The benefits of bone broths are numerous and extensive. Their many properties are valuable and healing in a variety of ways. Some of the things that research has shown bone broths to help with include:
Boosts the Immune System: A study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that the amino acids that 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.
Helps to Heal the Gut, and Promote Healthy Digestion: The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin. Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux. It also helps with food allergies and sensitivities including cow’s milk and gluten. It also promotes the growth of probiotics. 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.
Reduces Joint Pain and Inflammation: Chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation. Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
Promotes Strong, Healthy Bones: Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation
Promotes Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails: Consuming collagen-rich bone broth can reduce cellulite and tighten your skin making you look younger. Cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissues. Smooth skin is high in connective tissues. Gelatin supports hair growth and helps nails to be strong.
Promotes Sleep and Calms the Mind: The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.
Reduces Cellulite: Increased collagen reduces the appearance of wrinkles and banishes cellulite
Reduces Toxins: The glycine in bone broth can detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function.
How to Make Bone Broth
There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock. You can make bone broth with animal components alone but in his chicken soup study, Dr. Rennard found that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.
Sally Fallon with the Weston A. Price foundation 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.
- Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
- Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
- Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
- 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.
- You can also add in vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery for added nutrient value.
- The “skin” that forms on the top is the best part. It contains valuable nutrients, such as sulfur, along with healthful fats, so just stir it back into the broth.
- Store excess broth in the freezer and use at a later time.