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How Bone Broth Can Help You Look Young and Feel Strong

March 18, 2013

Have you ever had your grandmother “prescribe” chicken soup to help you get over a cold? Some research shows that soups and stocks made from animal bones can have healing qualities. How do these elixirs help build strong bodies? Here are four ways:

Minerals strengthen the immune system

Animal bones are rich with minerals, including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and sulfate. All of these trace minerals come from real food and are more easily recognized and absorbed by the body than synthetic vitamins and minerals found in supplements.

Gelatin improves digestion

The use of gelatin as a functional food goes back centuries. According to Integrative Nutrition guest speaker Sally Fallon, expert on traditional nutrition, researchers have found that gelatin helps facilitate digestion because it attracts digestive juices to food in the gut, making it easier to break down nutrients.

Guest speaker Donna Gates of the Body Ecology Diet also notes that the cartilage in bones contains glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are frequently deficient in patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Correcting the deficiency with bone broths helps repair gut walls. Gelatin helps with the treatment of peptic ulcers, heartburn or GERD, and other digestive issues associated with gut inflammation such as leaky gut syndrome.

Nutrients reduce the need for protein

If you’re stretching your dollar or watching portion sizes, eating bone broths can help you get more bang for your buck. Gelatin has been found to be a protein sparer that can help stretch smaller amounts of meat into a complete meal. Combined with the rich mineral content, bone broths are nutritional powerhouses.

Collagen helps smooth wrinkles and cellulite

Bone broth is rich with collagen, the proteins found in flesh and connective tissues. Skin becomes smoother and more supple when there’s an abundance of connective tissue. Adding more collagen into your diet will help keep your skin looking young and smooth.

Eating bone broth was much more common a few generations ago. But as modern food product made animal protein less expensive and more plentiful, and pre-packaged foods simplified cooking, pre-packaged soup broths and bouillon bases became more common. Slow cooking homemade bone broths fell out of favor. Unfortunately, these pre-packaged broths lack many of the nutrients of their homemade counterparts.

If you have a pressure cooker, you can make a quick and delicious bone broth without spending hours in the kitchen. Simply take your left over chicken parts –neck, bones, wing tips and back work well – add some herbs and salt, fill your pressure cooker pot up halfway with water, and simmer with a closed lid for about an hour. Or, try this bone broth recipe from Donna Gates. 

Do you incorporate bone broth into your diet?