Bone Broth: Food as Medicine

Bone broth has been a staple in cooking for thousands of years. It has recently come back to the forefront of popular culture as a miracle superfood. Bone broth is a mainstay in different types of popular diets, ranging from the Paleo diet to the GAPs diet and more. People claim that drinking bone broth daily is the cure for all their health problems.

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Anything that claims to be a magical cure-all for all health concerns is not going to live up to its reputation. While some of the claims about bone broth may be inflated, it can be darn useful. But the question is, why is it useful?

First, bone broth is a nutrient-dense fluid. Bone broth is hydrating and contains proteins, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. One of the main proteins in animal bones is collagen. Collagen is what gives skin, bones, ligaments and tendons both strength and flexibility. When you incorporate a little collagen into your diet, it helps nourish your own skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons. The extra nutrients in bone broth can help your immune system, your digestive health, and your detoxification pathways. Bone broth contains an amino acid, L-glutamine, which is like food for the digestive tract. When the digestive tract is healthy, it can do a better job of extracting nutrition from your food. Because of this, it's possible that consuming bone broth on a regular basis may help make other foods more nutritious.

Lastly, bone broth is cheap and easy to make. A basic recipe involves cooking bones on low heat for a long period of time. This allows the bones to release their vitamins, minerals, and proteins into the broth. If you add in some vegetables, the slow cooking process will extract some nutrients from the vegetables too!

Some people drink it plain: 1 cup to 2 pints a day, and others enjoy it as a base for their soups and stews. It can be made in large batches and frozen in serving size portions. Organic bone broth is also readily available at many grocery stores these days. When made properly, bone broth can add a delicious, complex flavor to lots of different types of meals.

Bone Broth Recipe
INGREDIENTS

  • Bones: poultry, fish, shellfish, beef, and lamb – avoid using pork bones
    • These are usually available cheaply at the grocery store, or you can use the leftovers from a meal (roast chicken for example).
  • Vinegar – 2 Tbsp
    • Apple cider vinegar, red/white wine vinegar, rice vinegar
  • Vegetables
    • Can be flexible with this – use any combination of onion, celery, carrots, garlic
    • Parsley can be added at the end of the cooking
  • Seasoning (optional)
    • Salt, pepper, bay leaf
  • Water
    • Enough to cover your ingredients or fill your container

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a slow cooker, combine all the ingredients. Set the slow cooker on low for 8-12 hours. Strain the bones and vegetables and discard, reserving the broth.
  • You can also do this on a stove top in a stock pot. Simmer at a low temperature for 8-12 hours.
  • If you have more questions about how to use food as medicine, schedule an appointment today!

 

Katy Morrison, ND, LAc