Bone Broth: #1 on our list of healing foods
It seems almost EVERYONE is drinking or incorporating bone broth into their diet now. In the last few years this ancient superfood has returned with a force in the health, athletic, and culinary worlds. Besides all the health benefits (outlined below), it is also a resourceful use of bone and vegetable scraps that would otherwise be thrown away. If you have never made your own bone broth/stock before, I challenge you to give it a try!
Quality matters in both the selection of ingredients AND method of preparation. Select organic and grass-fed, free range, hormone-free animal bones and remember to include joints, knuckles, hooves, wings, etc. Canned, processed broth is NOT the same thing and often times is not even made from animal bones. The many health benefits of bone broth require quality bones and cartilage and long cooking times to leach minerals from the bones and free the collagen stores.
What to look for: If making it at home is more that you are up for, there are a few producers that make bone broth in-house, using quality sources and longer cook times. One of my local favorites is Beltex Meats in Salt Lake City. It should be gelatinous once cooled (read jiggle) to know that you are getting a good amount of collagen in the broth. Also don’t be shy to ask about the bone source and how long they cook their broths for.
- Protective to your gut: collagen attracts digestive juices to itself and can prevents GI bugs from attaching to the gut wall and causing damage
- Collagen in the broth assist with digestion and joint health
- Mineral rich! Easily assimilable calcium silicon, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, and trace minerals (Maximize minerals in the broth by leaching with vinegar and/or longer cook times)
- Can sooth digestive disorders: IBS, colitis, Crohn's Disease
- Supports anemia (responds to gelatin)
- Fights GI bugs (like the flu)
- Helps with soft tissue, bone and wound healing
- Supportive of joint health
A favorite recipe, made simple:
You can make your own chicken bone broth by placing the carcass/bones in the crock pot (roast a chicken, strip the meat and use for various meals or put back into the broth after cooking if you make soup), cover with water and add a dash of vinegar (I like using Ume Plum found in the asian section at Whole Foods), throw in one strip of Kombu seaweed and any veggies (carrots, onions, celery, kale/chard stems) and cook for 8-12 hrs on low, strain and refrigerate or freeze. Make a soup, use as the liquid when making grains or beans, or enjoy a cup with sea salt and spices.
Written by Katy Scott, DPT, MDT, NPT