If you aren't already making bone broth regularly, I'd encourage you to start today! It is an incredibly healthy and very inexpensive addition to any diet and the homemade versions beat store bought broth in both taste and nutrition, although some amazing homemade organic broth you can buy pre-made now.
What is Broth?
Broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. You’ll find a large stock pot of broth/stock simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5-star restaurant for its great culinary uses and unparalleled flavor, but it is also a powerful health tonic that you can easily add to your family’s diet.
Broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely made often (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did). Many societies around the world still consume broth regularly as it is a cheap and highly nutrient dense food.
Besides it’s amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?) and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.
It can be made from the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry, or fish, and vegetables and spices are often added.
Bone broth can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, and much more.
What isn’t as well know is that broth can help reduce cellulite by improving connective tissue, increase hair growth/strength, improve digestive issues and remineralize teeth.
Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn't feel like eating.
Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc).
Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. It plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.
Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.
Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).
Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.
This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your bloodstream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
What Kind of Broth?
Homemade, nutrient dense bone broth is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. There is no comparison to the store-bought versions which often contain MSG or other chemicals and which lack gelatin and some of the other health-boosting properties of homemade broth.
In selecting the bones for broth, look for high quality bones from grass fed cattle or chicken. Since you’ll be extracting the minerals and drinking them in concentrated form, you want to make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible.
A Basic Bone Broth Recipe
The recipe that follows calls for beef bones, but you can also make bone broth using whole organic chicken. Each will render a different flavor. Start with chicken because it has the mildest flavor (beef tends to be more overpowering). If you're using chicken, simply place the entire chicken, raw, into the pot in place of the beef bones and proceed with the recipe as follows.
One note, if cooking a whole chicken, the meat should start separating from the bone after about 2 hours. Simply remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. Then place the bones back in and continue to simmer. You can even use bones from a roasted chicken or turkey carcass to make bone broth, which is incredibly cost effective since you would otherwise throw them away.
3-4 pounds beef bones or chicken bones
½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
4 quarts spring water
3 celery stalks, halved
3 carrots, halved
3 onions, quartered
Handful of fresh parsley
1. Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
2. Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
3. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.
Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24 hours (if you're not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
4. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.
5. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.
6. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.
Eat healthy and your body will thank you!