We try to get bone broth in some form every day, either via a cup of broth or a scoop of the broth gelatin straight from a jar in the fridge. Bone broth is a very nutritious food that has numerous health benefits. It is made by slow cooking the bones, skin, cartilage, tendons, and even feet from an animal in water for 24 hours or longer. Typically made from the bones of chicken or beef, it can also be made from lamb or fish. An acidic medium (vinegar or lemon juice) is added to the cooking liquid to pull the minerals out of the bones while they cook, depositing the minerals into the broth. After the broth is cooled in the refrigerator over night it congeals into a gelatin. The longer the bones cook in the broth, the more gelatinous it becomes. The end result is a rich healthy source of nutrients that is a key component to a healthy diet.
Bone broth contains:
- minerals (calcium, silicon, sulfer, magnesium, glucosamine, phosphorus, trace minerals, and glucosamine chondroitin sulfates)
- amino acids (proline, arginine and glycine)
Bone broth health benefits:
- Heals leaky-gut related conditions and lessens inflammation in the mucosal lining
- Helps to heal autoimmune conditions by healing the gut
- Aids in detoxification by supporting the liver
- Aids digestion by regulating the synthesis of bile salts and the secretion of gastric acid
- Improves nervous system function and keeps our minds (and moods) in good working order
- Boosts antioxidant activity in the body, thus decreasing oxidative damage
- Balances blood sugar, helps maintain muscle, and regulates human growth hormone (for all you gym-goers out there)
- Helps to reverse heart disease by reducing atherosclerotic plaque build-up
- Reduced cellulite, stretch marks, and wrinkles (from the collagen content)
- Improves hair and nails
- Re-mineralizes teeth
My favorite Scientist (ThePaleoMom) sums up the science behind bone broth better than anyone out there...
"Glycine and proline are two key components of connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together. There are many types of connective tissue and these two amino acids feature prominently in most of them, from the cartilage that forms our joints to the extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold for the cells in our individual organs, muscles, arteries etc. Without these two amino acids, we would literally fall apart. So, it is no surprise that we need these two amino acids to heal, not only gaping wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and other tissues in our body caused by inflammation and infection. In fact, glycine is known to inhibit the immune system and reduce activation of inflammatory cells in your body. Whether you are trying to heal from an infection, address an auto-immune disease, or reduce inflammation caused by neolithic foods or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, high levels of dietary glycine are critical. In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress."
We buy a large container of grass-fed beef soup bones from our local co-op for super cheap and end up with a ton of health-giving bone broth. Such an inexpensive way to get a nutritional boost every day! Most recently I made a batch of broth over the course of 7 days, using the carcass of one chicken. Here is the recipe. Go make a batch right now!
"Good broth will resurrect the dead" South American proverb