By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
March 27, 2017
- Is bone broth the new miracle cure?
- 3 ways to boost the benefits of bone stock
- My mother’s recipe for health and longevity
Sipping on bone broth/bone stock is the latest health trend. But the concept of bone broth certainly isn’t new.
My mother, her mother before her (and so on down the line) knew the value of a hardy soup stock made from bones. Back in the day, it was a very inexpensive way to create nutrient-rich meals.
Today, people all across the U.S. are jumping on the bone broth bandwagon.
But they aren’t making meals of it. They’re sipping on it throughout the day in an effort to lose weight, protect their joints, strengthen their digestive health and all sorts of other things.
And I have to admit, there is some nutritional science that supports these results.
Stock made from bones is loaded with valuable amino acids like glutamine, glycine and proline. In fact other than tryptophan you will get most of your essential amino acids from a good beef or chicken broth. For pescatarians a fish broth is also perfectly supplemental.
Glutamine is essential for strengthening the lining of your gut. It also helps strengthen your immune system and reduces infections.
Glycine and proline both help form collagen (which is also found in bone broth). These are all great compounds for your joints, tendons and ligaments… even your skin, hair and nails.
Two more joint healthy-compounds – chondroitin and glucosamine – are also found in bone broth. You’ve probably seen these listed as the two main ingredients in many supplements that help reduce joint pain.
On top of all this, bone broth is low in calories and packed with minerals.
But is sipping on bone broth throughout the day going to make you skinnier, give you shinier hair and save your joints?
3 Ways to Boost the Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth is definitely good for you. But it isn’t a miracle food. Just adding a few cups to your day won’t cure your joint pain, heal your gut or melt excess weight off your body.
However, if you start replacing the occasional meal, snack or sugary drink with bone broth then sure, you might lose a little weight. You may even start looking and feeling a little better.
But there are even better ways to enjoy the health benefits of this nourishing liquid.
- Designate a window of about eight hours a day to eat healthy, Mediterranean style meals (maybe this should be the true intent of the early bird special…eating from 9 am finishing at 5 pm). Then sip on bone broth for the remainder of the day. This will give you all of the cleansing benefits of intermittent fasting while also nourishing your cells and keeping you sated.
- Trade in your fruit juices, sodas and fancy latte’s for an energizing cup of bone broth. It might take a little getting used to, but it will help prevent the sugar crashes that come with drinking sweetened beverages. Plus, it’s much friendlier for your metabolism, digestive system, bone health and physique.
- Replace one meal every day with a delicious bone-broth-based vegetable soup. It’s low in calories, filled with nutrients and packed with health benefits.
But before you do that, let me tell you one more thing about bone-broth.
My Mother’s Recipe for Health and Longevity
These days you can buy bone broth at restaurants, kiosks and health food stores. But it’s expensive! And who knows what’s been added to it?
You can easily make your own broth at home, just like my mom and grandmother did. They saved bones and carcasses from our meals, but you can also buy the same and other boney parts from your local butcher.
- If not previously roasted, cook the bones in the oven at 400 degrees for about a half hour. This helps release the nutrients and improves flavor.
- Then, place them in a pot. Two pounds of bones takes about a gallon of water to cover them. Splash them with a little apple cider vinegar and add in some celery, carrots, onion, garlic and other spices of your liking.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.
- For the first hour or two, take time to skim the froth off of the top. These are fats and impurities that need to be tossed.
- Next, turn the temperature down to low and let the bones stew for about 12 to 15 hours. If you’re wanting to get more release of digestible nutrients finish cooking slower and longer in a crock pot on low for 2 eight hour cycles or even better 12 hour cycles is great.
- Finally, skim any excess fat or froth off the top.
I like to save half of the juice for straightforward “brothing” – just drinking it when I need a quick bit of nourishment.
Then, I use the other half to make a hardy vegetable soup for meals. I toss in fresh organic green beans, squash, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips… whatever happens to be in my refrigerator. You can also blend it together get a nice thick soup.
All in all, bone broth can be an important part of a healthy diet. Just don’t take it to extremes. Add it when you can, but don’t use it to replace other foods that are just as healthy, nutritious and life-giving.
Wang B, et al. Glutamine and intestinal barrier function. Amino Acids. 2015 Oct;47(10):2143-54.
Newsholme P. Why is L-glutamine metabolism important to cells of the immune system in health, postinjury, surgery or infection? J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9 Suppl):2515S-22S; discussion 2523S-4S.