Bone Broth – Good medicine for optimal health

It is the cold season and what better natural way to protect your immune system with an easy digestible, delicious and nutritious food.

I’m a big fan of soups and stews in general but I try as much as possible to make my own bone and joint stock – this is an all-purpose cooking liquid that I use for soups, stews and curry. Is is all natural and this way I make sure I avoid all the artificial flavours and preservatives you find in the supermarkets’ products.

Bone broths are very rich in protein and minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium. Glycine supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body.  Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids.  Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health.  Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which support skin health and digestive health too. And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is good for a cold, there’s science behind that, too.  Chicken broth inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections.

But the benefits of broth don’t end there. As explained by Sally Fallon:“Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.”

It is really important you obtain the bones from a butcher and they come from organic grass-fed farm raised animals.

So here is one of my fav recipes that helped me to fight a cold lately. I like lamb so I chose lamb broth. And it goes amazing with cumin as a spice

One portion:

  • 300 ml lamb broth (spiced with cumin and pepper)
  • ½ tomato
  • ½ green pepper
  • 100g chicken breast cubes (optional, as extra protein, I prefer it because it’s low fat, as lamb has quite enough fat already)
  • 50g sauerkraut
  • extra spices (optional, I like turmeric and a bit of chilli)

This is a complete remedy for the cold season, rich in protein, minerals and probiotics. I like to call it my natural medicine. Also, not to mention it cuts out any other food cravings you might have (esp sugar cravings). No wonder the old South American proverb says “good broth will resurrect the dead.”

Here is how to make a delicious and nourishing bone and joint stock:

– obtain a ceramic pot with a ceramic cover that is stove-safe; 2 or 3 litres should be good; this pot will be used both to prepare the stock and to store it in the fridge. Remember that bone and joint stock is highly nourishing to bacteria and will go bad quickly if transferred to a new container. The advantage of storing the stock in the same pot used to prepare it is that boiling water and steam sterilise the pot during cooking, so that the stock will remain healthful much longer

– clean the bones by simmering them for a short time in the ceramic pot. At first the water might turn red if blood released from the bones; when no hint of red remains, discard the water, rinse the bones clean, and return them to the pot covering them in fresh water. this initial simmer sterilises the bones and removes blood and bacteria which can foul the taste of the stock

– bring the fresh water to simmer. Simmer the bones, covered, for 3 hours. This first stock will draw most of the fat from the bones, and will dissolve joint material into a gelatin-rich stock. This fatty, gelatin-rich stock is excellent for soups as Vietnamese Pho

-after you’ve used up that initial stock, make a new batch by adding water to the bones. This time you can add a teaspoon or 2 of acid (such as vinegar) to help demineralise the bones. You can typically make 4 to 5 batches from each set of bones, and in that time you’ll see the bones becoming progressively lighter as they lose collagen and minerals. each bath should be simmered for 3 to 8 hours. A 2 litre pot will produce enough stock to last a family of 3 for 2-3 days

Enjoy! (and don’t forget it is extremely cost effective too)

Why is it a good medicine?

1. Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion

2. Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection

3. Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage

4. Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better

5. Promotes strong, healthy bones: As mentioned above, bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation

6. Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth