Bone Broth

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Bone Broth

Bone Broth

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 
   Hippocrates

Drinking bone broth daily can have tremendous health benefits.  Bone broths made from any type of organic bones, beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more are found in the traditional diets of almost every culture.  Bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and they boost healing.

Making a bone broth or stock was a way people of all ancestory made use of every part of an animal.  Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments which are typically not eaten, can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days.  The simmering allows the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine which provide necessary nutrients with the ability to transform your health.

Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others.  They contain chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.1

A study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center wondered what it was in the soup that made it so beneficial for colds and flu.  Researchers found the amino acids which were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion.  Also, research is proving it can also boost the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma, and arthritis.2
Sally Fallon explains that most store “stock and “broth” bought today aren’t “REAL”.  Instead, they use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup and sauce mixes.  Also, manufacturers began using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor but in reality is a neurotoxin.

One of the most important parts of bone broth is the collagen content.  Collagen as defined by Medical News today:

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is the substance that holds the whole body together. It is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons, where it forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure.3

Real collagen is the source of stock’s immune-boosting properties.  You’ve probably seen this jiggling layer atop the broth in your cooling pan and discarded it but think again next time–this is the good stuff.
  • Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals.  It’s abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.  The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.
  • Gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) was one of the first functional foods, used as a medical treatment in ancient China.

Dr. Francis Pottenger and other world class researches have found gelatin and collagen to have the listed benefits:
  • Gelatin helps people with food allergies and sensitivities tolerate those foods including cows milk and gluten.
  • Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing IBS, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux.
  • Gelatin promotes probiotic balance and growth.
  • Bone broth increases collagen reducing the appearance of wrinkles and banishing cellulite.
  • Because gelatin helps break down proteins and soothes the gut lining, it may prove useful for leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune disorders that accompany it.
  • Gelatin provides bone-building minerals in easily absorbable ways, preventing bone loss and reducing join pain.4
And here is another incredible benefit from the collagen found in bone broth, it can make your skin look amazing!  According to Donna Gates, author of Body Ecology, bone broth makes your skin supple and can decrease cellulite!
Donna says cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue and if someone has very smooth skin it’s because their skin is high in connective tissue.  Donna explains that consuming collagen-rich bone broth can reduce cellulite and tighten your skin making you look younger.

Making bone broth can be changed somewhat to suit individual preferences.  I collect all the parts of the vegetables left over when we clean them up for a vegetable tray and toss them into the pot along with the bones, skin and any other parts I might have available..  

When making bone broth Sally Fallon says that it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store, things like chicken feet and neck.
You’ll also want to buy animal products that you know are pasture-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones.

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. 

Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids (conditional amino acids are those classified as nonessential amino acids that are essential under some conditions: you have a difficult time producing them you are ill or stressed)  The conditional amino acids often found in bone broth are: arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline.  These amino acids also contribute to stock’s healing properties.

Kaayla Daniel points out that unhealthy Western diets, heavy on processed carbohydrates, low in quality grass-fed animal products, and devoid of homemade soups and broths, make it likely that these amino acids are chronically essential.
What do these conditional amino acids do?
Arginine
  • Necessary for immune system function and wound healing
  • Needed for the production and release of growth hormone
  • Helps regenerate damaged liver cells
  • Needed for the production of sperm
Glycine
  • Prevents breakdown of protein tissue like muscle
  • Used to make bile salts and glutathione
  • Helps detoxify the body of chemicals and acts as antioxidant4
  • Is a neurotransmitter that improves sleep and improves memory and performance
Glutamine
  • Protects gut lining
  • Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
  • Improves metabolism and muscle building
Proline
  • Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
  • Reduces cellulite and makes skin more supple
  • Helps repair leaky gut
Bone Broth Cooking Suggestions
  1. Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill stock pot with filtered water.  Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours.  Remove scum as it arises.
  5. 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 bone.
  6. You can also add in vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery for added nutrient value.
  7. 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.
Below is a video from Dr. Josh Axe on how to make bone broth. 




1 Kaayla T. Daniel, “Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin,” Weston A. Price Foundation.  http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-broth-is-beautiful (accessed 18 June 2013).

2 University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Chicken Soup for a Cold”  http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/chickensoup_newsrelease.htm (accessed 21 October  2011).

3 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php

4 Kaayla T. Daniel, “Taking Stock: Soup for Healing Body, Mind, Mood, and Soul,” Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/naughty-nutrition/201202/taking-stock-soup-healing-body-mind-mood-and-soul (accessed 20 February 2012).
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