I think you would be hard pressed to go into someone’s home today and find a pot of bones bubbling away on the stove. Jump back, even just 50 years ago, and it would have been a household staple.
Bone broth or stock, is a traditional food that has been sadly lost to the quick and easy tetra packs of MSG laden and over priced stock that line supermarkets shelves today.
The use of bone broth is an integral part of many of my clients treatment programs.
When I first mention it to them I am usually met with a sceptical eye and a slight look of disgust, until I tell them why…
Benefits of Bone Broth
- It’s High in Protein – bone broth is rich in amino acids which are the building blocks of protein, and in turn is the building blocks of our body. In particular they are rich in proline and glycine. These two amino acids are two key components of connective tissue, which is the scaffolding that holds our body together. Without these two amino acids we would fall apart, which is why our bodies are clever enough to make proline and glycine when given the right nutrients to build from. These two amino acids are needed to heal, not just large wounds, but microscopic damages that are done to the blood vessel walls and other tissues. This microscopic damage occurs from systemic inflammation and infections.
- Muscle Growth – Proline and glycine are also essential for muscle recovery and repair by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.
- Feeling Happy – Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
- A Healthy Gut – Glycine supports digestion by regulating the synthesis of bile salts and the secretion of gastric acids. Nearly everyone that comes into my clinic complains of some sort of digestive issue. Our intestinal lining has microscopic spaces that allow nutrients to pass through to the blood system, however due to many lifestyle factor such as stress, poor diet, bacterial over growth and chronic illness, this lining starts to get larger holes in it, this is called intestinal permeability or leaky gut (visualise large holes in a flyscreen). Intestinal permeability allows larger molecules to pass through the intestinal lining and into the blood system. In turn, this causes the body to mount an immune response to these large molecules because they are not supposed to be in the blood stream. And what is the result of this? You got it, food sensitivities. In addition to this, all of this over activity of the immune system and can confuse the body and make it turn on itself and cause auto-immune conditions. So back to the bone broth, bone broth is loaded with gelatin which essentially works like spackle on the intestinal lining and to heal up the larger holes in the intestinal lining.
- Detoxification – glycine is required for proper detoxification pathways. It is needed for the production of glutathione. Glutathione is one of the body’s most important antioxidants that protect the liver and pretty much every cell against inflammation and cellular damage.
- Gelatin– this is one of the star nutrients in bone broth. Gelatin is required for collagen production. Collagen is found in our ligaments and tendons and is what keeps our skin youthful. The more jelly-like your bone broth is, the higher the gelatin content. As we age, collagen levels naturally drop and this is why we see the signs of ageing on our skin such as sagging and wrinkles.
Drinking a cup of bone broth everyday is one of the best things you can do as apart of your anti-ageing program.
- Healthy Joints – bone broth is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as many other glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s), which are essential for joint health. What is so special about the GAG’s that we get from bone broth is that they are resistant to digestion and are absorbed in their intact form. What a great alternative to glucosamine supplements!
- It’s Cheap – making bone broth costs next to nothing, especially when you are using the bones from your meals that you would normally toss into the bin. I always keep the bones from our meals in the freezer and when I have enough for a pot of stock I make some up. I often toss in a variety of bones all together such as chicken, lamb and beef. Once the stock is made, I freeze it in cup-sized portions, plus in ice cube trays so I have it ready to be included in any meal that I am cooking. If you don’t have the bones at home go to any quality butcher and you can buy a bag of bones for a couple of dollars.
The process of making the bone broth is what creates this healing elixir. By adding the bones of pasture-raised animals into water with a dash of apple cider vinegar; this acidic water leaches the minerals and nutrients from the bones and into the water. Homemade bone broth is rich is amino acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals. The form that these minerals are in is easily absorbed into the body.
Here is my simple healing bone broth recipe.
How to Use Bone Broth
As a part of any healing program I am getting my clients to drink ½ -1 cup of stock per day. It is lovely and warm, filling and serves as a great replacement for one of those cups of tea or coffee.
Another easy way to include bone broth into our daily diet is to use it whenever water or a liquid is required in a recipe. It can be used as the liquid for soups, sauces, for poaching or gravies. I also try to add at least a dash into my kid’s meals just to boost the availability of nutrients.
On a side note – always ensure that the bones you use is from pasture raised animals. If you use the bone from factory raised animals the toxins and antibiotic residue can be in the bones and will be leached into the broth. I always advise to buy pasture raised animals, not just from an ethical perspective, but because they have a better nutritional profile.