I’ve been reading and hearing about the great benefits of bone broth for quite some time now. Bone broth is broth made from the bones of an animal – usually cows or chickens (sometimes fish). Cooking the bones allows the water to absorb nutrients from the bones and bone marrow which may have some nice benefits for us humans.
Some of those benefits include:
• Improved mineral and nutrient absorption.
Broth is easier to digest, making nutrients more bio-available.
• Improved skin elasticity and moisture.
Skin, hair and nails look and feel healthier.
• Improved digestion.
Reduced inflammation improves and heals the gut lining creating a reduction in overgrowth of harmful microbes; Stomach acid, needed for proper digestion, is stimulated.
• Builds and improves bones and joints.
Minerals and amino acids provide nutrients for building bones and improving joint mobility.
• Improved tissue repair and regeneration.
Amino acids in broth may improve performance and muscle repair from exercise.
I started making my own bone broth from chicken. The simplest way was buying a pre-roasted chicken at a local supermarket, ideally one that was grown and fed organically. But it requires time to prepare and yields a limited amount of broth. So when I realized that you can buy the powdered version, in a canister, I got some to try.
I suppose the benefits aren’t likely to be noticeable if you don’t have your bone broth regularly. I didn’t really notice much difference with intermittent consumption. Then I decided to have some before bedtime.
I have struggled, on and off, with sleep issues for a couple decades now. According to my Fitbit, I don’t get a lot of those “deep” gaps of sleep. But two nights in a row, after drinking some of the bone broth protein powder before bed each night, I slept more deeply than I have in quite some time. Wow!
Maybe it’s coincidence? The collagen in the bone broth is the likely culprit.
Collagen is a gel-like substance with many wonderful nutritional properties. Bone broth is full of collagen which gives it many of the beneficial qualities I noted above.
Collagen contains several amino acids important to the body and our health including glycine, proline, arginine and glutamine. Glycine is a neurotransmitter and can decrease anxiety, promote mental calmness, which can help with sleep. Voila! There’s my improved sleep!
Collagen appears to be quite a potent health promoter. It is a protein that is abundant in the body and important to many aspects of health. Age naturally decreases collagen, as do common lifestyle experiences like stress, drugs, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, dehydration, and trauma.
We don’t absorb collagen as easily when eating animal products the usual way. Ingesting it from bone broth allows the body to absorb it more easily and quickly.
Some easy ways to get collagen or bone broth in our diet is to add it to smoothies and baked goods. You can also have some before and after a workout for tissue repair and performance.
How to Make Bone Broth
Below are some links to making your own bone broth, if you have the time and inclination to do so. This same broth can be used in recipes for soups and other dishes. I’ve also included my personal recipe for making bone broth from a pre-roasted chicken.
1. Buy a pre-roasted chicken from your local grocery.
2. Pick off all the meat that you can (eat or freeze for later).
3. Pick off the skin (unless you roast it, you don’t know what was added).
4. Put bones in the slow cooker or pot.
5. Cover with water. Add 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar. Let sit for an hour.
6. Add spices if desired (pre-cooked will already have some spices and salt).
7. Cook on high for an hour or two, then turn to Low and cook 6-12 hours.
8. When cooled, strain the liquid into a large jar.
9. Repeat from step 4. (I do a second cooking with the same bones.)
My yield is usually 2 half-gallon jars using a 4 quart slow cooker.
How to Buy Bone Broth
The broth can be bought as a liquid or as a powder. Both can be purchased locally at health food stores and likely at many large grocery store chains. There are many online retailers that sell both products as well. Looks for products that are organic and made from pasture-raised animals. For liquid products, look for packages that are BPA-free. there are many different brand names, and even different flavors, from which to choose.
If you’re challenged by any of the health issues mentioned above, you may want to consider trying Bone Broth. Check the resource listed below for additional details. And always check with your medical provider first if you are being treated for any conditions or taking medications!