone broth contains high amounts of these minerals. It’s also very filling – as hot liquids tend to be – so it can be an excellent tool for weight management, since it leaves you feeling full and is chock full of nutrients without all the extra calories.
Since it’s so delicious and takes very little cooking skill to create, it is easy to incorporate into your diet a few times a week. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and sip on it, cook with it, or use it to make your favorite soup. Not hungry in the morning before your workout? Bone broth! Need a little snack before bed? Bone broth! On the go and in need of nutrition? Bone broth!
Check out the recipe below to make your own. It’s important to note that store bought broths do not yield the same benefits as homemade. No matter what type of bones you use, make sure you get free range, organic and hormone free. Besides trying to avoid all the chemicals and hormones that are pumped into non-free range animals, they are also fed an unnatural diet that is filled with potentially harmful additives us health-conscious folks are trying to avoid. And research shows that chickens (and cows) raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) tend to produce stock that doesn’t gel . We want gel!
Crockpot Bone Broth Recipe (makes 4 quarts)
1 pound bones from organic, free-range, hormone free beef or chicken (crack the bones with a butcher knife so that the cartilage and marrow are exposed)
2 pounds of meat & bones (crack the bones with a butcher knife so that the cartilage and marrow are exposed)
2 celery stalks, chopped in large pieces
2 carrots, chopped in large pieces
1 onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (helps leach minerals from bones)
4 quarts water (cover ingredients in crockpot)
Salt & Pepper
Put all ingredients in a 6 quart crockpot. Cook on high for 6 hours. Strain out all ingredients. Cool in fridge and eat within one week. If you aren’t going to eat it all within the week, freeze for later use. DO NOT STRAIN FAT! If you got your bones and meat from a healthy animal then this is good for you. It is okay to use the carcass from cooked meat but you’ll need more bones to yield a broth as hearty as one from raw bones and meat.
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See ref. 2