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Bring Back the Bone Broth!

July 11th, 2012
Paleo Bone Broth

What if I told you there was a special tonic that existed that had special nourishing and healing powers?  Some even consider it a “youth serum” due to its ability to nourish and rejuvenate the entire body. What if by regularly consuming this one tonic you could help to nourish and heal your joints, as well as  improve your digestion, heal your gut, and provide you with the nutrients you need to grow and sustain a healthy body?

Got anyone’s attention???

I would think so….considering the millions of people suffering from arthritis and various bone and joint issues, as well as those with digestive related disorders.  People spend large amounts of money on supplements and medications for relief and prevention of these conditions, as well as looking for that magic pill that will help them to feel good and live longer. Well, I am telling you that this special tonic is a healing secret from our ancestors and is available to us all and can be made in your own home.  This health elixir I am speaking of is bone broth. It is easy to make, delicious, cost effective and the health benefits are plentiful.

Bone broths were once a staple (and still are in some places) in traditional cuisine from all over the world.  The finest chefs continue to still use bone broths to make delicious sauces, soups and stews. Even in the U.S. prior to WWII we consumed bone broths as part of our traditional diets.  With the introduction of flavor enhancers and artificial ingredients we began taking short cuts and broths were now cheaply made and sold in boxes for convenient cooking.  Yes, it is convenient to grab the boxed or canned broth, however a multitude of health and life giving nutrients are lost.  Before humans began cooking foods, our Paleolithic ancestors used bones of small animals mixed with water to create a nutrient-dense paste.  Traditional cultures passed down the wisdom of the healing power of bones throughout generations, however this wisdom has been lost in our modern diets.  Let’s bring it back!!

Why should you include bone broths in your diet? Let’s look at this a little deeper.

Bone broths provide our bodies with easily absorbed minerals from the cartilage, tendons and bones of the animal we are using, as well as trace minerals and electrolytes from the vegetables. This is important considering how depleted our soil is today and the fact that we are likely not getting all the nutrients we need from our diets (even if the majority of your diet is organic, unprocessed and pasture-raised).  Bone broths also have large amounts of the amino acid, glycine, which helps to detoxify the liver.  Believe me, we all need help with liver detoxification. We are bombarded with toxins daily and our liver is in charge of filtering them all out. Liver detox is important in keeping a healthy body.

Minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, etc) found in bone broth, in conjunction with growth factors called glycosaminoglycans or GAGs provide us with the perfect recipe for building healthy bones and joints. GAGs are found in our collagen and help keep our tissue healthy. Ever taken a glucosamine supplement for joint problems? Glucosamine is a GAG that helps build healthy joints. The health of our joints depends upon the quality and health of our collagen.

Bone broths also provide our bodies with gelatin that has been shown to heal and nourish our own cartilage, bones, skin, arteries as well as our digestive tract and various other tissues of the body.  This gelatin component is able to help heal and seal our intestinal tract. Anyone with gut or digestive related issues, listen up! Or better yet, anyone with a gut, listen up…yes that is everyone! Approximately 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut.  What does that mean? It means that the health of our gut largely equates to generally how healthy we are and our ability to stay healthy and prevent disease. Most people don’t realize that many other diseases, such as autoimmune conditions and neurological conditions may begin with a compromised gut.  So, the take home message…everyone can benefit from including bone broths in their diet!

How to make bone broth:
First, you need quality bones from pasture-raised animals or wild-caught fish. Chicken, beef, and fish broths/stocks are the most commonly made, but you can use bones from other animals.  You can get bones from vendors at the farmer’s market or a local butcher. Sometimes you have to purchase them and some will give away bones for free. Try to get a variety of bones from different parts of the animal including the marrow bones. I typically roast a chicken and save the carcass to make broth.  If you can find chicken feet to add to it, it will make the broth super tasty and rich. I get my chickens, and beef/fish bones from the farmer’s market. Secondly, you will need a crockpot or stock pot. I use both. Thirdly, you will need some coarsely chopped veggies (onions, celery, carrots, etc.), salt and vinegar.

Place bones in the stock pot, cover with filtered water.  Add a little vinegar (couple Tablespoons) and a Tablespoon of salt and let the bones soak for an hour or 2. This helps pull the good stuff out of the bones. Bring to a boil. Foam and impurities will rise to the top. Take a spoon and skim it off. Add the veggies, cover and turn down the heat to simmer anywhere from 4 to 48 hours depending on the kind of broth you are making. Some are cooked up to 72 hours. Remove bones and discard veggies. It is ready to consume right away or stored for later use.

If you are the type of person that needs a recipe and more information you can get specific recipes for different types of broths in the book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. This book is the Bible of traditional cooking and is a great resource to have in the kitchen!

Time to enjoy your broth! I drink broth daily in a mug like it is coffee or tea.  I warm it up on the stove and add a little sea salt.  It’s delicious and I can feel the goodness pouring into my body.  I have used this as a key component in my own gut healing and restoration of my health.  I also drink more if I am feeling tired or beginning to feel sick, and I seem to bounce back quickly. I also keep it handy to make the most amazing soups and sauces. Soups made with REAL bone broth taste so much better than making it with the stuff in the carton. Also, please do not microwave!

I hope this blog will inspire you to try incorporating bone broths into your diet! I was a little intimidated at first to try this, but it truly is easy once you get in the habit of it. Plus, it is a cheap way to provide your body with so many wonderful, health-promoting and healing nutrients.  Join me in bringing back the bone broths and bring back vibrant health and vitality that is our birthright!

Ready to take your health to the next level? Make some bone broth and try our 30 Day Challenge – Check it out here. 🙂

Brenda Walding, DPT, FDN

Photo ofBrenda Walding
Brenda Walding
Job Title
DPT, Physical Therapist
The Paleo Secret

11 Responses

  1. Great article, Didn’t know it’s so good for arthritis. I’ve been drinking bone broth for about 6 months and problems with my back have cleared and my last long drive (7 hours) no problems!!

    • Great to hear Jack! We are also physical therapists and we’ve specialized in treating the spine for a number of years. Be on the lookout for more info on good spinal hygiene.

  2. Luanna says:

    When I make bone broth, after the bones have soaked in the vinegar solution or have cooked for a short time I pull them out and crack the marrow bones with a pair of kitchen pliers then continue cooking to allow the marrow to cook out. (works with chicken bones)

  3. Marguerite says:

    Is it ok to eat the veggies in the Bone Broth…I make this once a week and add more veggies and use this as a meal?

  4. Jackie says:

    I have been making this broth for chicken as long as I could cook. The recipie was passed down from my mom which in turn was passed down for many generations…I called it my “Health In A Pot” as I always felt awesome after eating it. I used it for soups, gravy, & sauces only once in awhile but through your article realized that it should be consumed on a more regular weekly basis.
    THANK YOU!!!
    I studies Holistic Healing now for over 15 years as a hobby but have recently in the last 2 years decided to study it in pursuit of a new career 😀 It is an intriguing, fascinating, & enjoyable area of interest for me & look forward to learning more!!!

  5. Patricia says:

    Why should it not be microwaved?

  6. Tina says:

    Very interesting! I have been making bone broth with chicken carcasses (organic) once a week to give to my dog who has possible degenerative disc disease. The first time the broth was really gelatinous and set beautifully, the other times, it didn’t set. Will keep experimenting as I have read that the more gelatinous the better it is as it contains more collagen and gelatin that help with joint problems etc. Any idea how long it might take to see improvement in a condition if I gave it to my dog every day? Supplements have NOT helped and we’ve tried everything – yes, we really have. I only feed her organic meat, bones and veggies and offal – no commercial dog ‘food’. If you have any advice, or can help with offering a suggestion as to how long to see any improvement if I give her broth every day, I’d really appreciate it.
    Thank you. x

  7. Catherine Bowie says:

    My dad was in an auto accident in 2000. He broke both legs in two places below the knees. He was non weight bearing for four months. I took care of him in those four months. We had a Chinese lady in our church who made us “bone broth” every week. I would take the stock pot home and every day we drank a cup of it at every meal. I didn’t know that I could add vegetables to it until the end of the four months and my dad healed beautifully. At 84 he is still going strong!

  8. Lei says:

    Thanks for sharing this!I’d like to try it some time. I’ve been drinking Au Bon Broth since I’ve always been busy. And I could say that it tastes delicious like it’s home made.

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