Benefits of Healing Bone Broth
“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” – Laurie Colwin
It’s true, if there ever was a comfort food—homemade soup surely fits the description.
But soup made from bone broth earns the highest rank—that of a superfood!
Bone broth is a nutrient-rich food that’s especially beneficial for health and well-being. It’s also relatively inexpensive and easy to make.
Bone Broth Minerals and Nutrients
Bone broth is made by leeching the minerals and nutrients from bones, cartilage, ligaments, and marrow by prolonged simmering in water. The process makes bone broth extremely rich in these healthful minerals and nutrients and easy for the body to absorb. In fact, because of their concentration and ease of absorption, bone broth may be far more beneficial than supplements.
Here are just a few of the minerals and nutrients found in bone broth:
- Amino acids: arginine, cysteine, glycine, proline, glutamine. These amino acids assist the body in everything from boosting the immune system, regenerating damaged cells, the production of sperm, making bile salts, and improving sleep and memory!
- Minerals: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, chondroitin sulphates, and glucosamine. These minerals are essential to the health of our bones, hair, nails, joints and reducing inflammation.
- Collagen and gelatin help people with food sensitivities and allergies. They protect and soothe the digestive tract, promote probiotic balance and growth, and reduce wrinkles and cellulite.
Bone Broth Other Benefits
Perhaps you’ve heard that chicken soup is good for a cold. Well, there’s solid science behind that claim. The a thin the mucus in the lungs and improve the immune system, thereby accelerating the healing process.
Bone broth is also touted as being a great gut healing agent. Systemically, as the health of the gut goes, so goes the health of the body.
The ease of digestion and its healing effect on the lining of the intestinal tract are two major reasons for this benefit. Simply make bone broth a regular part of your diet to obtain this benefit. Or, do a bone broth fast for 3 days to help rapidly repair a leaky gut.
By the way, you won’t get all these benefits out of a can, box mix or bullion.
Bone broth also provides a clever way to stretch your grocery dollars while doing something very healthy for you and your family. Next time you roast a chicken, eat ribs, chops, steak, roast, or other meat with bones, simply save all the bones, cartilage, scraps, and any other parts you might normally discard. Then, we’ll show you below what to do with them.
How to Make Bone Broth
Making bone broth is so easy, if you can boil water, you can make bone broth!
Always begin with organic, pastured or grass-fed meats. This will ensure that you’re only extracting the “good stuff” and not getting hormones or other harmful additives in your broth. You can use practically any meat: beef, pork, veal, bison, fish, chicken, turkey, duck, as well as wild meats.
If you’re using bones that have already been cooked in some way, there’s no need for additional preparation. But if you’re working with raw bones from the butcher shop, you’ll want to roast these in the oven before tossing them in the stock pot. To roast raw bones, place them in a roasting pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Don’t think of making bone broth as a recipe. Like I said, it’s nearly impossible to fail at it. Use a tall stock pot or similar large pot, place the bones and other leftover pieces (save the good, leftover meat for other purposes) and cover them liberally with water.
For a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps extract all the nutrients. If using a smaller pot, decrease the amount of vinegar. (You won’t be able to taste the vinegar in the finished broth.)
We recommend adding some vegetables that will enhance the flavor and add to the nutrient-rich broth. Simply quarter an onion, rough-chop a couple carrots and celery stalks and throw in some parsley.
Bring the whole mixture to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low simmer. The longer you cook the bones, the more nutritious your broth will be. Recommended simmer durations are:
- Poultry: 24 hours
- Beef and other hooved animals: 48 hours
- Fish: 8 hours
You’ll have to add water from time to time during the simmering process. After simmering the broth for the recommended duration, strain the broth through a fine-mesh colander or cheese cloth and discard everything but the broth. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to six days, or freeze it in zip-lock bags for longer storage.
Uses for Bone Broth
Use the bone broth as stock for soups, stews, casseroles, gravy, sauces, and sautéing. Substitute bone broth instead of water when making rice, quinoa, or couscous. If you have a cold or feel one coming on, simply heat up a mug of bone broth and drink it like tea—it’s delicious!