Before superfoods there was just real food. In a faraway land, long ago, all food was real and all food was consumed because it was good for body, mind and spirit.
Back when life was lived with less rush, our thrifty ancestors made use of every part of the animal by preparing stock, broth or bouillon from the bony portions. These portions contained valuable gelatin, marrow and collagen, which are all powerhouses of nutrition. Sadly, many in modern society are unfamiliar with these delicacies and believe soups and broths come in a box, can or powder. Slow cooked broths are used across the world in traditional cuisines and our modern chefs understand that the depth of flavour created during the simmering process cannot be matched.
The health benefits of bone broth are vast and numerous. Almost every culture throughout history has used bone broth to make easily digested, healing soups and stews. It has been used in ancient medicinal practices to boost the immune system, support the digestive system and build and strengthen the blood. Our ancestors made bone broth soups and stews often to keep sickness at bay.
Bones from healthy, pasture raised animals are filled with a rich array of powerful nutrients that are released into the water when simmered for an extended period at a low temperature.
Other than supporting your immune function while feeling a little under the weather (your grandmother was right, home-made chicken soup will heal many ills), some of the many attributes of bone broth include:
- Healing intestinal hyper-permeability (leaky gut)
When the intestinal lining becomes too permeable and allows undigested food particles and disease causing bacteria to leak from your gut and into the bloodstream the body sees these innocent food particles as a foreign invader and starts to attack itself. Increased intestinal permeability can be responsible for the formation of food allergies, autoimmune conditions, asthma, skin conditions, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue and most diseases associated with chronic inflammation. Leaky gut, affects a huge part of the population and is a growing epidemic due to poor food choices, stress, environmental toxins, overuse of NSAIDS, antibiotics, birth control and other medications.
Bone broth helps heal gut permeability. The gelatin in bone broth heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. A healthy digestive tract is the cornerstone of health. When the digestive system is healed and working well, nutrients are properly and efficiently digested, absorbed and assimilated. Consuming bone broth is a more natural and effective way to heal and seal the gut than taking supplements.
- Assists the liver in detoxification
The liver is so overburdened from the toxic and chemical nature of the modern world. Toxicity exists everywhere from the air and water to the food supply and personal care products. The liver is responsible for removing these toxins from the body. The ability of the liver to eliminate these toxins effectively is largely dependent on the amount of available glycine. Gelatin-rich bone broth is rich in glycine and a strong ally in detoxification support.
- Reduces Inflammation
Chondroitin sulfate is a structural component of cartilage and has been found to improve inflammatory conditions. Bone broth also contains large amounts of the amino acids glycine and proline, both of which are extremely anti-inflammatory.
- Helps relieve joint and muscle pain
The specific amino acids in bone broth, glycine and proline, are necessary to build muscle, repair tissue and reduce inflammation. Bone broth is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin. These are often taken in supplement form for joint pain relief, but are more bio-available when consumed in their naturally occurring state. The latest studies have shown that the gelatin in bone broth provides almost immediate relief to joint pain. The glycine in gelatin speeds wound healing, helps stiff joints and promotes recovery.
- Fights infections
Bone broth provides a rich source of minerals and amino acids that supply the body with raw materials to rebuild stronger and healthier cells. Bone broth also boosts antioxidant activity in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine bone broth is used to boost the immune system and fight infections.
- Increases mineral consumption and absorption
Many people in the western world are deficient in one or more minerals due to dietary deficiencies or poor absorption. Furthermore, the soil is depleted in minerals. Ingesting these trace minerals through bones is extremely important. As the bones cook in water, minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals. Bone broth offers easily absorbed extracted minerals and supports utilization of the minerals by promoting the health of the intestinal tract.
- Aids digestion
The gelatin in bone broth is soothing to the digestive tract and actually helps repair the mucosal lining. It also assists in break down the protein and fat from foods, making them easier to digest.
- Improves skin texture and elasticity
Collagen production decreases with aging. Bone broth is rich in collagen, the proteins found in flesh and connective tissues. Skin becomes smoother and more elastic in the presence of an abundance of connective tissue. Some have even suggested that bone broth helps eliminate cellulite.
- Aids in bone strengthening and repair
The large amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps bones grow, strengthen and repair.
10. Promotes sound sleep
Research has shown that consuming gelatin before bed helps induce sleep because of the amino acid glycine. Glycine plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain. So not only will ingesting bone broth improve sleep quality, but it will also help reduce daytime sleepiness and help improve your memory during waking hours.
The secret to making the best broth is in the ingredients. Pete makes his bone broth with bones from animals that were humanely raised on open pastures with clean diets free of antibiotics, hormones and grains, organic vegetables and herbs and filtered water, ensuring the final product is as pure and flavorful as it is packed full of vitamins, minerals and gelatin. Bone broth can be sipped alone or added to recipes and meals for added flavor and nutrients.
Properly prepared bone broths are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals and amino acids of all the superfoods: bone, cartilage, marrow, collagen, gelatin with the addition of vegetables as electrolytes – all in a form that is easy to assimilate. Because of its dense-nutritive properties and bioavailability the benefits of bone broth are seemingly endless.
Michal Ofer is a wellness and digestion expert and nutrition coach. She is focused on assisting clients to take control of their health and happiness through the sustainable food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Through strengthening the body from the inside out, her clients are able to reach new heights of health, happiness and wellness. Michal obtained her Professional Training and Certificate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has a further studied through the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Stanford University and is a Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach. Michal has also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences and a Master Life Coach Certification. For further information and to connect with Michal visit her website at www.michalofer.com