Bone broth has become a recent food trend even though it was a common way for our ancestors to use every part of an animal when cooking. It is considered a “superfood” of the Paleo world due to its versatility. Most store-bought stocks and broths today are made using unnatural meat flavors from bouillon cubes and sauce mixes. The best way to make inexpensive, nutrient-dense bone broth at home is by purchasing animal parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department, such as chicken feet, neck, marrow, skin, tendons, and ligaments. These parts shouldn’t be eaten directly, but when combined with water and vegetables and simmered over a period of days, they release healing compounds to help transform your health.
Bone broth takes the saying “Chicken soup is good for the soul” to the next level. The process of simmering the broth results in a creation of collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine as well as conditional amino acids and other minerals. Many of the nutrients present in bone broth cannot be easily obtained from other foods, yet are abundant and easy to digest in this form.
The natural collagen present in bone broth is a result of simmering the protein found in vertebrates. In humans, collagen and gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) are important to protect many parts of our bodies. As we get older, our joints experience normal wear and tear. These valuable components help take the pressure off of joints by providing a soft cushion between bones. Gelatin is also important for protecting the gut by restoring the strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities. At a deeper level, collagen, gelatin, and a combination of amino acids can help seal the openings in the intestinal lining in someone who suffers from leaky gut and can aid in healing IBS, Chron’s and other conditions. This protection and soothing will also help support normal immune system function and healthy inflammatory response.
Another benefit of natural collagen found in bone broth is that it can help improve skin elasticity and fine lines to maintain the skin’s youthful appearance. Studies have also shown that consuming natural collagen and proline, like that found in bone broth, can result in a decrease in cellulite by improving connective tissue strength. The amino acid proline is also important to help reduce cholesterol buildup and decrease the size of potential blockage.
(TIP: THE COLLAGEN IS THE JIGGLING LAYER THAT FORMS ON TOP OF THE BROTH WHEN IT COOLS. DO NOT DISCARD IT – THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF!)
Bone broth is also known for its powerful detoxification properties. The average person is exposed to a high level of environmental toxins and chemicals on a daily basis. A combination of nutrients in bone broth help expel waste and boost liver function to remove toxins and improve the body’s use of antioxidants.
One of the amino acids in bone broth, glycine, can even help you reduce stress to sleep better at night and boost mood and alertness during the day. It is also known to support your memory, nervous system, wound healing, and muscle repair & growth.
Bone broth was also noted as one of the “Top 50 Winter Foods for Weight Loss”. Some call it “nature’s multivitamin” because it is packed with so many beneficial nutrients. Many of these compounds are sold as pricey health supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain. From now on, make your own! Bone broth can, and should be, consumed daily as part of your diet. When making your own batch of bone broth, remember to include vegetables to activate the synergistic effect resulting in even more beneficial nutrients.