Bone Broth

10 reasons to love bone broth

If you’ve got a bone to pick with bone broth, I understand. While I personally love bone broth and found it essential in my gut-healing journey, I know that to others it can sound a little … unappetising.

If that’s you, I get it, but I would love to have the opportunity to change your mind.

What is bone broth?

Before we start, bone broth is vastly different from the packaged chicken stock you may have used to make soup. Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals. It’s a nutrient-dense stock that forms the backbone of many a soup and sauce, but can also be drunk on its own. You can make bone broth out of practically any animal, including chicken, beef, fish, buffalo or lamb.

I’d love to share with you 10 reasons why I think that bone broth is super-healthy and why you might like to include it in your diet. By the way, if you are vegan or vegetarian, then homemade vegetable stocks are delicious and nutritious for you too.

Bone broth is mineral-rich

If minerals and vitamins were dollars, bone broth would be rich! Bone broth contains protein, collagen, calcium, selenium, fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, manganese, zinc, iron and vitamins A and K. This provides your body with essential nutrients in an easy-to-eat and very easy-to-digest format.

Your gut loves it

Bone broth has been used for centuries as a digestive tonic, helping heal and seal the digestive tract’s lining while reducing inflammation in the gut. An amino acid called glutamine found in bone broth helps maintain the intestinal wall’s function and prevents a leaky gut. Emerging research suggests that glutamine, along with other amino acids found in bone broth, may benefit people with irritable bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

It’s an inflammation fighter

Bone broth contains the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and arginine. Why does this matter? Well, chronic inflammation can lead to a whole host of diseases, including arthritis and cardiovascular disease; therefore it’s crucial to eat a highly anti-inflammatory diet and why I’m on team bone broth.

It’s excellent for the health of our joints

Cartilage in the joints shrinks and wears down with overuse, which can cause damage, pain and atrophy. Luckily, research indicates that collagen consumption can improve joint health and decrease knee pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis.

It can improve our brain function

Bone broth can be beneficial for our nervous system. The healthy fats it contains provide a source of fuel for the brain.

Hello, glowing skin

Collagen is blowing up in the beauty industry, and with good reason. Collagen is a significant component of the skin, helping keep skin wrinkle-free, plump and glowing. Unfortunately, as we age, our collagen production rate declines, so it’s crucial to replenish it through the diet to help slow skin ageing and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

It supports the immune system

The small intestine acts as the first line of defence for our immune system. If the gut barrier becomes leaky, this can disrupt immune system function. We know that it is protective for our gut, so it’s also a massive supporter of the immune system.

It can assist with weight loss and weight maintenance

If you are looking for low-calorie options to support a healthy weight, bone broth is an excellent option. It is full of protein, which can increase satiation while being low-calorie, which is ideal for the waistline.

It can act as a sleep aid

Glycine, naturally found in bone broth, may increase relaxation and promote sleep. Studies have shown that those who took glycine before bed fell asleep faster, maintained a deeper sleep and woke less throughout the night.

It’s a bone protector and supporter

Our bones are made mostly of collagen, which supports their structure and keeps them strong. Collagen consumption can increase bone mineral density and stimulate bone growth. ItBone broth is also rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which create and maintain healthy bones.

Recipe: Supercharged Lamb Bone Broth

Bone Broth

Think before you throw out the trimmings and bones from your next lamb roast. Lamb broth provides similar nutritional benefits to a gelatine-rich beef broth but with the comforting flavour of lamb to add variety to your soups.

Serves: 4–5

Ingredients: 

60mL extra-virgin
coconut oil
1kg lamb marrow bones
2L filtered water

2 carrots, peeled
& roughly chopped
2 stalks celery,
roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled & quartered

1 bay leaf
2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
Celtic sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place a flameproof casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat and melt the coconut oil. Add the bones and stir to coat. Add the lid and transfer the casserole dish to the oven. Bake for 30 mins or until bones are browned.
  3. Transfer to the stovetop, cover with the filtered water and add the remaining ingredients, including seasoning. Bring to
    a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 4–6 hours. Add more filtered water from time to time if necessary.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then strain and refrigerate until the fat congeals on top. Skim off the fat and store the stock in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer or freeze in ice-cube trays.

Column featured in WellBeing 203 

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.

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