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Bone Broth - The reasons you can't live without this!

Updated on June 21, 2016
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Homemade bone broth helps speed healing and recuperation from illness. Research found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock, reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. Homemade broth is always better than the canned versions as you have control of what you put in it. It’s very easy and cost effective to make. I’ll list a couple recipes at the bottom of this article.

Bone broth contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals that can be easily absorbed by the body. Broth contains broken down material from cartilage and tendons (e.g. chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine), which are sold today as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain – and with who knows what mixed into the supplements.

The Influence of Broth on Your Gut

Science has determined in the last couple of years that your health is in large part dependent on the health of your intestinal tract. Many of our modern diseases appear to be rooted in an unbalanced mix of microorganisms in your digestive system, thanks to unbalanced diets that are too high in sugar, too low in healthy fats, veggies with traces of pesticides/herbicides, meat laced with hormones and other pollutants (yes it’s as bleak as it sounds) to sum it all up. Food today lacks the proper nutrients that keeps our bodies alive and functioning at the end of the day.

Broth is easily digestible, contains valuable nutrients that’s missing from our modern diet and helps heal the lining of your gut.

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1. Good for the Gut

A report published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that Individuals that had digestive imbalances, the serum concentrations of collagen where decreased but that gelatin effectively restores strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities such as gluten or dairy. It helps with growth of probiotics (good bacteria) and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.

Because the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and entire GI tract, supplementing with collagen can support healthy digestive function.

Bone broth is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system, unlike many other foods, which can be difficult to fully break down. This is excellent news for people with Leaky Gut Syndrome. After all, food is really only useful if we have the means of absorbing its nutrients.

2. Protects Joints

As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible. Studies have shown that bone broth is one of the world’s best sources of natural collagen (the protein found in vertebrae animals).

Gelatin provides us with building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones, helping take pressure off of aging joints and supporting heathy bone mineral density.

Research done by the Department of Nutrition and Sports Nutrition for Athletics at Penn State University found that when athletes supplemented with collagen over the course of 24 weeks, the majority showed significant improvements in joint comfort and a decrease in factors that negatively impacted athletic performance.

3. Supports Immune System Function

Leaky gut occurs when undigested particles from foods seep through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where the immune system detects them and becomes hyperactive. This increase inflammation which causes the immune system to release high levels of antibodies which in turn, cause an autoimmune-like response and attack healthy tissue.

Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and therefore support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. The collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal these openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity.

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4. Boosts Detoxification

Today in the Western world, the average person is exposed to an array of environmental toxins, pesticides, artificial ingredients and chemicals of all sorts. While the human body has its own means of detoxifying itself from heavy metals and other toxic exposures, it often has a hard time keeping up when flooded with an overwhelming amount of chemicals.

If a person has Leaky Gut Syndrome, they don’t absorb the nutrients and minerals that the body needs to detox and can become over burdened with toxins.

Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent since it helps the digestive system expel waste and promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins, helps maintain tissue integrity, and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.

One of the ways in which bone broth boosts detoxification is by supplying sulphur (especially when you add veggies, garlic and herbs to your broth) and glutathione. Glutathione in turn, helps with elimination of fat-soluble compounds, especially heavy metals like mercury and lead. It also helps with the absorption of various nutrients, the use of antioxidants and with liver-cleansing functions.

5. Aids Healing Amino Acids

Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids arginine (Argi+), glycine, glutamine and proline. These amino acids also contribute to healing.

Conditional amino acids are those classified as nonessential amino acids that are essential under some conditions. You don’t produce them very well if you are ill or stressed. With our Western diets depleted of nutrients, these amino acids are becoming chronically essential.

Arginine (Argi+)

  • 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 antioxidant
  • Is a neurotransmitter that improves sleep and improves memory and performance

Proline

  • Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
  • Reduces cellulite and makes skin more supple
  • Helps repair leaky gut

Glutamine

  • Protects gut lining
  • Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
  • Improves metabolism and muscle building

For these reasons, bone broth needs to be consumed a partial fast, detox or during meals to help heal guts and detoxify cells, gut and liver.

6. Boosts Fertility

In studying the actions of osteocalcin it has been found that it has a direct result on the testes’ production of testosterone. Since low testosterone can impair fertility, a higher osteocalcin level is associated with improved fertility rates in men.

While there is not a direct correlation between osteocalcin and fertility for women, the other benefits of bone broth support women’s reproductive system. For example, increased red blood cell production from the bone marrow and gelatin levels. Or the minerals like calcium and magnesium which are needed by the uterine muscles to function properly. Gelatin also helps the body to process excess estrogen, which can be harmful to reproductive health.

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7. Beneficial in Pregnancy

Protein is very important for digestion. In early pregnancy the symptom of morning sickness is usually due to low protein, and it can be difficult to get protein down when already feeling nauseated. Pregnant woman who already has morning sickness, should sip bone broth to keep their protein levels up and should continue drinking bone broth throughout their entire pregnancy.

The broth provides a great source of protein, needed by pregnant women and it also

Provides good fats which pregnant women needs in great amounts. The broth supports the nervous system, endocrine system and brain function so consuming broth during pregnancy will help the forming fetus develop new organs, which grow rapidly and need a great deal of nutrients to form correctly.

So in closing, the collagen in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation. In addition, collagen supports healthy skin and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Also, the glycine in bone broth can detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function. Why would you not want to consume this amazing natural supplement?

How long do you cook bones for stock?

Add a quart of water, off-cuts of vegetables like ends of carrots, onion, celery and stems of cilantro bunch and of other saved vegetable cast-offs. Boil then simmer for 2 or more hours. Strain off all but stock, discard bones and vegetables. Put in refrigerator over night, then skim off fat and discard.

How long can you keep homemade chicken broth in the fridge?

The FDA recommends storing it no more than 3-4 days. I would recommend only keeping chicken stock two or three days after cooking - much like cooked chicken itself. If your stock was made with vegetables, I would keep it for even less time - not because of safety, but because vegetable stocks quickly turn bitter.

Making the broth:

Ideally, you want bones with a bit of meat on them and bones with visible cartilage and marrow.

Instructions

Place the bones in a pie tin or cooking tray and place it in the oven and roast at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

Get enough bones to fill the entire bottom of a crockpot with. Smash some of the softer bones with a hammer. Alternatively, ask your butcher to cut them open for you so the marrow is exposed.

Place all of the bones in the crockpot. You should not be able to see the bottom of the pot.

Fill up the crockpot almost entirely with water. Leave about an inch from the top so it doesn't boil over.

Add 1 tablespoon ACV or balsamic vinegar for every 2 cups of water. Add generous amounts of Himalayan crystal salt or Celtic sea salt. Add a few tablespoons of garlic powder or one clove of garlic. Add fresh or dried anise. Add a "twig" of rosemary. Dried rosemary works too. Add a generous amount of black peppercorns. If you want an antioxidant boost, add a small amount of turmeric. The turmeric and pepper work in a synergistic manner.

Bring to a slow boil and keep it like that for a few minutes. After a few minutes, you should see an off-white foam rising to the top. Get a ladle and skim the foam out quickly.

Do NOT keep the broth boiling. . Reduce heat and let it simmer gently for at least 4 hours or overnight. Play around with the recipe to suit your taste buds and then drink to your health!

This chicken broth recipe from the www.nourishedkitchen.com website:

PERPETUAL SOUP OR BONE BROTH THE EASY WAY

Perpetual soup: Bone broth can be made in a slow cooker using this simple technique.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American

Serves: As much or as little broth as you want, my family consumes about 2 to 3 quarts of broth each day.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 whole chicken, (or the frame of a roasted chicken)
• 2 sweet bay leaves
• 1 tbsp black peppercorns
• any vegetable scraps you have on hand
• filtered water

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Place one whole chicken or the frame of a roasted chicken into your slow cooker with sweet bay, black peppercorns and any vegetable scraps you have on hand. Cover with filtered water and cook on low for one week.

2. After twenty-four hours, you may begin using the broth. As you need broth or stock, simply dip a ladle or measuring cup into the slow cooker to remove the amount of stock you need. Pour it through a fine-mesh sieve or, preferably, a reusable coffee filter which will help to clarify the broth. Replace the broth you remove from the slow cooker with an equivalent amount of filtered water. If you’re using a whole, fresh chicken, you may also remove chicken meat from the slow cooker as desired for stir-fries, in soups or in stews.

3. At the end of the week, strain off any remaining broth and discard or compost the bones. The bones from your chicken should crumble when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Their softness is an indication that much of the nourishment from the bones – minerals, amino acids – have leached from the bones and into the broth you’ve enjoyed all week long. Wash the insert of your slow cooker and start again.

This chicken broth recipe from the www.nourishedkitchen.com website.

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    • Webmerchant profile image
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      Webmerchant 15 months ago

      RTalloni, I'm glad that you came across this article then! How long did you use the bone broth and what was your experience with it?

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 15 months ago from the short journey

      I began learning about the benefits of bone broth when hit with an emergency surgery requiring an antibiotic that created long-lasting side effects. Thanks both for reminding me of details and expanding my knowledge base on this important food.