Updated: Jan 28
Broths and stocks have been enjoyed in just about every culture for centuries. Made by simmering animal bones + vegetables it's a true superfood that aids in calming inflammation and supporting your overall health. It is wonderful to enjoy bone broth anytime and can be especially beneficial when you are experiencing:
cold and flu symptoms
gut inflammation, gut healing
recovering from an injury, surgery or illness
while pregnant and breast feeding
add to your baby's first food
Bones and vegetables are made up of an abundance of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. By simmering them in water along with acid (such as apple cider vinegar) to help draw out the nutrients, you end up with a broth that is comprised of nourishing ingredients that are easily absorbed and utilized by the body and can have powerful healing benefits.
These nutrients include:
Glycine is an amino acid as well as a neurotransmitter. It is a building block for collagen, ligaments, muscles, bones and cartilage, making it essential for injury healing and skin elasticity. (Think less wrinkles!) As a neurotransmitter Glycine works to both excite and calm the nervous system ~ aiding with sleep, mood, memory and overall mental health. Glycine is also critical for fatty acid digestion, metabolism, energy production and blood sugar regulation. It aids in reducing inflammation as well as detoxification as it will bind to toxins and help to remove them from the body. You do not want to be deficient in this vital nutrient!
Proline, like glycine, is a building block for connective tissues. It is essential to the structure of your body and the building and healing of cells. Ensuring that your body is equipped with proline will help to support wound healing, immune system health, gut health and nutrient absorption as well as protect your cardiovascular system.
Glutamine is essential to many processes in the body including energy production, regulation of kidney and immune function and maintaining and repairing tissues, especially the intestinal lining. It has been shown that increasing the body's stores of Glutamine can help to build muscle mass, speed up muscle & wound recovery as well as help to curb cravings for carbohydrates and sugar.
Alanine supports liver function and energy production. It helps to build muscle mass as well as increase endurance.
Collagen & Gelatin are comprised of the four amino acids listed above and is the protein that literally holds you together. There are over 28 different types of collagen in the body and together they are what helps to build sturdy bodies, strong bones, healthy organs and beautiful skin. Collagen helps to give skin elasticity (reducing the appearance of wrinkles), supports joints, strengthens the lining of the gut and even increases blood flow by improving arteries ability to expand and contract. Collagen is essential to your body in times of stress and to the repair of tissues.
Gelatin is cooked collagen and how we replenish collagen in the body. We are consuming gelatin when we consume cooked meats, especially when they still have skin, tendons, ligaments and bones attached.
Keratin is a protective protein that makes up your hair, skin and nails. It's strong fibers gives them strength, structure and flexibility as well as helps to retain moisture resulting in improved smoothness, elasticity & hydration. Keratin has also been shown to aid with wound healing as it stimulates cellular growth & regeneration.
MINERALS: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium
Minerals works together to facilitate and aid with thousands of processes in the body. Such as building bones, contracting & relaxing muscles, regulating your heart beat, synthesizing protein & cells, aiding with digestion and facilitating communication between cells. Ensuring that your mineral stores are sufficient is absolutely essential to your over-all health!
Bone broth is an amazing meal replacement for when you feel like your body could use a break from digestion. For example after over-indulging or when feeling under the weather. It is extremely nourishing, easy for your body to digest while also being low in calories!
Along with a whole foods diet, enjoying bone broth as apart of your regular routine - 3+ times per week - can have significant benefits for everyone, especially those with underlying health issues and while pregnant and breast feeding.
The source of bones and vegetables matters! You should only enjoy broth from pasture raised poultry & pork, grass fed beef, wild caught fish and organic vegetables. This is because you are quite literally "what you eat eats" and the long-boiling process involved in making bone broth will concentrate any toxins, chemicals and pesticides that are in/on the bones & vegetables. By avoiding products from industrialized farming operations you can help to avoid harmful toxins from ending up in your body.
Here are my favorite store-bought brands as well as a recipe to make your own:
RECIPE ~ SLOW COOKER BONE BROTH
Add leftover carcus of 1 whole organic, pasture raised chicken to slow cooker pot.
Add in vegetables, herbs & seasonings:
> 1 yellow onion, rough chopped
> 3-5 celery sticks, rough chopped
> 3-5 large carrots, rough chopped
> 3 garlic cloves, smashed
> Dried herbs, if desired
> Quality salt & pepper
Add 8 cups filtered water
Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Cook on low for 24 - 48 hours
Once done cooking, strain out bones & vegetables and place broth into airtight container.
Allow broth to cool for a few hours so that the fat can solidify on top.
Once cooled, strain out the fat with cheese cloth or mesh strainer, twice.
Warm broth & enjoy!
Optional health boosting add-ins: dash of turmeric, fresh grated ginger, lemon juice
* Broth can be stored in fridge for up to 1 week. *
The Bone Broth Miracle, Ariane Resnick, CNC, Skyhorse Publishing, 2015
Nourishing Traditions, Sallon Fallon, New Trends Publishing, 2001
www.clevelandclinic.org, The Best Way You Can Get More Collagen
www.draxe.com , Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite
www.naomiwhittel.com, 10 Things You Need to Know About Collagen