Everyone knows chicken soup is famous for being the go-to elixir when it comes to soothing cold and flu symptoms. Inundated by commercials advertising more prescription drugs than one can count, health-conscious individuals seek a more natural alternative for certain ailments these days. More specifically, a recent study revealed there are between 60 and 70 million people suffering from some sort of digestive disorder; further studies have shown that a healthy gut contributes to an effective digestive and strong immune system, heart health, and more. Bottom line, is there a more natural solution to such a growing problem? Quick answer: bone broth.
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Though not a complete cure, drinking bone broth as a digestive aid dates back to prehistoric times and up until now, science has shown that the collagen from bone broth is the main source of what is beneficial to the gut. Also, gelatin is formed when bones are boiled down; with the combination of collagen and gelatin, you get a liquid containing amino acids such as glutamine along with other elements like calcium, chondroitin, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and magnesium. Bone broth is praised by athletes for its aid in quicker joint injury recovery. Hair, skin, and nails benefit from bone broth as well.
While bone broth is available for purchase in stores, it’s easy to make your own. Have you ever seen a pack of chicken feet at your local grocery store, turned up your nose, and walked past it in horror? Well, chicken bones add extra collagen to bone broth, especially the feet. In fact, a University of Nebraska study discovered that amino acids rendered from chicken bones reduce inflammation in the respiratory system.
Of course, you don’t have to use chicken bones to make a savory broth. Turkey, beef, and lamb bones will suffice just fine (pork bones are not recommended). First, roast your beef or lamb bones in the oven until brown (25 to 30 minutes) to increase flavor and add color. Then bring to boil in a large steel stockpot (do not use aluminum pots).
You can make plain broth or add the veggie scraps of your choice. Adding a little vinegar or lemon juice will draw out nutrients from the bones. Season to taste. After boiling, allow the liquid to simmer for eight to 24 hours. Yes, it’s a process. No, you won’t need to stand over a hot stove the entire time. A slow cooker is perfect for simmering. The longer the broth simmers, the more collagen is extracted. Remove congealed fat once the broth has cooled.
Sure, this is a lengthy process but well worth it in the long run, saving money and making enough broth to last up to six months when stored in the freezer. So next time, save some of those picked-cleaned bones left over from a hearty family dinner. They freeze well and can be ready for a batch of bone broth to help keep your gut healthy, hair growth, strong nails, and reduce inflammation.