Your grandmother had it right. A bowl of her home-made chicken soup actually did make you feel better when you were ill. Studies have shown that nutrient rich bone broth, from any animal source, consumed during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms. Home-made bone broth is a natural healer and we have been eating this delicious and incredibly nutritious elixir ever since we began using fire.
A comfort food that soothes your body and soul is only one of the wonderful properties associated with the regular consumption of home-made bone broth. I stress home-made because, as you all know, I’m a real food kind of girl, and if you ever check the ingredient list of any factory manufactured, mass produced, broth/stock-like substance, you’ll very quickly deduce that anything else is a food-like substance at best.
Bone Broth forms a great base for soups, stews, sauces and simmers as well as a wonderful warming drink just on its own. I recommend you make your own broth and incorporate it into your daily dietary regime, not just on those days you’re feeling low. Here are a few special reasons why:
Bone broth helps you detox.
Your liver is the master organ of detoxification. Unfortunately, it was never intended to withstand the very toxic, chemical nature of today’s world. It is under consistent assault on a daily basis, and its capacity to detoxify is limited by the availability of the amino acid glycine.
Bone broth contains huge amounts of glycine, giving the liver what it needs to do its job effectively. Forget all those fancy, expensive detox programs you always hear about. Enjoy your bone broth, it’s delicious, easy and won’t put the same dent in your bank account that many programs are happy to do.
Reduces joint pain and inflammation
“The health of your joints depends upon the health of the collagen in your ligaments, tendons, and on the ends of your bones. Collagens are a large family of biomolecules, which include the glycosaminoglycans, very special molecules that help keep our joints healthy.”
– Dr. Cate Shanahan
Bone broth is loaded with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). I know for a fact you’ve heard of one of them — glucosamine. Those supplements that you’ve been told to take for joint health contain one of the GAGs we get from, you guessed it, bone broth.
Now, you know I always prefer a food based solution over supplementation. Bone broth is a prime example. In addition to glucosamine, you also get chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and many other GAGs in every sip. In their food form, they are bio-available – you’re absorbing a large percentage of them easily, nothing wasted.
Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.
Powerful stuff for sure!
Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails
I’m sure you know people who, in a quest to recapture or maintain a youthful appearance, are paying a substantial amount for products that boost collagen, the main constituent of hair, skin, and nails.
As we age, production of collagen declines and we start to see the outward signs of aging. Bone broth is really rich in collagen and gelatin which supplement the decreased production along with supporting hair growth and helping to keep nails strong.
Personally, I’d much rather prepare and consume bone broth to keep my skin, hair and nails looking fabulous than have numerous uncomfortable, pricey treatments or a toxin injected into my face. But that’s just me!
(And, furthermore, bone broth is really cheap to make)
Heals Your Digestive Tract
I’m willing to bet most of you reading this are experiencing some kind of gastrointestinal discomfort — constipation, diarrhea, food sensitivities, leaky gut, or even autoimmune disease.
Gelatin, yes the same stuff that makes those jiggly deserts, is a vital nutrient in gut healing and repair.
To put it very simply, the intestinal lining is supposed to be permeable in order for nutrients to pass through. However, this lining can become too porous due to factors such as poor diet, stress, long-term contraceptive use, as well as bacterial and fungal overgrowths. Just think of poking huge holes in your window screens at home. Yes, the good air will pass through, but the flies, gnats, and mosquitoes will too.
This is how leaky gut works. Undigested food particles can slip through the gut lining and pass directly into the bloodstream. You can imagine that this is not a good scenario. When this happens, the immune system reacts and begins attacking the foods you eat. Now you have what is commonly referred to as food sensitivities.
You are now left with a situation which, at worst, can turn into an autoimmune issue by which your immune system thinks that certain tissues in your body resemble the food molecule it has been fighting off for the past few years. Basically, your body starts to attack itself.
Enter the miraculous bone broth! The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the absorption of nutrients.
Reduces your need for protein
We all know that purchasing quality meats can be quite a pricey venture. Bone broth is relatively inexpensive to make. Studies have shown that when there is plenty of gelatin in the diet, the body’s need for protein from meat sources can be reduced by as much as fifty-percent!
Bone broth is not only wonderfully nutritious to the body, but to the mind too. The high concentration of glycine is very effective in calming the mind too. Your home-made chicken soup, rich in bone broth, really does make you feel better!
Here is an easy recipe for a chicken based bone broth. Feel free to use the bones of any animal. Experiment. Double the recipe and freeze the extras. Use it instead of your regular boxed or canned broth in all your soups and stews and share your recipes with me here.
Chicken Based Bone Broth
1 organic whole chicken
8 c of water
4 -6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
½ white or yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 inch ginger root, finely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
Place all of the above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low heat for a minimum of 8 -10 hours, until the meat is falling away from the bones.
You can store any excess broth in the freezer and defrost for a later time.
Once cooled, the broth will become gelatinous, but will become liquid again once warmed.