Benefits of Bone Broth

June 17, 2016
Lyndall McAlpine

Winter is the time we tend to get most of our nasty bugs as we are cramped up inside with others.

The best way to get through winter illnesses, rather than using medication to just take care of the symptoms, is to provide our cells with the vital nutrients that will strengthen our immune system.

Eating food that is rich in nutrients and supplementing with antioxidants is the best way to do this.

Choosing both broth rather than stock means you not only get lots of vital nutrients but other chemical compounds such as collagen, calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, silicon and glycine.

The nutrients in bone broth not only support and boost our immune system, they are also very beneficial for:

  • Joint health – glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate (12) 
  • Nerve signaling functions – glycine (11)
  • Brain health – glycine (10)
  • Digestive functions including helping seal the openings in the gut lining ie “Leaky Gut” – amino acids L-glutamine, glycine, mineral, electrolytes, collagen (7) (8)
  • Skin health including hair and nails – amino acids, gelatin, collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate (9)
  • Healthy cholesterol levels – chondroitin sulfate (6)
  • Cardiovascular health – minerals, electrolytes, peptides (4)
  • Kidney health – arginine (5)
  • Colds and flu –   amino acid cysteine, which chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine (1), sipping hot chicken soup increased the flow of mucus significantly better than sipping either hot or cold water. (2) chicken broth inhibits the activity of neutrophils—white blood cells that are the “first responders” of inflammation (3)

So you can see why bone broth is revered so highly!

How to Make Bone Broth

Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones* to release the nutrients found in the bones, cartilage, and marrow. They can be cooked for the broth/stock only or incorporated in your favourite soup and stew recipes – perfect winter food (especially if you have a slow cooker!)

You can use any type of animal bones, either cooked or raw, although I have read that it draws out the mercury from fish bones so stay clear in particular of tuna, shark, swordfish, mackerel.

The timing varies, for example fish bones only need 2 hours while while beef bones need to simmer for 48 hours or more to draw the maximum nutrients from the bones (that’s where my slow cooker comes in handy!).

* As with meat, bones can absorb hormones and antibiotics so look for grass fed, or organic if you can.

My tips on making bone broth

1 – Get 3 meals out of one chook! Buy an organic chook at beginning of week. Cut off breast meat, drumstick and wing portions and any other excess flesh (I’m not fussed on liver, kidneys so I like to take them out but I am sure they would be nutritious to leave in) .

  • Simmer the remaining carcass for 3 hrs or more, top up with water as needed, pull remaining meat off bones, remove bones (you can actually re-simmer the bones to make even more bone broth), freeze or pop in fridge for a yummy soup base. (see recipe below)
  • Make a roast dinner with the leg and wing portions
  • Use the breasts for whatever chicken meal you choose throughout the week (or add to chicken soup if you want more chicken)

2 – If you haven’t got a lot of time and love BBQ chicken, remove meat from bones and save for other meals, and simmer the bones as above… it is the yummiest flavoured stock! (so yummy I sometimes drink it there and then before getting it to the fridge or freezer!)

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Here is my chicken soup recipe. It’s nothing super amazing but I love it and is chock full of nutrients!

Marty makes a great one but he is sworn to secrecy and to be honest it is probably best I don’t know the ingredients as I am a health weirdo about msg, preservatives, additives, sugar etc which are nearly always in packaged soups and flavourings… but sometimes you’ve just got to shut your mouth and enjoy the yumminess/hard work of others!

I am fortunate (touch wood) to hardly ever get a cold or flu, I get the beginnings with a sore throat or sniffles but am always able to stop it in its tracks with some extra loving. I attribute this to healthy eating and supplementing with a good vitamin/antioxidant

Here’s what I use to get me through the cold and flu season

Vitamin C and zinc are especially essential for a strong immune function as they produce the white blood cells that protect us when infections enter the body.

Grape seed extract is a potent antioxidant, anti-histamine, it is amazing for colds and so much more