Bone Broth: What in the World is it??
This is the first in what will be a series of nutrition blogs to help you differentiate between fact and fiction when it comes to all different kinds of foods and nutrition topics. My goal is to assist you in making healthier choices when it comes to your diet and progress to an overall healthier lifestyle!
Bone broth has suddenly taken front seat in nutrition news. But exactly what is it, and why are people suddenly singing its praises? Well, broth really isn’t anything new. Our ancestors made broths or stocks on a regular basis from the bones of beef, poultry, pork, lamb, and fish. Chefs and cooks at home have always made a rich nourishing stock from different bones of various animals as a basis for many of their recipes. And who doesn’t feel like warm chicken soup has healing properties when they are sick in bed with a cold or flu? There have been a few studies in the last 15 years that actually linked mom’s soup to improved symptoms of upper respiratory infections.
There are those who assert that bone broth is a cure for any number of ailments, including digestive problems and arthritis, and may boost immunity, improve wound healing, detox our livers, and rebuild our bones with collagen. Wow! The problem is there is very little research out there to show that bone broth can actually do this. Our digestive systems break down the collagen into amino acids, and then our bodies will use these where they are needed, just like any other protein. A second problem is that there is no one way to make bone broth, and so how you make it can affect its properties. The third warning I have is that bones can retain heavy metals, and bone broth may carry a risk of lead contamination, so be careful if feeding bone broth to young children.
However, I can see some positive nutritional benefits to consuming bone broth:
- It’s a good source of fluid and electrolytes, which are important to replace if you are exercising heavily, or if you have been sick with vomiting or diarrhea.
- Adding leafy green vegetables to the broth will provide nutrients that will further enhance the nutrients in the meat-based broth and contribute to the collagen building blocks.
- It’s getting us into the kitchen again! We all know that cooking from scratch is a healthier way to eat than buying canned, packaged, and processed foods.
Here is a recipe for bone broth to get you started:
- 1 leftover roast chicken carcass
- Vegetable scraps (celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic, etc.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps and bay leaves to a crockpot/slow cooker.
- Pour water over the carcass to cover.
- Add cider vinegar.
- Cook on low heat for 24 hours; add water as needed.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour into mason jars; the broth should gel, but it is not necessary.
Recipe by Nourished Kitchen.com
Guest Blogger, Nutritionist and Cuddle My Kids Volunteer:
Beth Gasho, RD, LDN, CNSC
RD = registered dietitian
LDN = licensed dietitian/nutritionist
CNSC = certified nutrition support clinician