The Benefits of Bone Broth

“If I were to change just one thing, what would you suggest?” Many functional medicine doctors and health practitioners would agree- BONE BROTH!

Have you been hearing a lot about bone broth lately?
What IS it?
Why should I be drinking it? It doesn’t really sound that appealing.

Bone broth has been around a really long time. Many cultures have been drinking it for centuries. It’s just lately been gaining popularity with a new generation of cooks and health enthusiasts.  It’s been part of basketball phenom Kobe Bryant’s routine, as well as actresses like Selma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow. But why? Is this the latest fad out of Hollywood?

The nutritional benefits of bone broth are many. It contains lots of vitamins, minerals and chemical compounds our bodies require but most people lack in their diets, like calcium, magnesium and potassium.  And super easy to absorb!

What kinds of things does it contain?

I’ll get to that in a minute. But I think the number one reason to drink bone broth on a regular basis is for gut health! Diseases which are directly related to poor gut health are off the charts these days. How often do you hear of leaky gut, IBS, SIBO, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, celiac, and autoimmune diseases, all caused by inflammation? It’s not really a subject we chat about over lunch but millions of people are affected by these issues and they alter their every day lives. Bone broth can help lessen and often times alleviate the symptoms and heal the lining of the gut.  It helps seal the gut and protect it from particles leaking into the bloodstream, causing inflammation, immune responses and other issues.

Some other obvious ways it benefits you:

  • Glowing skin - it’s packed full of collagen (another buzzword- important  for skin but also for building and repairing connective tissue, promoting healthy hair and nails), gelatin and hyaluronicacid which all contribute to elasticity , brightness and “plumpness.”
  • Joints, ligaments and bones -  cooked bones naturally contain glycine, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulphates. You may have heard some of these words on commercials marketing arthritis relief. It also contributes to healthy bone density.
  •  Immunity - a supercharge to your immune system when it’s busy fighting off things like colds and flu
  • Liver support - helps detox all the junk that filters through it
  • Heart health and nervous system support - it contains necessary minerals and electrolytes that keep multiple systems working optimally
  • It has over 19 easy-to-absorb essential and non-essential amino acids, necessary to build protein, help with digestion, brain health, sleep quality…the list goes on.
  • Bone broth has also been shown to be easily digested and soothing for patients going through cancer treatments, as well as providing high quality nutrition that is easily absorbed.

Convinced you need to start drinking bone broth?

Where do you start? 

What bones do you use? You can use bones you buy from the butcher or the bones leftover from a roast, a chicken or steaks. You just want to make sure the bones and joints have marrow. I always choose the highest quality bones from pasture-raised or free-range animals that have not been given antibiotics and growth hormones and to make sure I am getting the full benefit of the bones. You can always freeze the bones if you want to make it later. It’s always nice to have some on hand.

After you get the bones, throw them into a slow cooker with some veggies - carrots, onions, salt, pepper and some seasonings. I like to add herbs de’provence. Be sure you put in a tablespoon or so of Mother’s organic apple cider vinegar to draw out the good stuff. I cook it on low all day, then put it on the “keep warm” setting and leave it on the counter for the week. Add water as needed and maybe more spices as you go.

You will figure out your own preference for taste and you can tweak your recipe. Keeping it on hand and readily available is key.