Have you ever been told to eat a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick?
I bet you have. But do you know why?
It’s truly an ancient tradition. But the truth is, not all chicken soups will do the trick. Especially those found in a can.
Traditionally chicken soup was made by simmering vegetables, meat and bones to create a nutrient rich broth (a.k.a. bone broth). However, most commercial soups today simply use broth made from water and chicken “flavor.”
Bone broth has been used throughout humankind for its rich flavor and healing powers. Many cultures use it to cure illnesses, such as colds and flu. In fact, bone broth is sometimes referred to as Jewish penicillin. It’s also been prized for its ability to treat conditions related to the digestive tract, skin, joints, lungs, muscles, and blood.
And fortunately, bone broth is making a comeback.
Bone Broth Nutrition
Bone broth contains a soup (pun intended) of health promoting nutrients in highly absorbable forms.
Below are several key nutrients in bone broth along with their health benefits:
Minerals are essential to life. They play many important roles in our bodies, such as nerve signaling and the initiation of most enzymatic processes in our bodies. They also impact the health of our digestive system, heart, cells, and bones.
Bone broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and a variety of trace minerals.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and have numerous responsibilities when it comes to our health. Bone broth specifically contains high concentrations of glycine and proline.
Glycine acts as an antioxidant, which protects our cells from free radical damage. It also aids in detoxification as well as wound healing, digestion, sleep, memory, and performance. It keeps our muscles strong and is used to make glutathione (another powerful antioxidant).
Proline is essential for healthy skin and joints. It also helps to repair the lining of the digestive system.
Collagen and Gelatin
Collagen is a protein found in bones as well as other connective tissues. Its name comes from the word “kolla,” which means glue. Essentially, its main role is to hold the body together.
When collagen dissolves in water, it forms gelatin. Gelatin has been studied extensively and is often used to heal and soothe the digestive tract, support bone health, overcome food allergies and sensitivities, improve digestion and detoxification, and boost the body’s natural production of collagen.
Glucosamine lubricates our joints and provides a cushion within them. Expensive supplements are often used to treat conditions involving bone and joint pain, but bone broth is an all natural (and effective) alternative.
Along with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate supports healthy bones and joints. But it’s also essential for heart and skin health as well as maintaining optimal cholesterol levels.
Delicious Ways to Add Bone Broth to Your Diet
Bone broth can be made using beef, poultry, lamb, pork or fish bones. There are countless recipes online.
- Sip it plain
- Add it to soups, stews, sauces, and gravies
- Use it instead of water or other liquids to cook/make grains, vegetables, mashed potatoes and casseroles
To sum it up:
Consuming bone broth on a regular basis is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do to support your health.
- It contains a variety of easily absorbable nutrients;
- It warms your heart and your soul;
- It’s easy to make; and
- It’s absolutely delicious!
- Bergner, P. (1997). The healing power of minerals, special nutrients, and trace elements. Rocklin, CA: Prima Pub.
- Daniel, K. (2003, June 18). Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin [Web log post]. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/
- Fallon, S. (2000, January 1). Broth in Beautiful [Web log post]. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/
- Fallon, S., Enig, M. G., Murray, K., & Dearth, M. (2001). Nourishing traditions: the cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. Brandywine, MD: NewTrends Pub.