Health benefits of bone broth
The number one detox elixir
Bone broth is enjoying the spotlight around the world more than ever and with good reason. What happens when you simmer the bones and ligaments of beef and chicken anywhere from 8 to 48 hours is that you get a vitamin, mineral, protein and collagen rich broth. The longer you simmer the broth, the more of the ‘good stuff that’ is extracted into the liquid gold. This broth is useful for healing the gut and enhancing the body’s immune response, which is particularly important during flu season.
Because bone broth is high in protein and fat with virtually zero carbs, it is particularly suited to people following a low carb diet. It’s also useful for weight loss plans and muscle building regimens. You can buy pre-cooked broth and powdered forms, although we think homemade is best. It’s also important to look out for animal products with humane and ethical animal treatment and that are also antibiotic-free, growth hormone-free and non-GMO.
So let’s take a closer look at the long list of bone broth’s health advantages:
A key player in bone broth is the amino acid glutamine, which boosts healthy inflammatory responses in the body and supports the gut, which is where 70% of the immune system resides. Consuming more bone broth is also linked to an increase in the colonies of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, in the gut. When opportunistic bacteria is kept in check, then immunity and gut health are optimized.
Glutamine is also helpful in healing a leaky gut, which is one of the major contributors to autoimmunity. Leaky gut occurs when the lining of the gut becomes damaged and causes undigested food particles, toxins and antigens to escape into the blood. The body tags these substances as foreign and mounts an attack on them, leading to inflammation, autoimmunity and allergies. Besides glutamine, another ally in healing leaky gut is collagen, which is what the gut lining is made from.
In a 2000 study published in Chest, the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, it was found that bone broth helps to alleviate symptoms of the common cold by clearing out mucus and opening the respiratory pathways. Irwin Ziment, a medical doctor and UCLA professor, also points out that bone broth contains the amino acid cysteine, which is chemically similar to the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine.
Skin and nail health
The health benefits of bone broth don’t stop at giving you an immune boost. It is also a powerhouse for skin, nail and hair health due to its high amounts of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Bone broth also contributes to joint health because of its collagen content, as well as the presence of glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium and magnesium.
Bone broth is rich in glycine, which has been found to help with getting better sleep, lowering symptoms of anxiety and enhancing memory. Because of the high content of electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and sodium, bone broth also helps with muscle, nerve, digestive and cognitive functions. Magnesium, in particular, is especially useful to relax the muscles, ease digestion and decrease restlessness.
When bones and ligaments are cooked for long periods of time, the anti-inflammatory compounds chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine are readily released. These are two substances that are found in common arthritis drugs and help keep joints strong and flexible.
Bone broth is packed with minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that are important for building and maintaining strong and healthy bones.
We know that glycine helps with sleep, but it also acts as a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione helps the liver to flush out excess toxins, stored hormones and other cellular waste.
To make a bone broth stock, follow the recipe below
- 2 kg of your choice of bones
- preferably Cocorico backbones and necks
- 4 liters of water
- 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 150g carrots
- 150g onions
- 100g celery
How to make it
Combine all the above in a pot and simmer for at least 8 hours. This stock can then be used to make your chicken soup.
To prepare the chicken soup, you’ll need
- 1 kg cooked chicken breasts, shredded
- 1.5 liters chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 2 parsley sprigs, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
How to make it
Heat the butter or oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add in the chopped onions and saute until golden. Add in the carrots and celery. Add the chicken stock and bring the vegetables to a simmer until they soften. Add in the cooked shredded chicken until well heated. Add sea salt to taste along with the lemon juice and chopped parsley. Enjoy!