Bone broth: A stock made from the bones and carcasses of animals that is cooked for hours and even days. Doesn’t really sound that appealing does it? But actually, homemade bone broth is one of those ‘super foods’ (not the ones that make you younger than if you found the fountain of youth, or the ones that you eat and make you lose 20kg overnight, but one with whole body healing powers). Whilst the smell of the broth cooking isn’t that nice, the benefits the broth produces are particularly important for us suffering with auto-immune and digestive problems. Here at Healed by Bacon, we like to start each day with a cup of this magical broth.
Homemade bone broth is an excellent source of the nutrients and minerals missing or underrepresented in our diets today. Unlike the store-bought kinds (which normally contain emulsifiers, chemicals and artificial flavours and don’t use real gelatin), homemade broth is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, collagen, gelatin and potassium. Furthermore, these minerals are in a form that is easily digestible and absorbed by our bodies and is more nutrient dense than their health store supplement counterparts.
Not only is bone broth cheap, sustainable and keeps for ages in the freezer, it also has a huge range of healing benefits. These benefits include:
- Reduces whole body inflammation
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by our body’s immune system fighting against itself leading to prolonged inflammation. Homemade bone broth contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate extracted from the break down of the cartilage in the bones. These minerals help reduce joint inflammation and pain. Furthermore, glycine, proline and arginine have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce whole body inflammation.
- Improves our immune system
Bone broth can help boost our immune system through the bone marrow, helping to carry oxygen to the cells in our body. Have a think…almost every culture has a variation of bone broth that they use for its nutritional significance. The Chinese use bone broth to strengthen the kidney, support digestive systems and build blood. The Jewish people have “Jewish penicillin” (think chicken soup), which inhibits cell inflammation and mitigates cold and flu symptoms.
- Helps aid digestion and heals the gut
The significant levels of gelatin in bone broth repairs the integrity of the gut through restoring a healthy mucosal lining of the digestive tract. The amino acid glycine present in the broth, aids digestion by regulating the synthesis of bile salts and the secretion of gastric acid, playing an extensive role in digestive health.
- Combats stress
Homemade bone broth contains very high levels of the amino acid glycine, which is critical for the healthy functioning of our central nervous system. Glycine is converted into serine in our brain, promoting mental alertness and improved memory. Additionally, glycine inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, producing a calming effect and reducing stress.
- Encourages strong, healthy bones and promotes healthy nail and hair growth
The high levels of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium in bone broth help facilitate healthy bone formation. The gelatin and collagen contained in the bone broth promote the growth of healthy hair and nails.
- Improves circulation
The levels of collagen found in your homemade bone broth, improve circulation through increasing blood vessel elasticity and strengthening them.
Whilst all homemade bone broth will provide you with these minerals and nutrients, it is important to make sure you use the best quality bones. As you will be extracting all of the minerals and nutrients from the bones and then consuming them in such a concentrated form, you want to make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible. Any chemicals used in the breeding and raising process of the animal will be absorbed by them and, to some extent, passed on to you through the broth. Also, as an important side note, if you are using chicken bones (or any poultry for that matter) to make your broth, make sure you discard the fat layer once you have finished cooking as it can become damaged after such a long time cooking.
Check out our recipe for bone broth!