These days everyone seems to be jumping on the bone broth bandwagon. Fans of bone broth claim it to be a nutrient gold mine and with an abundance of minerals, collagen, gelatin, and amino acids such as glutamine and glycine, it may very well be. Bone broth is simply animal bones that are simmered with vegetables for hours to allow the nutrients from the bones to leach into the water to become a nutrient dense broth.
What are Some of the Benefits of Bone Broth?
- Amino acids in bone broth, like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine, have been shown to boost immunity. Studies have shown that bone broth can help to improve upper respiratory tract infections by mitigating inflammation, clearing mucus, and opening respiratory pathways.
- Studies show that many of the amino acids in bone broth (such as cystine, histidine, and glycine) reduce inflammation, and L-glutamine specifically reduces gut inflammation.
- Collagen and chondroitin sulfate in bone broth supports skin, nail, and hair health. The rich mineral and glucosamine content has been shown to strengthen bones and teeth, and support connective tissue, joint and bone health.
- Bone broth, especially when it’s made from vegetables, adds electrolytes (minerals) and carbohydrates (from vegetables) to the diet. Studies have shown that drinking broth can rehydrate better than water alone due to the electrolytes.
- The amino acids in bone broth can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is essential for the ongoing growth, repair, and maintenance of skeletal muscle groups.
- Perhaps broths biggest claim to fame in today’s diet is the role it plays in supporting gut health. Bone broth is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system and therefore is a staple of many gut-healing diets. In a healthy gut, the intestinal lining consists of tight junctions which control what passes through. With leaky gut, these junctions don’t work properly resulting in small undigested particles of food that “leak” through the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. The body recognizes this as foreign particles resulting in an auto immune-like response as the body attacks healthy tissue. Studies have shown bone broth to be beneficial in restoring the gut lining and supporting intestinal health.
The best and least expensive way to get bone broth is to make it yourself using bones ideally from grass fed, organic animals. If you cannot, or do not want to make bone broth, there are now several companies that make it and are found in natural health food stores. Look for companies that use only organic meat and do not add any MSG, stabilizers, flavors, or preservatives. Often they can be found in the frozen section.
TURKEY BONE BROTH RECIPE
- 1 turkey carcass from a roasted bird (it’s OK to have some meat and skin attached to the bones)
- turkey giblets
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 cup parsley (1 small bunch)
- 1 mandarin orange peel (orange peel or lemon peel works too)
- 2 bay leaves
- 7 quarts filtered water
- Place the turkey carcass and giblets in a large stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, orange peel, and bay leaves, and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8-10 hours.
- Discard the solids and strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container. Ladle the broth into mason jars. Once it’s cool, you’ll be able to remove the fat on the surface easily with a spoon. Enjoy and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for later.
Broth can be enjoyed in many ways. Use it as a base for soups and stews, to cook veggies or rice in, or simply in a mug by itself as a warm, soothing drink.
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