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What's Cooking: The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

There are almost too many benefits of bone broth to list!By Melissa Crispell, CNS, CNHP, CWC

Bone Broths are found in culinary traditions around the world.

Ever heard the phrase “chicken soup for the soul”? Well it turns out that broth is good for more than just the soul. Like many other traditional foods (fermented vegetables and cultured dairy) bone broth has been used in healing routines for thousands of years. Bone broths are nutrient-dense, easily digested and packed with flavor. All bone broths (beef, chicken, lamb, even fish) were staples in traditional cultures and are the cornerstone of culinary arts.

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a way of using every part of the animal. Bones, marrow, tendons, and ligaments that you wouldn’t normally eat directly are boiled down and then simmered. The simmering process allows the bones and ligaments to release healing components like collagen and glutamine. Bone broths not only contain minerals our bodies can easily absorb like: calcium and magnesium but also glucosamine and chondroitin, which is excellent for reducing inflammation and joint pain.

Benefits of Bone Broth

There are almost too many benefits of bone broth to list in just one article. Dozens of nutrients that aren’t easily found in commonly eaten foods makes bone broth a valuable tool in your healthy regimen toolbox. If you were to choose one, only one thing to add today to feel better and have more energy it should be this! Bone broth is also beneficial in:

  • Treating leaky gut
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Reducing cellulite
  • Healing from food intolerances

In order to get real bone broth benefits – you have to use real bone broth. Many canned varieties in the grocery store are lab-produced meat “flavors” in the form of bouillon cubes or freeze dried soup mixes. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is also a recognized “meat flavor” but is really a dangerous neurotoxin. For best results you’ll want broth made from grass fed animals found at your local farmers market.

Why bone broths are good for you

What is it about bone broth that makes it so special? It all boils down (pun intended) to collagen and gelatin. Collagen is found in our bones, skin, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. As we age or experience wear and tear we can become less flexible and have diminished joint cartilage. Collagen from the animals leach into the broth as it simmers making it more absorbable to us and helps restore cartilage. Collagens best friend gelatin is a key component is restoring the gut lining and combatting food sensitivities. Bone broth is very easily digested and soothing to the digestive system. Eating or chewing the actual animal protein is difficult for the digestive tract to process. Food is really only useful if we have the ability to break it down and absorb the nutrients.

A simplified explanation of leaky gut: leaky gut is the result of undigested food particles making their way through teeny tiny openings of a compromised intestinal lining. They then make their way into the bloodstream causing a flood of antibodies because the immune system detects a “foreign invader”. This creates inflammation and can lead to dysfunction all through the body. Collagen, gelatin, and other amino acids found in bone broth seal help seal those tiny openings. Because bone broth is so easily absorbed it is one of the most beneficial foods to use in restoring gut health and ultimately restoring immune health as well. Bone broth also supplies glutathione and sulfur, which are great for boosting our natural detoxing ability.

Because bone broth has easy to absorb essential and non-essential amino acids, collagen/gelatin which help form connective tissue, and many nutrients that support healthy digestion, immunity and brain function we could almost call it vitamin broth. What other food do you know of that benefits every part of your body? Who doesn’t want better flexibility, firmer skin, less wrinkles/cellulite and a healthy immune system?

How do I make bone broth?

Here’s how to make your own delicious broth at home:

Several pounds (5-8) grass feed beef bones. A freezer bag full of cut up vegetables (even scraps): onions, carrots, celery, etc. I don’t recommend brassicas or beets. Fresh filtered water. 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs) and 2-3 Bay leaves.

Rinse and clean the bones under clean water and pat them dry.

Roast the bones at 400* for about and hour or until the bones are well browned and fragrant. If you don’t roast the bones first you may end up with a sour broth.

Add the bones to a large stock pot or large crock pot along with all of your veggies. Garlic, leeks, mushrooms also make a great flavor.

Add filtered water to cover and bring to a boil. Once your brought the water to a boil add the vinegar and bay leaves.

Turn down the heat and simmer for several hours (10-24). Skim off any foam throughout the cooking process and add water if necessary.

When the stock is finished simmering filter through a fine sieve and store in mason jars.

The broth will gel – you’ll want to serve this very hot. There will be a layer of fat on the top. This helps to protect your broth. Only discard this when you are ready to have your broth. You can sip this or use for cooking other dishes.

Melissa Crispell, CNS, CNHP, CWC, of the First State Health & Wellness Integrative Health Center, is a certified natural health practitioner, certified wellness coach, certified lifestyle educator, naturopathic candidate, and nationally recognized speaker. She has over 10 years experience as a natural health provider helping clients understand the connection between pH balance, food and chemical sensitivities, physical fitness and their overall health goals. If you’re ready to revitalize your health, visit www.firststatehealth.com, call 302.384-7104 or click here to e-mailwellness@firststatehealth.com us to schedule a functional nutrition consultation.

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Mindy Conner says
    Sep 12, 2017 at 6:29 PM

    Great article explaining both leaky gut syndrome and detailed information about bone broth and its benefits. I'd love to put a link back to this article on my (soon to be) blog.

    • Lindsey Gainer says
      Sep 15, 2017 at 1:23 PM

      Thanks Mindy, we’re glad you found it valuable! Feel free to share the link and thank you for helping to spread the word about natural wellness options. Best of health!

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