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    Is Bone Broth Really A Miracle Cure?

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    Bone broth is popping up left and right nowadays, from food carts to broth bars to entire cafes and restaurants strictly focusing on this super food. But you can be sure that there is certainly nothing new about bone broth; in fact, it has been a traditional nutritional remedy touted for its myriad of medicinal properties for centuries before it became the trend it is today.

    What Is Bone Broth?

     One of the beauties of bone broth is its simplicity. Bone broth is just as it sounds: a broth made from the bones and connective tissues of various animals, often including certain vegetables in addition, similarly to a mineral (aka, vegetable) broth. You will always want to add some sort of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, as this aids in the breakdown of collagen and connective tissue.

    Unlike some health trends, this new hot trend is a good one, as bone truth truly is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

     Before we get to the recipes, let’s look at the nutrient benefits.

    Nutrient Benefits Of Bone Broth

     Bone broth is highly nutritiousKeep in mind that the nutrient density of bone broth directly correlates to the quality of the ingredients. Bones from organic and grass-fed animals are optimal, and can often be found at your local butcher shop or organic market that carries meat.

    Bones

     Bones in and of themselves offer impressive mineral benefits, such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron and sulfur. Both bones and marrow are rich in collagen, which forms nutrient-rich gelatin upon cooking.

    Marrow

     Bone marrow is rich in Vitamins K2 and A, omega 3 fatty acids and minerals such as zinc, manganese, boron and iron.

    Connective Tissue

     Connective tissue offers important nutrients for joint and bone health, including arthritis support due to their high content of glucosamine and chondroitin.

    Optional Ingredients

     Just like any soup, you can feel free to add any other veggies, just as you might with a vegetable broth. Great additions include garlic, onion, celery or greens such as kale, chard or collard greens. While certain vitamins do not survive the heating process, minerals are not affected by heat (which is why vegetable broth is often called ‘mineral broth’).

    What Health Conditions Can Bone Broth Support?

    Digestive Support

     Bone broth is known for helping to heal the gut, as it is an easily digestible and soothing way to take in key nutrients. Especially for those who are unable to effectively digest, broth is a way to better absorb the nutrients in foods that the GI tract might struggle to break down and assimilate. Gelatin plays a major role in this healing property of bone broth.

     Reduces Inflammation

    Broth can help with inflammation in the body Due mainly to the nutrients from the cartilage, bone broth can go a long way in helping to cool internal inflammation in the body. This includes inflammation associated with joint pain and arthritis.

    Bone Health

     Because of its impressively high calcium content, bone broth supports bone health and density.

    Promotes Healthy Hair And Nails

     Also thanks to gelatin, bone broth can support healthy growth of hair and nails.

    Fights Colds And Infections

     The age old chicken soup to cure a cold remedy holds true. One study has proven what our grandmothers have been telling us for years, that chicken soup does; in fact, fight common infections.[1] Remember, the type you buy in a can or box barely resembles the medicinal broth you can make in your own kitchen.

    Recipes

     You can make broth using bones from any animals, but ideally you are using bones from organic, grass-fed or pasture raised animals. Feel free to do a mixture of bones from different animals, or stick to a strictly chicken or beef stock, for example. Be sure to always include a type of acid (lemon juice or vinegar), as this allows for proper breakdown of bones and connective tissue and makes for the most nutrient rich broth possible.

    Chicken Broth

    *Adjust amounts depending on how much broth you want, but remember that it freezes well.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 gallon of water
    • 2-3 pounds of chicken bones and connective tissue (feet, neck, etc.)
    • 2-3 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • **add any other vegetables you have on hand

    Instructions:

    • Add bones, veggies, vinegar, salt and water to a large soup pot, and bring to a boil.
    • Lower to a simmer and allow to cook (covered) for 12-24 hours.
    • Strain out the solid matter, and enjoy!

    Beef Broth

    *recipe courtesy of Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Broth

    Ingredients:

    • 4 pounds of beef marrow and/or knuckle bones
    • 1 beef or calf foot, cut into pieces (optional)
    • 3 pounds of meaty beef bones
    • 1 small can of tomato paste (optional)
    • 1 gallon (or more) of water
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2-3 onions, chopped
    • 3 carrots, chopped
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • fresh herbs to taste such as parsley, thyme or bay leaves
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    1. Start by placing your marrow and knuckle bones (and optional foot) in a large soup pot with water and vinegar, and leave for about an hour.
    2. If you want to get a little fancier about it (and have a delicious tasting broth), while the above is sitting in water, place your meatier bones in a roasting pan and brush them with tomato paste. Brown them at 350 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes. Once they’re well browned, add them to the pot of water with the other bones. You will have fat left in your roasting pan, and you should add some water to the fat and heat everything to a boil, stirring until all is liquidy. Then, add this mixture to your soup pot with all of your bones.
    3. **If you want to do this the simpler way, simply add all bones originally to the water/vinegar mixture and allow to sit for an hour.
    4. Add more water if necessary to that all bones are covered, and bring everything to a boil.
    5. Reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 12-24 hours.
    6. Strain and enjoy!

    I recommend making large quantities of broth and having it on hand for soups and also simply for sipping throughout the day, whether you are sick or not (but especially when you are sick).

    Feel free to opt for store-bought broth from one of the new trendy broth bars (as long as they use good quality bones, which they usually do), but remember you will pay upwards of $9 for 16 ounces of broth, where you could spend almost the same amount to make over a gallon at home. But there is a lot to be said for convenience, and bone broth is well worth it.

    References:
    1. [1] https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/. Retrieved March 11th, 2016.
    • Rachel Fiske started Madrona Wellness Holistic Nutrition in 2010, after discovering her passion for healing and preventing illness through a real, whole foods diet and lifestyle. This passion now encompasses working with her clients to find the underlying cause of symptoms, and achieving optimal health in the short and long term.Rachel specializes in the following conditions: digestive issues, food allergies/sensitivities, blood sugar regulation, detox, fatigue, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, depression, stress, weight loss, and more. She wants her clients to understand the importance of starting with whole foods, and then proceeding to herbs and supplementation when necessary.

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