Most people will, at first, gawk and probably grimace slightly at the term bone-broth. It sounds (at best) just plain unappetizing and at worst, like some sort of witch’s brew. I know I scrunched up my nose at the thought at first. Then I discovered that it was basically the same thing as chicken soup (or at least the broth part of the soup anyway), and all of a sudden I had memories of the delicious chicken soup my mom used to make the day after we had roast chicken for dinner and my trepidation faded somewhat.
I also started to discover its health benefits, and how our grandparents all knew that chicken soup is basically the cure for everything. And they had a point. It literally IS a healing superfood, and the healing secret lies in the broth, which is full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and other trace minerals, in addition to gelatin and collagen, that are so lacking in our diets today.
Sham and I now incorporate it into our diets every week and I swear its the reason I haven’t had so much as a sniffle of even a cold in over 2 and a half years.
So, before I tell you how to make it, here are just some of the benefits:
1. It boosts the immune system
Homemade bone broth is rich with easily absorbable minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and trace minerals difficult to obtain elsewhere. These stimulate the immune cells and make us less susceptible to illness.
2. It will make you more beautiful (and look younger)
As we age the production of collagen in our cells decreases – leading to wrinkled skin and other outward signs of aging.
To counter-act this, we are told to buy fancy night-creams, expensive repair serums, “collagen-containing” lotions, etc. But what if there was a much less invasive and FAR cheaper way to help counteract this aging process?
There is! None of the lotions/procedures above hold a candle to what the body is capable of doing from the inside when properly nourished. Bone broth is full of collagen and will heal and regenerate cells from the inside far more effectively than topical interventions.
Bone broth will even help get rid of cellulite, since cellulite is fat under skin that lacks collagen support.
It will also help give you glowing supple skin, shiny hair and strong finger nails.
3. It is fantastic for your joints
In her book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Cate Shanahan writes:
“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.”
Bone broth is loaded with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) – the same thing as those supplements that seemingly everyone is taking for joint health nowadays. However the supplements contain only one of the GAGs we get from consuming bone broth.
The GAGs from bone broth are resistant to digestion and so are absorbed in their intact form. These then act like hormones, stimulating cells called fibroblasts to lay down collagen in the joints, tendons and ligaments.
4. Bone broth heals the gut
This is especially important for anyone with any kind of gut issue, chronic bloating, tummy pain, autoimmune conditions etc, but is relevant to everyone. Most people could use with a little healing of the digestive tract since this is the foundation of all health really. We have probably all, at one time or another, experienced something called “leaky gut” which occurs when the tight-junctions of the gut lining are damaged, thus increasing their permeability and allowing harmful substances to enter into the blood stream. This is a HUGE other topic, so I will leave it here, but suffice it to say, it is the cause of a whole host of illness, and so maintaining a healthy gut-lining is of paramount importance.
Bone broth contains gelatin which works to help “patch up” these leaky junctions and allows healing to occur. Everyone really should be including gelatin in their diets.
5. Bone broth aids in the digestion of meat and other proteins.
Gelatin (although not a full protein, and thus inadequate on its own) makes the digestion of other proteins more efficient – potentially reducing the body’s daily requirement for protein.
6. Bone broth helps detoxify the liver
One of the key amino acids used by the liver to detoxify the body is glycine. Bone broth is full of glycine and so it provides excellent support for the liver during the detoxification process.
So how do I make this amazing superfood then? Here goes:
- 1 gallon of filtered water
- 1.5- 2 lbs of beef knuckle bones/marrow bones (or any other kinds of bones – oxtail, chicken feet/backs, etc)
- 1 head of fresh garlic, peeled & smashed
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered- like Bragg's ACV)
- 1 Tsp unrefined sea salt - or more/less to taste (I like Real Salt Sea Salt)
- You can also add in any chopped vegetables you have left over that you need to use up.
- 1. Place all the ingredients in a large (6 quart) crockpot or stock pot (if making it on the stove)
- 2. Set heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low.
- 3. Allow the broth to simmer for a minimum of 8 hours or up to 24 hours - the longer the better, especially if the bones are bigger. I usually leave ours overnight and that works well.
- 4. Turn off and allow to cool.
- 5. Once cool, strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and throw away the bits and pieces you skim off.
- 6. Pour the broth into glass jars to store in the fridge (for up to a week) or place into freezer safe containers for later use. Ice-cube trays work well.