According to an old South American proverb “good broth will resurrect the dead”. While that’s undoubtedly an exaggeration, it speaks to the value placed on this wholesome food, throughout the ages.
Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal. Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days. This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.
Bone broth nourishes everything from your gut to your brain.
Bone Broth Nutrition 101 – Natures multivitamin
• Over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids.
• Collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue.
• Nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health
The Magic of Collagen and Gelatin – Just think wrinkles and cellulite.
Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals. Bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons and ligaments are all abundant with collagen. The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.
Gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) was one of the first functional foods used as a medical treatment in ancient China. Dr. Francis Pottenger and other world-class researchers have found gelatin and collagen to have the listed benefits:
• Gelatin helps people with food allergies and sensitivities tolerate those foods, including cow’s milk and gluten.
• Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux symptoms.
• Gelatin promotes probiotic balance and growth.
• Bone broth increases collagen, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and banishing cellulite.
• Because gelatin helps break down proteins and soothes the gut lining, it may prove useful for leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune disorders that accompany it.
• Gelatin provides bone-building minerals in easily absorbable ways, preventing bone loss and reducing join pain.
Here is another incredible benefit from the collagen found in bone broth: It can make your skin look amazing. According to Donna Gates, author of “Body Ecology,” bone broth benefits you skin because it makes it supple and can decrease cellulite!
She says cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue, and if someone has very smooth skin, it’s because the skin is high in connective tissue. Gates explains that consuming collagen-rich bone broth can reduce cellulite and tighten your skin.
At this stage you are probably interested in how to Make Bone Broth.
These two books are amazing resources and I highly recommend them.
There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock. You can make bone broth with animal components alone, but studies have found that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.
Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.
1. Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
3. Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
5. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
6. You can also add in vegetables, such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery, for added nutrient value.
After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.