Updated: Mar 23
Bone Broth benefits are numerous and extensive and just to clarify it is not a short lived health fad! In my online women's health hub, Gut School, we are very much into bone broth. Using this paleo food 'as medicine' to heal and seal your gut health is the way to strengthen your immune system too.
Bone broth is a simple ancient remedy, used for its nutrient density and easy to digest food as medicine. (Food sources are always best absorbed by the body over an above supplemental sources, however sometimes we do need extra supplemental support also, it just depends on what's going on in your health. )
Over thousands of years, our ancestors made use of every part of an animal. Might sound gross to some, however the bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments, that you can’t eat directly, can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days to allow the nutrients to be released.
This long simmering (recommended over 36 hours – 3 days) causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine which are deep inside the bones (the stuff that we pay a lot for in bottles of supplements!)
These compounds go in and heal and seal the gut and boost our immune system and has the ability to heal the damage that we endure every day through poor diets, stress and environmental toxins.
Broth or Stock?
The difference between a bone broth and a stock is that a stock is simply cooked for much shorter time (3-6 hours.)
Stocks are great for flavouring savoury foods, however stocks don’t have enough simmering time to release the health compounds that bone broth have.
To make it even better, there are many different kinds of bone broths that you could choose from. Chicken, beef, fish, or you can buy the bone broth powder so you don’t have to neglect your health if you’re traveling. There are even bone broth protein powders now and bone broth shops!
But, you can’t beat making a simple bone broth at home.
Broth can be enjoyed as a healing elixir (drink a warm cup full before bed) a base for soup, or a yummy base to casseroles, curries, roast gravies etc.
I love adding it to seasonal vegetables as I saute them, to give them more flavour.
Oh.. and always choose Grass Fed Beef
Incorporating grass fed beef in your diet will help you build a strong immune system due to its high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content.
Grass fed beef contains significantly more antioxidants and healthy fats than grain fed beef, which helps support healthy cell membranes and function.
5 ways bone broth help your health
1. Bone broth is immune building: We know that most of your immune lives in your gut, so fix your gut health - maximize your immune system too!
2. Bone broth is bone building: Vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in bone broth is important to help create and maintain strong and healthy bones. Don’t rely on dairy milk for calcium, have bone broth instead.
3. Bone broth supports your gut: One of the best foods for those suffering digestive issues such as bloating,diarrhea constipation, and many more! This broth is rich in gelatin. Gelatin is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or leaky gut syndrome.
4. Bone broth is anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is at the source of all illness and imbalance. The long cooking time for bone broth breaks down cartilage and tendons releasing anti-inflammatory compounds, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, that are found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. These compounds keep your joints young and flexible.
5. Bone broth is anti-ageing: Has high amounts of collagen that forms the structural building blocks of strong skin, giving you a youthful glow. Collagen also supports hair growth, skin regeneration and assists in keeping your nails strong.
Ok, let’s get simmering… just in time I'd say!!
Recipe: Easy Beef Bone Broth (With Heaps of Flavour!)
1.8 kg grass fed oxtail, chopped to fit pot (or other beef bones with joints and cartilage, knuckles )
6 L filtered water (or however much to fill your slow cooker pot)
3 tbsp of raw organic apple cider vinegar
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 onions, halved
2 cloves or garlic and a knob of ginger
1 leek, sliced
1 bunch parsley stalks
3 tsp of black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
13. I add the following into my broth which all super charge my immune system: 1 tbsp of Astragalus chopped root, Rhoidiola or Cordyceps, 3 dried shitake mushrooms, a bunch of Oregano. (all found at health food shops these days or online )
*In my latest research for COVID-19 these in number 13 above are very beneficial!
* The amounts are rough estimates so add more or less depending on size of your pot!
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Place oxtail or other bones into a baking dish and brown in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.
2. Place oxtails or other bones into the pot of your slow cooker. Add everything else and fill the pot with water until completely full, place on lid and set your slow cooker to low. (Set and forget!)
3. You can simmer on a low heat for a minimum of 6 hours (which is a stock.) Or for a broth – simmer for 24 – 48 hours.
Please Note: If you find the water evaporates then it's your slow cooker!! If you check the cooker bowl will not have a adequate 'lip' to prevent steam from leaking out. I had to buy another slow cooker for this reason (lucky their pretty cheap. Best brand I know is the Kambrook Deluxe Slow Cooker
4. Remove the oxtail and strain the bone broth through a sieve or muslin. Discard the solids and set on bench until it cools. Then refrigerate the broth overnight. Remove all the excess fat ‘disk’ that solidifies over the top. Your cold broth should look like a jelly at this stage. Heat to drink and freeze portions for later.
Please note: If it didn’t ‘gel’ this just means there was not enough bones with joints and cartilage to create that gelatin effect. It’s still great, but you know for next time!
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