Bone broth has been proven to be the number one remedy for:
- Treating leaky gut syndrome
- Overcoming food intolerances and allergies
- Improving joint health
- Reducing cellulite
- Boosting immune system
So the old adage “Chicken soup is good for the soul” is actually quite accurate! There’s a reason why not only doctors prescribe it, but it’s been the go-to medicine of mothers all around the globe for centuries. All bone broths — beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more — have been staples in traditional diets of every culture and the basis of all fine cuisine. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and they boost healing.
Bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days – this is what our ancestors did in order to not waste and get all the nutrients the animal had to offer. The simmering of these parts cause the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.
By drinking bone broth regularly or using it in recipes, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing inflammation. Here are the six major bone broth benefits.
1. Protects Joints – Bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen, the protein found in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we age, cartilage diminishes as it gets attacked by antibodies. As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorbable to help restore cartilage.
2. Good for the Gut – Studies show that gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as to wheat or dairy), helping with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.
3. Maintains Healthy Skin – Collagen helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. Collagen also helps reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, puffiness and various other signs of aging. Many people have reported a decrease in cellulite when consuming bone broth or supplements containing collagen.
4. Supports Immune System Function – One of the most remarkable things about bone broth is its gut-supportive benefits, which actually have a holistic effect on the body and support healthy immune system function. Leaky gut occurs when undigested particles from foods seep through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where the immune system detects them and becomes hyperactive. This increases inflammation and leads to dysfunctions all over, as the immune system releases high levels of antibodies that cause an autoimmune-like response and attack healthy tissue. Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and therefore support immune system function and healthy inflammation response.
5. Boosts Detoxification – Today, the average person is exposed to an array of environmental toxins, pesticides, artificial ingredients and chemicals of all sorts. While the human body has its own means of detoxifying itself from heavy metals and other toxic exposures, it often has a hard time keeping up when flooded with an overwhelming amount of chemicals. Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent since it helps the digestive system expel waste and promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins, helps maintain tissue integrity, and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.
6. Aids the Metabolism and Promotes Anabolism – Bone broth is a great way to obtain more glutathione, which studies show plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism and regulation of cellular events. A 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition states that glutathione’s roles and benefits include regulating gene expressions, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production, and immune responses.
How to Make Bone Broth
There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock. You can make bone broth with animal components alone, but in his chicken soup study, Dr. Rennard found that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.
You also want to buy animal products that you know are pasture-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones in order to truly unlock all the bone broth benefits.
For the classic bone broth recipe, Fallon describes the essentials as bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water. If you’re making beef broth or lamb broth, you should brown the meat before putting it into a stock pot. Fish and poultry are fine to put in a pot without browning first. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.
- Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
- Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
- Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
- 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.
- 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.
Amid the Paleo diet craze, you can also even buy bone broth these days, such as at a broth shop where people sip bone broth rather than coffee or at certain gourmet grocery stores. Or you can buy bone broth supplements, where you want to make sure they are properly sourced (without antibiotics, for example). Nonetheless, the best bone broth is often made at home.