If you watch television, check Facebook, or use the internet, you have no doubt seen a product advertised as the next great cure for any number of ailments. I see these things and usually chuckle. Your body is a complex machine that requires millions of different parts to function optimally. After all, can you build a house with just bricks or drywall? These advertisements are making a recommendation for one piece of a massive jigsaw puzzle – not a “cure”. While getting individual components isn’t a bad idea, doesn’t it make more sense to first utilize products that contain an abundance of nutrients? When you do this, you can easily complement your diet with individual minerals you may struggle to get normally. If this philosophy makes sense to you, let me introduce you to a nutrient powerhouse you may not be familiar with – bone broth.
Bone broth is a staple in the diets of many cultures. Also referred to as stock, it is composed of animal parts that you cannot eat directly. This includes the bones and marrow, skin, feet, tendons and finally ligaments. To convert it into broth, these “byproducts” boil and simmer over a period of days. Over time, the simmering causes the release of many healthy vitamins and minerals that are stored within. This includes: collagen, proline, glycine, glutamine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, and more.
Stocks and broths you find in your big box grocery store do not typically contain the same nutrient density. The reason being, they are usually artificially flavored, full of chemicals, aren’t created from healthy animals, and frequently include MSG. A good stock is made from grass-fed animal parts and does not include any chemical additives.
What are the benefits of bone broth?
To begin with, bone broth:
- Protects joints – It is one of the best sources of natural collagen. Collagen is a component of cartilage, an essential material for protecting your joints. In addition, it also contains gelatin. Gelatin acts like a lubricant for your joints, allowing them to slide easily without friction.
- Good for your gastro-intestinal tract – It appears to have a role in restoring the gut lining, combating food sensitivities, and can help promote good bacterial growth similar to a pro-biotic. Amino acids in the broth help heal the lining of your intestine, which is abused by passing food frequently. This abuse can lead to tiny holes in the lining which may develop into a “leaky gut”. This is problematic because a leaky gut allows food particles to more readily escape into the blood stream. When this happens, your body may think it is a virus, bacteria, or other invader and initiate an immune response. Could this be the reason we see so many food sensitivities? Is it possible your body’s auto-immune responses are the result of confusion?
- Maintains healthy skin, nails, and hair – Collagen again has a role in the maintenance of these body parts. It helps form elastin and other compounds in the skin responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. It may even reduce cellulite, since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue.
There are many more potential benefits to bone broth in addition to what I listed. When a food contains this many nutrients, it will be beneficial for your entire body.
Where can you find bone broth?
Firstly, you can make it yourself! A high quality slow-cooker, water, and chicken bones are the beginning steps on a journey to homemade bone broth. Don’t want to deal with a potential mess or don’t have time? Check out google to see if there are any organic, high quality supplement stores in the area that may be able to supply you with this super food. Organic grocery stores may work as well. Remember, quality is important here if you want to reap all of the benefits. If it contains MSG or added artificial flavoring – steer clear.
Bone broth seems to fly under the radar for many Americans. I know it did for me. This is probably because we have an excess amount of food in the states and typically don’t use the “byproducts” of animals. However, as you just found out, these parts also provide incredible nutrient density for your body. It can protect joints, help heal your gut, maintain youthful looking hair and nails, and much more. Don’t wait until your body breaks down. Give your body what it needs today.