Human beings have been using the bones of the animals they eat since the advent of cooking, which offers evidence that the substances and nutrients inside bones are beneficial to health. In fact, it's only in more recent decades that people became less likely to use bones to make broth, primarily due to a rise in convenience foods that are often boneless, skinless, or otherwise processed. Although the cook time may be lengthy, bone broth is easy to make, and its health effects are wide-ranging. Your grandmother knew what she was doing when she used the Thanksgiving turkey carcass to make soup stock. It's more than just a way to stretch resources and reduce waste. Making bone broth can be an excellent investment in your health, benefiting many bodily systems.
Bone Broth and Healthy Digestion
More doctors, scientists and researchers are gaining an understanding of how important gut health is to physical and mental well-being. When the flora of the gut is unbalanced, a multitude of health issues can ensue, including weight gain, immune system malfunction, and mood issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Bone broth contains compounds, particularly a type of gelatin that when combined with collagen can create a protective barrier in the lining of the stomach that blocks toxins from entering. This barrier allows the stomach and intestinal lining to heal and potentially aid in healing a leaky gut. Bone broth is easily digestible, which allows the vital nutrients it contains to be absorbed more rapidly than solid food sources containing these nutrients.
The Health of Your Bones and Joints
Turns out bone broth can improve the health of your own bones and joints. This nutrient-rich liquid contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, chondroitin sulfate, glycine, glucosamine and sulfur in easily absorbed forms. Collagen, which is naturally found in bones, will leach out into the broth during preparation, making it available to aid in restoring cartilage. Bone broth is highly recommended for individuals with any type of chronic joint pain.
Chicken soup really does have properties that help when you come down with a cold.
Amino Acids with Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Glycine, proline, cysteine and arginine are all amino acids present in bone broth, and assist the body in combating inflammation. Glycine is also said to have a soothing effect, which can help people sleep more soundly. Although scientists aren't sure exactly why chicken soup can cure colds, one speculation is the anti-inflammatory and healing effects of its ingredients. Cysteine, for example, can thin out mucus in lungs, rendering it less sticky so you can cough it out more easily.
Make Your Own or Grab a Premade Cup
Nothing beats a homemade cup of hot, nutrient-rich bone broth, but in today's hectic world, not many find the homemade option very viable. The entire cooking process can take up to 18 hours to complete. Those who are in the habit of making their own, however, may not be aware that roasting the bones before simmering them helps to release vital nutrients as does the addition of vegetables, herbs, and vinegar. A couple of tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar helps draw nutrients from the bones into the stock. All you need is a large stock pot (or slow cooker), filtered water, and bones from an organically raised, grass-fed, or pastured animal. Bones will need to simmer for several hours (up to 24 hours) to extract the most benefit. If you want to try your hand at making your own, you can find recipes on the Weston A. Price website. If preparing your own bone broth doesn't quite fit into your lifestyle, no need to go without. Over the past 5 years or so, the growing trend for making health promoting food easily accessible has inspired the launch of high quality premade bone broths you can find in your local health food store or online. Two brands I recommend are Kettle & Fire and Brodo. The plethora of nourishing compounds contained in bones is why they have been a staple in so many cultures throughout recorded history.
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