I am not talking about Swanson’s chicken broth in a can with a shelf life that will out-live you. Or the sewer water they serve you in the hospital. I am referring to this beautiful, beneficial, natural broth that is delicately made over a 2-4 day simmering period using grassfed bones…giving you BOUNTIFUL servings of calcium and gelatin which lack in numbers and comparison to our standard (American) diets.
If you are dairy free and worry about calcium, then just know that a cup of broth each day will provide you oodles of calcium, dare I say better than any glass of milk? The good thing about broth is that it is amazing at reducing inflammation, which helps you digest more efficiently, which then aids in the proper absorption of vital minerals and nutrients.
Bone broth is made up of animal bones, any of them work. You put them all in a stock pot and cover in water just enough to get it all under water and boil. You add vinegar and maybe some vegetables and scraps of fat for flavor. You boil for hours and for best results, you then simmer the bones for 2-3 days. This creates a flavorful pot of delicious and nutritious broth. What is in the bone, will be consumed in broth so yes, you are drinking bones. Bones contain cartilage, connective tissue, gelatin (collagen) calcium, protein, marrow as well as good amounts of magnesium and other minerals. There is no other substitute for bone broth. None.
Gelatin is probably one of the best ingredients in bone broth. Gelatin reduces inflammation and has been studied since the mid-1800’s. It’s positive effects include a decrease in arthritic pain, joint pain as well as reduction in digestive issues. One study revealed that gelatin helped aid the digestion of gluten, milk and beans. (this is telling for many reasons, but I’d point out that those food sources seem to cause the most inflammation, thus creating a destructive gut environment.) More studies have included using gelatin in baby formula to eliminate colic, which can often be caused by inflammation in their sensitive bellies due to reactions with specific food categories. “Gelatin has also been found to improve body weight as well as bone mineral density in states of protein undernutrition. (27) Additionally, studies have shown that convalescing adults, who have lost weight because of cancer, fare better if gelatin is added to their diet.” Alison Siebecker, Life & Health Library. Gelatin also increases the absorption as well as utilization of calcium… which most broth advocates agree is the cause of healthy bone density in those who drink this lovely potion. Minerals are critical for our bodies to maintain proper nutrition, however minerals (unlike vitamins) are more difficult to absorb. So what happens when we have deficiencies is that our body begins to rob itself of those minerals, such as calcium from the bone… thus leading to bone loss as we age.
I began drinking broth in 2009 and wish I had done it sooner. I have noticed, since then, an increase in hair and nail growth (thicker and stronger), brighter and improved, clear skin, increase in muscle mass and less muscle fatigue, restful sleep, as well as better concentration. When I began seeing the improvements alongside my broth consumption, I stocked up on it before my jaw surgery. The swelling went down in 4 days, which takes up to 2 weeks in most patients who have undergone the same surgery. My surgeon was dumbfounded when he saw me for my 3 day follow-up. The problem I faced was having such a false sense of vitality due to how much better the broth made me feel. Less inflammation meant less pain and I was off pain medications the second week (the doctor wrote me a prx “just incase” because he didn’t believe the pain was really over). Don’t get me wrong; I was in a lot of pain, but am not a fan of medications, so if I can manage without them, I will! Anyway- that’s my own little anectdotal experience, however it may imply some benefits. I do have a diet rich in vitamins, nutrients and do not consume sugar or processed foods… which also could have given me a head start and jump ahead in recovery. Something to be careful of is what I often experience… feeling SO good, I try and do too much, too soon. It’s something I battle with in myself, though I will be the first to tell others “slow down”. What can I say. I am still looking for a cure for stubbornness… which seems to prevent an easy recall of logic.
Back to bone broth.
Here are some conditions that are known to be helped by broth:
- aging skin
- attention deficit
- bean maldigestion
- brittle nails
- carbohydrate maldigestion
- Celiac Disease
- dairy maldigestion
- dental degeneration
- food sensitivities
- grain maldigestion
- heart attack
- high cholesterol
- hyperchlorhydria (reflux, ulcer)
- hyperparathyroidism (primary)
- increased urination
- infectious disease
Great links that talk about bone broth:
- This is the Weston A. Price Foundation link, which is an easy explanation of benefits as well as preparations:
- This link is a bit more geeky and scientific:
I recommend bone broth to my clients who are dealing with muscle weakness, joint pain, fatigue or digestive issues. I would also highly recommend broth to those who do not eat enough protein, such as vegans or vegetarians (no… hemp, pea and soy are not good sources of protein… I’d get my protein from a cricket before relying on those). Also, if you are not a big “meat eater” in general, I would include a good bone broth into your diet. If you like soup or coffee, then you will enjoy bone broth. Go ahead… just do yourself a favor!
If you don’t want to go through all the processes of making your own broth, nor are lucky enough to know someone(s) who will make it for you …we stock GALLONS upon gallons of our fresh made, grass-fed, 100% organic broth here in Austin!
email firstname.lastname@example.org to pick some up!
Here is the recipe from Weston A. Price:
about 4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
1 calves foot, cut into pieces (optional)
3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
4 or more quarts cold filtered water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
l bunch parsley
Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for one hour. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven. When well browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add cold water to the pan, set over a high flame and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices. Add this liquid to the pot. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones; but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking. Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme and crushed peppercorns.
Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn’t even smell particularly good. But don’t despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many other recipes in this book.
Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long-term storage.