What You Didn’t Know About Bone Broth (Plus, A Recipe!)
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates is credited for stating this well-loved creed nearly 2,500 years ago. Boy, was he right!
Each year we understand more how the systems of the body work together and how every bite we put into our mouth will either build our health or break it down.
Here at the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, we believe that every system of the body is connected and that each system in the body works together in harmony — at least, they are supposed to!
We believe in addressing the root cause of disease and not just covering up the symptoms. As we gain more understanding of the body, we are learning that the digestive system is at the core of our overall health.
Did you know that 60-80% of our immune system is in our gut? Which means that if our gut is out of balance, we will most likely experience chronic health problems.
10 SURPRISING SYMPTOMS LINKED TO AN UNHEALTHY GUT
- Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
- Mood swings and irritability
- Skin problems like eczema and rosacea
- Frequent or chronic illnesses
- Autoimmune disease
- Hormone imbalances
- Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD
Lucky for us, an unhealthy gut can be repaired with functional foods. A functional food is any food or ingredient that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients that it contains.
Functional foods play a role in reducing the risk of negative health conditions and can also increase the healing ability of the body.
LIKE GRANNY USED TO MAKE
Bone broth has been a staple in most traditional cultures all over the world for centuries. Your grandma or great-grandma may have nursed you back to health when you were sick with a hearty bowl of homemade chicken soup. Unfortunately, grandma’s home-simmered-broths have been replaced by soup that is canned, highly processed, and devoid of healing nutrients.
WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BONE BROTH
Bone broth is an amazingly nutrient dense food with a wide range of health benefits.
Traditionally prepared bone broth is a nutrient-rich gold mine. Bones contain an abundance of minerals along with essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks that form proteins in the body.
Protein is essential for building and repairing all tissues and organs of the body as well as carrying out almost all of the chemical reactions in the cells.
Each batch of bone broth will differ in the exact nutrient content based on the bones used, cooking time and method. Bone broth is:
- Full of Collagen. Collagen makes up 30% of the protein in the body. Collagen provides structure for the development of the body’s many tissues.
- These tissues include cartilage, bone, ligament, tendon, and skin. Collagen promotes tissue regeneration and wound healing; it helps heal and seal the gut, and improves skin elasticity and moisture retention.
- High in Gelatin. When collagen is simmered, it forms gelatin. Gelatin is what gives bone broth it’s “Jell-O” like consistency once it is cooled. You can tell if your bones came from a healthy animal if the broth gels when chilled. Gelatin attracts and holds liquids. In the digestive system, this is beneficial because it will hold digestive juices in their proper place, which will support proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Rich in Minerals. Bones are full of minerals. As the bones are simmered (with vinegar), the minerals are extracted out into the water. Some of the most abundant minerals found in bone broth include calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
The benefits that these specific minerals have on the body are many and include promoting strong and healthy bones, maintaining and boosting the health and function of the immune system, as well as, regulating the brain and functions of the nervous system.
Protip: Add a dash of raw apple cider vinegar to your simmering bone broth to make sure you get all of the nutrients!
PICK YOUR FLAVOR
The most important thing to remember when making broth, no matter what type of bones you choose, is to make sure they come from organically-raised, pastured, grass-fed animals or wild caught fish.
Animals will produce healthy bones full of all the beneficially properties mentioned above if they are humanely raised and fed a natural diet.
Generally, the most common types of bones used for broths include:
Each will have its own distinct flavor. Chicken and turkey broth typically are the mildest tasting and easiest to obtain bones, so choose these if you’re new to the bone broth scene. We have included an easy bone broth recipe below to help you get started.
Did you know that bone broth has become so popular that you can buy it? Pre-made broth can be a good option. Just make sure to follow this advice when you shop:
- Buy broth made from organically-raised, pastured, grass-fed animals or wild caught fish.
- Make sure the other ingredients included are organically sourced. This will minimize the toxins and enhance the nutrients you’ll receive.
- Buy broth that is sold in glass or cartons. Avoid cans and containers that contain BPA, which is a potent endocrine disruptor.
- If purchasing bone broth powder, follow the same advice above. The best bone broth powders contain dried bone broth concentrate. Often, they may also include powdered vegetables. It’s a good idea to read and know all the ingredients.
The gut is literally the gateway to health. Regardless of a diagnosis, the first step to take in improving your health is to heal the gut by dishing up a cup of easy, made-at-home bone broth.
EASY PEASY BONE BROTH RECIPE
- 2 lbs chicken bones, or 1-2 full free-range organic chicken carcasses
- Cool water, to cover bones
- 2 T raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 onion
- 4 carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1” fresh ginger
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch parsley
- Place chicken carcass in a large stockpot or crockpot.
- Pour in water and add vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow acid of the vinegar to begin leaching the nutrients from the bones.
- Prepare vegetables. Cut the root end off of the onion, remove outer paper of onion, cut into quarters. Wash and cut celery and carrots into thirds. Set aside.
- Bring bones and water to a boil for about 10 minutes. Remove any scum that rises to the top.
- Add vegetables and ginger to the pot. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 12-24 hours. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be.
- During the last 30 minutes of simmering add in the parsley and garlic.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using a slotted spoon scoop out the bones, veggie, and herbs.
- Strain the broth with a fine mesh sieve and pour into glass jars. Allow broth to cool completely before adding a lid to the jar.
- Place cooled glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for later use.
- You can also use 1 turkey carcass, 2 pounds fish bones or 2 pounds beef bones.
- If using beef bones, the best bones include oxtail, beef shank, and marrow bones. It is best to roast the beef bones slightly, this will help create a deeper, fuller flavor to your broth.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Place bones on a baking sheet and brush with 2 T Apple cider vinegar.
- Roast bones for 30 minutes.
- After roasting bones follow instructions in the recipe above.
Vegetables are optional, and you can use more or less than called for in the recipe. They will enhance the flavor and add additional vitamins and minerals to your broth. Select organic vegetables (you can even use your kitchen scraps).
I like to save carrot peels, celery tops, and broccoli stalks in the freezer until I’m ready to make a batch of broth.
Comment below and tell us your favorite kind of bone broth!
Hungry for more? Use your homemade broth in this Crazy Simple Cauliflower Soup Recipe!