Should You Jump on the Bone Broth Bandwagon?


Have you heard all the hype about bone broth and wondered what the heck it was all about? You may have seen bone broth for sale at your local natural grocer, and there's even a bone broth bar now in Portland.  There's even a powdered bone broth you can buy (for nearly $60!) and reconstitute. 

So what's the big deal? 

Despite it's recent flash as a hot new nutritional trend, bone broth isn't anything too mysterious, but a traditional food that's been around for thousands of years. It's an economical way to stretch your budget and get great nutrition in the process.

It's full of more healthful components than most store bought, pre-processed broths in an easy to absorb, great tasting base that's easy to make and versatile. It's packed with minerals like calcium. magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, and more. It also has lots of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, electrolytes, collagen and gelatin. 

It's a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which have been touted as a supplement for joint health. As a supplement, glucosamine and chondroitin are expensive, and may not be well absorbed. It can take three months to see even modest benefit, if any.  Bone broth is more absorbable, and far more cost effective.  

So bone broth nourishes the joints, but it also is nourishing for the skin and can be included as part of an anti-aging program, and may be able to reduce the appearance of cellulite due to the support of connective tissue with collagen. 

Bone broth is a cornerstone of most gut-healing protocols. It can help heal a leaky gut, reduce inflammation by soothing the lining of the GI tract, and boost the immune system. As the lining of the gut heals, problems like allergies and food intolerances begin to heal, too. 

Because of the minerals and nutrients in bone broth, it can help as a detoxification agent, supporting your liver with the basic components it needs to optimize it's normal function of clearing toxins that we're exposed to every day. This includes some heavy metals, such as mercury and lead. 

It's easy to make, but it does take a little bit of time to cook.  You can add other great winter ingredients to aid in immune and digestive support, such as garlic, ginger, and other root vegetables.

3 or more pounds of turkey, beef, or other bones with marrow, 
(Optional chicken feet or pig's foot)
2-4 pounds of meaty bones, like drumsticks or short ribs
1/4-1/2 cup of raw apple cider vinegar (to help pull nutrients out of the bones)
Purified water, just enough to cover the bones and meat in the pot
2-4 Carrots, including the greens, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, including the greens, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2-1 bunch parsley, chopped
Ginger and/or Garlic peeled and chopped

Place the bones into crock pot or stock pot with enough water to just cover the bones, and add the apple cider vinegar on low heat to simmer for an hour to pull the minerals from the bones.(2 hours in crock pot)

Add vegetables, except parsley, and bring to a boil.  Skim any film off the top, and continue to cook on simmer for anywhere from 8-72 hours. (The longer the better). In the last 10-20 minutes or so of cooking, add the parsley.  Strain the broth from the solid items. 

Use the broth alone or as a base for soups.  Add Himalayan or sea salt and other spices as desired. Refrigerate for 5-7 days, or partition and freeze for up to 6 months. 

Most of the ingredients are inexpensive items you likely have on hand, some of which were already headed for the compost. If you know me, you'll know that I like to use home cooked whole foods as the basis for any plan for healing. You also know that I favor the least expensive option, so long as it is also effective. Bone broth meets both those criteria.  

But before you consider bone broth a wonder cure all, please know that there are some people who may have difficulty with bone broth. If you have a histamine intolerance, which can manifest in a variety of ways, including hives and allergy symptoms, as well as headaches, nausea, insomnia and anxiety, long-cooked bone broth may not be for you. If you find that you don't tolerate it well, don't give it up completely.  Try cooking it for a shorter period of time. Try two hours of cooking time instead. You may be able to work up from there. 

Help feed the hungry this holiday season and feel great doing it!
Bring in 5 non-perishable items, canned or boxed foods (no glass) and/or hygiene items such as toothpaste, shampoo and soap and get half off any massage or a free chiropractic exam or a free adjustment (for established patients).  We've partnered up with the Oregon Food Bank, good through December 23nd.