What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a traditional food found across the world that is prepared a variety of ways. Generally, it involves boiling animal/fish bones and joints in water for a number of hours with an acid added to extract minerals. The resulting broth is used for soups, consumed as a hot drink or incorporated into dishes in a variety of other ways. It can include vegetables and spices or not.
Benefits of Bone Broth:
- Contains key nutrients difficult to get in other places in the diet:
- Collagen/Gelatin help maintain strong connective tissues (joints, skin etc)
- Glycosaminoglycans help maintain membrane integrity of the stomach, bladder and gastrointestinal tract and also help with joint collagen maintenance.
- Glycine is a soothing amino acid and neurotransmitter that can help calm the mind and strengthen collagen
- Proline is an amino acid our body can make, but that is useful to have a top up in the diet. It helps strengthen collagen and may also affect neurological function.
- Glutamine is a very important amino acid that feed cells that make up our gut lining and powers our immune systems.
- Bone marrow contains collagen and may supply other important nutrients.
- Minerals – bone is full of minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Adding acid to your bone broth (vinegar, lemon juice etc) will help extract these minerals.
Areas of health that benefit from bone broth:
- Metabolism and cardiovascular
- Muscle and performance
- Skin, bones and joints
- Detoxification, liver and kidney
- Eye health
- Brain health
- Mood and sleep
- Immune function
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
There are many variations of bone broth that can be made. To get you started. Here is a simple recipe to make a versatile bone broth.
- 1 chicken rack (roasted chicken with the meat removed – make every effort to get a properly raised chicken to increase nutrition and decrease risk of toxins)
- 8-12 cups of water
- 1-2 tbsp of acidic medium (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice etc)
- salt/pepper to taste
- Boil for 4-8 hours on stove top
- Pressure cook for 90 minutes
- Slow cook for 8-12 hours
Herbs, vegetables and other seasonings. A lot of broth recipes call for having a lot of extra ingredients, but I find that the flavour of broth salted with an herbed salt is my favourite and the most versatile in the kitchen.
What to do with your bone broth
- Drink it heated in a mug before bed. My favourite. The glycine and magnesium content can aid in sleep.
- Make a soup
- Add it to sauces/use in recipes that call for broth/boullion
- Boil it down to make savory gummy cubes to reconstitute later (store in the freezer)
For more on the benefits of bone broth:
Kresser, C. The bountiful benefits of bone broth: a comprehensive guide. Access on November 13, 2017. https://chriskresser.com/the-bountiful-benefits-of-bone-broth-a-comprehensive-guide/