Bone broth, the old-timey staple that's making a dramatic comeback is the latest superfood sweeping the country, and for good reason. It's said to contain several health benefits as well as ingredients to make us look younger, and it's a cheap, easy to prepare comfort food.
Dr. Amy Myers, author of the book, "The Autoimmune Solution," is one of a growing number of physicians who recommends drinking plenty of bone broth on a regular basis. Here's why:
- 1. It heals a leaky gut. The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients.
- 2. Fights infections such as colds and flu. A study published in the journal Chest shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.
- 3. Reduces joint pain and inflammation. The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.
- 4. Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails. The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.
- 5. Helps with bone formations, growth and repair. The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair.
- 6. Saves you money. Homemade bone broth is cheaper and healthier than store bought.
- 7. Super easy to make. All you need is a crockpot. Throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot and it cooks while you sleep.
- 8. Healthier than buying supplements. Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.
- 9. Fights inflammation. Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.
- 10. Promotes sleep and calms the mind. The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.
Homemade bone broth is very inexpensive and easy to make. You basically just combine bones and herbs and simmer them in a crock pot for a day or two. For example, if you roast a chicken, or boil one, (in which case save the water in which you boiled it), after you strip the chicken of its meat, put the carcass in the crock pot with some chopped onion, carrot, salt and pepper, whatever you want, cover it with water and cook it for a day or two. Then strain the broth through a very fine mesh sieve, or a reusable coffee filter.
There are many recipes for bone broth. Here is one for beef bone broth from Dr. Joseph Mercola's website.
Basic Bone Broth Recipe (makes 3 quarts, 376 calories per serving)
3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs
½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
4 quarts filtered water
3 celery stalks, halved
3 carrots, halved
3 onions, quartered
Handful of fresh parsley
Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones. Add more water if needed to cover the bones. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you're not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day) During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.
How to Make Bone Broth Using Your Slow Cooker:
Bone broth is an example of a traditional food that's easily adaptable to your modern lifestyle. Even if you're away from home most of the day, you can still prepare homemade bone broth by using a slow cooker. To use a slow cooker, you will need to first bring the broth to a boil in a pot on your stove, then skim the scum off the top. Pay careful attention to this stage, as once the broth begins to boil the scum is rolled right back into the broth. The scum are the impurities that you want to remove. You can then transfer the broth to your slow cooker and turn it on to low heat for 24 to 72 hours.