When I was a child and I was sick then my mother often made bone-broth, as it was nourishing and easy to digest when I was unwell. I did not know about the benefits of it or why should we consume more of it and not only when we are sick, until couple of years ago. Based on my readings from various doctors, nutritionists and functional medicine doctors, I hereby share the health benefits of bone broth as well as how to make it, as it is very easy to do.
Bone broth is full of collagen and gelatine helping to rebuild your gut lining.
Consuming refined sugar and flour, alcohol, caffeine, fried foods, antibiotics etc, can damage your intestine and cause leaky gut. Minerals and special proteins found in bone broth can help to repair the gut lining.
Bone broth nourishes your immune system when you are having a cold or a flu.
Cystein, an amino acid present for example in chicken, can help to thin mucus that you often develop when you are down with flu or cold, so you can get rid of it more easily.
Bone broth reduces inflammation in the body and helps with joint pain.
The bones and joints that are used to make the bone broth contain nutrients that strengthen your skeletal system. Collagen, gelatine, glucosamine and chondroitin support the repair of bones and joints and may help to reduce inflammation throughout your body. Bone broth contains many minerals such as magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, selenium and calcium which are all important for our bone and joint health as well as for our mood.
Bone broth helps to keep your skin elastic and healthy and your hair shiny.
Our skin contains collagen that starts to break down in our early twenties. Wrinkles are caused by having fewer collagen strands within our skin. Bone broth can really improve our skin elasticity as it's also a reach source of skin-supporting amino acids such as glycine and proline, apart from collagen.
Bone broth can heal your brain.
If you have a diet rich in bone broth, it can improve your mood, help you to deal better with stress and it helps to reduce inflammation in the brain.
How to make bone broth?
You can really get more creative with bone broth by adding different vegetables and fresh and dried herbs and spices, but the base is typically the same.
1.8kg or so organic meat bones (chicken, beef, lamb, venison)
5L of water
1 medium coarsely chopped onion
2-3 coarsely chopped carrots
2 celery stalks
1-2 cups of parsley stems
1/2 cup of raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, as it helps to pulls out minerals from the bones, making the broth more nutritionally potent
2 tsp of grey sea salt or pick rock salt
Optional broth boosters:
You also need a 5L pot, a slow cooker pot or a pressure cooker.
Roasting the bones for 45min in the pre-heated oven at 175C before simmering them in the water gives a lot of additional flavour to the broth. So do this step first.
Place the bones in the pot or slow cooker and add the water, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, vegetables and salt.
Bring it to a boil and remove any foam that rises to the top. Cover and simmer for 8-12 hours. You can go longer as well- this will add more flavour to the broth.
Once ready, strain the broth into a large bowl and discard the solids. Pour the broth into jars, then let it cool down before you refrigerate or freeze the broth (leave some room at the top of the jar for the broth to expand and loosen the seal before you freeze to avoid braking the glass jar. A layer of fat that forms at the top of the broth will preserve it and also will help to keep the microbes out.
The broth keeps 4 days in the fridge or up to 12 months in the freezer.
You can warm and drink broth, you can add it as a base to your soups, stews, sauces. You can make savoury oats porridge by boiling oats in broth or also make buckwheat by boiling it in bone broth. If you want to use just small quantity of broth to flavour food, pour some into ice-cube tray after you have made the broth, cover up and freeze it. Then you can take only what you need and add to food you are preparing.
A side note:
Though bone broth is a very healthy food, people who are sensitive to glutamic acid or who have histamine intolerance, should be mindful when consuming it. Pressure-cooker helps to reduce histamine in the broth. If you make the broth in a pot, reduce the cooking time to 4h to make the broth more histamine friendly.