If you were sick as a child, chances of you having to drink chicken soup are pretty large. A warm bowl of mom’s chicken soup seemed to work better than any doctor’s medicine, and you could sleep better after that with a clear airway and a warm tummy.
But if you’re Asian, you probably grew up having to drink your grandma’s homemade soup whether you were sick or not, never wondering why there was more bone in it than meat. Grandma’s soup probably came in several flavors – sweet, salty, sour or bitter – but the recipe was always nearly the same.
Hot water, bones, vegetables – usually cabbage or carrots – and a variety of spices. And sometimes, the soup that was left overnight and reboiled the next day tasted so much better!
But many don’t know about multitide of bone broth benefits that goes well beyond satisfying your tummy and taste buds.
How it came about
Passed down since ancient times, our ancestors made sure to use every part of the animal they hunted. They ate the meat and anything else they could, used the hide for clothes, shelter or weapons and preserved the bones to cook soup with. They then boiled the bones with vegetables, herbs, tubes and so on to make a full meal.
Eventually through the ages, this is how modern bone broth was created! It continued to remain a staple in cooking, as it could be used to make soups, gravies, stews and sauces.
Throughout the world now, bone broth has become the base for all kinds of soup. Chinese meals from world-class hotel restaurants to your friendly neighbourhood chicken rice shop all have a soup side dish, mostly made from a mixture of bone broth and vegetables. This helps to cleanse the palate and digest the food better.
Bone broth benefits and its surprising nutritional values
Growing up with this particular method of cooking soup, it never occurred to me that it was actually a nutrition powerhouse. There are six notable bone broth benefits that are important to the human body.
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Chondroitin Sulfate
- Minerals and Electrolytes
Bones and connective tissue are solid dietary sources of Type II collagen. Collagen helps to keep skin smooth and supple, while keeping your teeth and joints healthy at the same time.
Bones are also full of all kinds of anti-inflammatory amino acids and minerals that aid the human body in natural healing. Injuries, scratches, arthritis, leaky gut syndrome and more – the healing is sped up considerably.
To go into detail, bone broth in Chinese culture is popular as a digestive tonic, even way back then. It helps to improve chronic digestive conditions, as leaky gut syndrome is a common cause of that.
What’s dangerous is that leaky gut is hidden and silent, and has no symptoms in early stages, but affects almost 70% of the population.
To combat this, the collagen from bone broth helps to seal holes and repair tears. It restores the strength of the gut lining, and helps with the growth of good bacteria.
Building strength in the bones
Bone broth contain amino acids, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients reduce joint pain and inflammation, making bones and muscles stronger. 100 Plus may give you energy, but bone broth is the one that truly takes care of your body!
Additionally as we get older, our joints go through wear and tear, and our bodies become less flexible. Bones lose the cartilage and scrape against each other, which causes a considerable amount of pain especially for older folk.
For that we need collagen to help maintain strong bones, as that helps to lessen the pressure on aging joints and eases bodily aches.
For pregnant mothers, bone broth is a staple! Your growing child will also gain the benefits and nutrients from it. This includes healthy bones, joints and a stronger digestive system. And we all know how important it is to have a healthy baby!
Collagen also plays a big part in the beauty industry. You hear it all the time in anti-aging product advertisements, about how collagen is added to face cream, serums and moisturizers. Collagen forms elastin and helps to maintain a youthful tone and texture to skin, reducing signs of aging and puffiness.
However the price of one face cream could probably buy you a month’s worth of meaty bones! Collagen is undoubtedly important for beauty, however it is absorbed better through the digestive system rather than the skin.
Eventually as you drink more bone broth, you will see visible improvements in your hair and nails as collagen helps to strengthen them and increase growth.
A little less known, but bone broth is considered to be a powerful detoxifying agent. It helps the digestive system get rid of toxin and waste, helps to improve the body’s use of antioxidants and maintain tissue integrity. It boosts the immune system greatly, and can even help in overcoming food allergies.
Bone broth, especially together with veggies, garlic and herbs, can supply your body with a good dose of sulfur and glutathione, which lowers oxidative stress. This in turn helps with getting rid of fat-soluble compounds and metals like mercury and lead.
This is so important as most food nowadays have a worrying amount of preservatives and chemicals.
Get rid of sleepiness!
Most people don’t even get the required average 7 hours of sleep a day, but here is the solution! Drinking bone broth for dinner can improve sleep quality later on, and helps to reduce daytime drowsiness.
The glycine in bone broth will work on the body’s Central Nervous System and relax the muscles, providing you with the restful sleep that you need so badly. Or at least, I need (whoops).
How do you make bone broth?
This is a simple way for you to make your very own bone broth at home!
- Bones (Chicken, beef, lamb, pork or fish)
- Vegetables (Most commonly; onions, cabbage, garlic, carrots or celery)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Note 1: If making beef or lamb broth, brown the meat before putting it into a pot. Fish and poultry don’t have to be browned.
Note 2: For a good quality broth, it is important to make use of uncommon body parts like chicken feet and neck. You don’t have to eat them, don’t worry!
- Place bones into a large pot and cover with water.
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
- Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
- Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
- Cook slow and at low heat. (Note: Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. ) A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
- You can also add in vegetables for added nutrient value, but only at the end of cooking time.
- Add salt and pepper as you wish.
After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.
Bone broth is an inexpensive and versatile source of vitamins, with no unhealthy chemicals needed in the mix! If everyone were to drink bone broth on a weekly basis, health risks would be lowered by a decent percentage.
Bone broth benefits the human body in every way, from your skin to your hair, from your brain to your gut, from your bones to your muscles. It is also low in calories but high in good minerals, which makes a great addition to any diet.