The healing benefits of bone broth

By Renee Holmes - Bachelor of Health Science & Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine
Renee is an experienced holistic nutritionist with a background of paediatric nursing. Renee runs a nutrition clinic in Sydney, Dandelion Nutrition. Renee is passionate about changing the perception of health and inspiring people to develop better building blocks for improving their health and well-being.

There is nothing more soothing and healing for our bodies than a beautiful, nourishing bone broth. We have already seen the change from summer to autumn and with that change comes the beginning of our cold and flu season. What a perfect time to start preparing our immune systems to fight the inevitable runny noses, coughs, and fatigue that the season brings along.

Where has the tradition of bone broths come from
We all remember grandma cooking up some chicken soup for our colds, but there really is more depth to this comforting, tasty bowl of hot soup. Traditionally, bone broths have been used globally as a dietary staple, mostly for their health benefits with a wide range of advantages for our health. Making bone broth was a way that every part of the animal was used, from the muscle to the organs to the bones, ensuring all the macro and micro-nutrients were consumed and that every trace mineral was extracted too. Slowly cooking up the bones over several days proved to be a very powerful way of ensuring wellness throughout the tribe.

Why is bone broth so good for us?
Bone broth is so good for us because of its easy absorption factor, meaning we get a very rich supply of the many nutrients necessary (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur) to help our immune systems function optimally. By slowly cooking the bones (beaks, feet) and ligaments, healing amino acids are released. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and glutamine, arginine, glycine and proline make up the phenomenal product, gelatin. These amino acids in gelatin are responsible for immune system function, wound healing, regenerating cells, improving sleep, repairing leaky gut and healing joints, to name a few. The added bonus is that it is tasty, which is super important to motivate us to ingest it. You know you have a good supply of gelatin in your bone broth when it goes jelly like when cool.

How often should we have it
Daily is the most beneficial for our overall health, a cup a day keeps the doctor away.

What’s the difference between stock and broth
Stock is cooked in a shorter time period (3-4 hours) and uses the bones and a small amount of meat. Bone broth uses the bones, cartilages and any meat left on the bones. It is cooked for a longer time period (8-24 hours) ensuring not only is the gelatin removed but also trace minerals from the bone. At the end of cooking, bones should crumble.

Where can we buy bone broth
There is a range of bone broths available to buy from any Healthy Life store. The cheaper option is to make your own (see recipe).

Why use Apple Cider Vinegar
There really are several health benefits for apple cider vinegar (ACV), including being great for your gut health as it is full of protein, enzymes and good bacteria which help the gut to absorb nutrients. Using ACV daily (see page 12) can help protect against many pathogens as it helps build immunity by supporting the gut to absorb nutrients, and is also known to kill harmful bacteria.

Home Made Chicken Bone Broth

Ingredients
1.7 kg free range/organic chicken bones, OR 2 chicken carcasses (your local butcher should have these)
2 - 4 chicken feet (optional)
2 Tblsp Love Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
5 litre filtered water (tap water has too many heavy metals)
Himalayan Rock Salt
1 bay leaf
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 onion
1 clove garlic

METHOD

  1. Fill a large stockpot/saucepan with the chicken bones, feet, apple cider vinegar and water. Leave to sit for 30mins so the apple cider vinegar can help withdraw the minerals from the bones.
  2. Bring to the boil, remove any foam from the top and reduce to a simmer for 12-24 hours. 
  3. The longer you can cook it the better it will be, you can also roast the bones gently in the oven first to increase the flavour.
  4. Towards the end of the time you are cooking, perhaps with an hour to go, place all the vegetables into the pot. 
  5. Once the broth has finished cooking, put aside to cool.
  6. Once cool, strain the broth through to remove the bones, meat and vegetables. Store in glass jars. Store in the fridge (for up to a week) or the freezer (for up to 6 months). 

Uses of bone broth:

  • Add salt and chilli flakes to enjoy as a hot cuppa in the morning
  • Great base for soups
  • Use in casseroles, slow cooked meals
  • Cook rice in it for extra nutrient dense food
  • Great for braising roast meats and vegetables

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