I have a confession to make. For years my mom has been showing me how to make bone broth, although until recently, I didn’t understand why I should. After Thanksgiving, she would have me cover the bones with water and add some apple cider vinegar to draw the nutrients from the bones. In my quest to bring myself back to health, I’ve discovered the importance of bone broth as a medicinal food.
Bone broth is certainly not a new discovery. In fact, proponents argue, it’s how we have been cooking for hundreds of years, and therefore our systems have evolved to ‘expect’ the nutrients it imparts. Just a few generations back, many households kept a pot of ‘broth’ simmering on the back of the stove, at the ready for nourishing the family.
There has been a return to focusing on food as medicine, and looking at what and how we eat as information for our body. The list of health benefits is long, and to be clear, we’re talking about the good old, home made, simmer on the stove for two days kind of broth, not the industrialized liquid that comes in a can or package.
My acupuncturist recently suggested incorporating bone broth into my diet to help to ‘build my blood’. Always eager to learn more about how food can truly fortify, I began looking at the benefits of bone broth.
Bone broth can be seen as a kind of multivitamin. It has glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin. These three are crucial for joint health. There are also electrolytes, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous; in addition to amino acids, collagen, and gelatin. All of these serve the body in unique ways, and are beneficial to our health.
Digestion, or rather lack of proper digestion, has become a huge issue in our country. Bone broth is considered a way to heal the intestinal walls and to fortify a balanced and healthy microbiome.
The joint pain from arthritis can be relieved by the collagen in broth, and glycine has been shown to decrease inflammation in the joints as well as throughout the rest of your body.
If you think you might get tired of eating chicken soup, consider putting broth in your green smoothie, or adding a few tablespoons to your rice while you’re cooking it. Katherine and Ryan Harvey, authors of The Bare Bones Broth Cookbook: 125 Gut-Friendly Recipes to Heal, Strengthen, and Nourish the Body (Harper Wave) have included recipes for ‘Spinach, Apple, and Turmeric Smoothie’ and a ‘Kale and Chard Greens Smoothie’ that sound wonderful. Since there is a chill in the air, and because beets are also a blood-builder, I decide to try a delicious sounding soup - far from the traditional ‘chicken noodle’.