A longtime staple of the Paleo diet, bone broth is quickly picking up steam in health-conscious circles across the country — not to mention restaurants, juice bars and coffee shops. As February continues to pound much of the country with snow and freezing temperatures, here’s how you can use this elixir to heat up and heal up.
What is it?
Toted as an up-and-coming “superfood,” bone broth is loaded with protein and essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iodine. Though there are many varieties, the basic foundation is just what it sounds like: homemade stock made from water; beef, chicken or fish bones, seasoning and sometimes vegetables.
1. Promotes gut health
Bone broth has a high concentration of gelatin, which helps heal the digestive track, and leads to better overall digestive health. That means less diarrhea, constipation and gastrointestinal sensitivity.
2. Improves hair, skin and nail health
The gelatin in bone broth also boosts collagen, supporting skin regeneration and hair and nail growth.
3. Promotes healthy bones and joints
Bones are close to 50% protein by volume, and sipping bone broth can provide the building blocks for healthy bones and joints. The glucosamine in bone broth can also help repair damaged and inflamed joints.
4. Builds immune system
Experts say the high concentration of minerals found in bone broth strengthens and restores your immune system to help fight infections It can also be a soothing drink when you’re sick — especially if you don’t have an appetite or can’t keep down solid foods.
5. Promotes sleep
Glycine, an amino acid found in bone broth, has been shown to soothe the mind and help people sleep better.
How to make bone broth at home
Some grocery stores offer commercial varieties, but homemade broth is far more nutritious (and tastier) than their store-bought counterparts. To get started, fetch some bones from your local butcher or Asian food market. Here’s what to look for:
- Chicken, duck, turkey or goose bones
- Beef bones, beef knuckles and oxtails
- Fish bones
- “Soup bones” (shank bones that are typically round, cut into 4-inch pieces and have marrow)
- Other odds and ends not typically found in grocery stories, like chicken feet and neck
Stuff the bones into a large slow cooker or stock pot. For flavor, you can add any leftover vegetables and herbs you may have. Seasoning is also OK, but avoid salt, as it prevents minerals from extracting from the bones. Boil on low from 6 to 72 hours — the longer the better, as bones start to disintegrate and release nutrients and proteins into the water as more time passes. The resulting stock will range from translucent to dark brown in color. Freeze leftovers for cold weather sipping or an immune-boosting pick-me-up anytime of the year.
CATEGORIES: Healthy Food, Healthy Food, Recipe, Recipe, Superfood, Superfood, Health Benefits, Health Benefits, Bone BrothBone Broth