I feel I’ve been banging on about bone broth lately to my clients, in seminars and on social media. So I thought I might as well sum up what it’s all about in a post.
Bone broth is essentially stock. Not the stock you get out of a box or from a cube but broth made with beef or chicken bones that have been slow cooked over a long period of time, drawing out all the goodness from the bones. We have been consuming this traditional food for centuries but only now is it being fully recognized for all its healing properties.
What’s so good about it?
Bone broth provides an exceptional source of nutrition. It is absolutely loaded with nutrients that are significantly lacking in our modern day diet. These include minerals such as magnesium and calcium, amino acids like glutamine and gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) and provides healing amino acids like glutamine, arginine and glycine. These nutrients make it an incredible healing food for the gut lining and digestive health, skin, joints and connective tissue. As a result, bone broth is fantastic for recovery from training, boosting performance in the gym and decreasing your risk of injury. Think about it, where do you normally get injured? It's generally in the joint area like elbows, knees and shoulders and tendons and not so much the belly of muscles.
It is also a great source of protein that is easy to digest and highly absorbable due to its long cooking time. It has what’s called a protein-sparing effect, which means you can get away with eating less protein but still reap the benefits of a high protein diet.
We eat so much muscle meat like chicken breast, steak and lamb cutlets but we don’t balance that out with the other parts of the animal, like cartilage.
In traditional diets, muscle meat was actually considered the worst cut because of it’s lower nutrient density compared to other, less popular cuts like neck and cheek.
What are the benefits?
I highly recommend incorporating bone broth in to your diet. I know it’s not everyone’s jam and the thought of simmering a pot of bones for 24 hours makes some people cringe. But you get over it, I promise. This is why you need to get onto it:
1. Boost immunity and helps fight colds and flu
Winter is here and it’s generally a time people start getting sick. Drinking bone broth can boost your immune system to prevent you being knocked down this winter. It also reduces the severity of colds and flu once you have it. Get stuck in to the chicken soup!
2. Heals the gut
The gelatin and glutamine in bone broth helps to heal the digestive lining and aid in the absorption of nutrients. This is one of the most powerful tools I use for gut healing with my clients.
3. Reduces joint pain
Bone broth contains glucosamine, which can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen and aid in the repair of damaged joints.
4. Fights inflammation throughout the body
Bone broth is extremely high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids proline and glycine. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is the key to health and vitality.
5. Produces beautiful hair, skin and nails
Collagen in bone broth helps form elastin and other compounds that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful appearance as well as strong hair and nails.
6. Helps bone growth and repair
Bone broth helps bones to grow and repair due to its calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content.
7. Boost detoxification
Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent. It contains potassium and glycine which support both cellular and liver detoxification. It also boosts detoxification sulphur and glutathione, the king of all antioxidants and used in phase II of liver detoxification.
8. Calms the mind and promotes sleep
The amino acid glycine found in large amounts in bone broth can be very calming.
How do I add it into my diet?
Bone broth is extremely versatile and can be used in any recipe that calls for stock or water. You can cook your rice or quinoa in it, use it in soups or stews, make home-made gravy and sauces with it or simply enjoy it as a hot drink (I like to add sliced ginger to mine).
How to make bone broth
You can make bone broth with animal bones alone but combining vegetables with the bones has shown to have a synergistic effect, meaning they work together to have more benefits than consumed on their own.
You want to buy good quality animal bones that come from grass fed sources and that are free of antibiotics and hormones.
Ask the butcher for parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your supermarket. Use things like chicken feet and neck bones, marrow and knucklebones as these contain the most collagen. Just ask your butcher for a bag and he will give you whatever he has.
BEEF BONE BROTH RECIPE
I use a slow cooker, as I don’t feel comfortable leaving something on the stove whilst out all day.
1.5- 2kg grass fed beef bones
2 carrots, chopped medium
2 celery sticks, chopped medium
1 brown onion, chopped medium
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt and pepper
water (roughly 3-4litres)
1. place vegetables at the bottom of the slow cooker
2. Add the beef bones on top of the veggies
3. Tuck in the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and add the apple cider vinegar over the bones (the ACV draws the minerals out of the bones).
4. Add enough water to cover everything
5. Cook on low for 12-24 hours (you can actually cook beef bones for up to 48 hours)
6. When its ready, pour the broth through a strainer and discard the solids.
7. If your bones are quite fatty, it can make the broth quite greasy and unappealing. I like to put it it in the fridge overnight and then scrape off the top layer of solidified fat. You can keep this and use it as a cooking fat!
8. The broth underneath looks like beef jelly. This is due to the high gelatin content (the good stuff!).
9. You can store it in the fridge for a few days or put separate it into portions in glass jars or containers and keep it in the freezer for several months. When you want to use the frozen broth, just pop it in a saucepan and it will turn to liquid in seconds.
So, what do you think? Will you give it try? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.