Bone broth has been used for ages as a support for natural healing. Grandmas around the world have made chicken soup for family members and neighbors who were sick or feeling under the weather. It’s an age-old tradition around the world to give sick individuals broth-based soups and for good reasons. People have intuitively known the value of bone broth, meat stocks and natural foods.
Bones are composed of more than calcium; they have a matrix of minerals and other nutrients that when simmered in clean water provide a nutrient-dense food that is healing and nourishing. Bone broth contains collagen, trace minerals, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, and amino acids. Broths are easy to digest and support a healthy body and brain. Below I will discuss the various nutritional benefits of bone broth and then offer an easy recipe to make your own broth at home.
Collagen is what our joints, skin, eyes and other structures are made of. Collagen keeps your joints mobile and your skin supple. As we age collagen in the skin breaks down which leads to sagging skin and wrinkles as well as worn down cartilage in joints which results in joint pain and stiffness. Consuming bone broth every day ensures that the body’s collagen formation is supported and renewed. People who drink bone broth regularly have smoother skin and youthful joints.
Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are now available in supplement form but long before you could buy these pricy supplements off the shelf, grandmas and others were cooking up bone broth on stoves around the world. This broth is rich in chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine and is an inexpensive way of supporting your joints with these much-needed supports.
Trace minerals are very necessary for optimal health. Minerals are the sparkplugs of life. Not one body system can function properly without adequate minerals to support the processes. Bone broth is rich in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur and silicon among many others. Sulfur is important for detoxing the body, while silicon is necessary for tissue formation. Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and other minerals are necessary for bone health among other things. Sipping on a mug of lovely bone broth is supporting your bone health with each sip.
Amino Acids are absolutely critical for life to exist. When you aren’t able to digest your food properly or eat a diet of processed foods regularly amino acids can become deficient. When that happens there is a decline in health, mood and wellbeing. Bone broth contains most, if not all of the amino acids that the body needs for muscle production and tissue repair. The fact that bone broth is easy to digest makes it a beneficial food for everyone.
Sourcing bone broth does not have to be difficult. Today there are companies that are focused on making a shelf-stable bone broth option that has minimal ingredients and all the benefits. I opt to make my own because I can control the ingredients and I really enjoy homemade health-promoting goodness. To make your own you don’t need a lot of equipment or expensive ingredients.
You will need a large pot, crockpot or pressure cooker, bones (chicken, beef or fish are best-make sure they are pasture-raised to reduce the risk of unwanted compounds in your broth), filtered water, sea salt and apple cider vinegar. Fill your pot half-way full with filtered water and add your bones. It’s ok and even preferred if there are bits of meat and connective tissue on the bones; that makes the broth even healthier for you! Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 or 2 teaspoons of salt. If you’d like to add some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, or some vegetables like carrots or celery that is quite alright. Simmer for 8 to 12 hours if using a stockpot. If you are using a pressure cooker cook using the soup setting. When the broth is done strain out the bones and bits of herbs if used, and other solids. Collect the broth in mason jars and cap off for storage in the fridge or drink immediately. Savor and enjoy the nutritious benefits and with time, more youthful skin and joints.