By Sara Nicholson, Food and Health Contributor, the wedge.LIVE
As Canadian children we’ve all been there; we come in from an evening out in the cold, dark winter night, and our parents have a piping hot bowl of home-made chicken soup waiting for us. As we take that first spoon full, and the chicken broth floods our body with warmth, it almost feels like heat and goodness is traveling through your veins. Well, it is! Whether our soup servers knew it or not, the broth they were feeding us was helping to promote all kinds of health benefits inside our body.
Bone broth has a long and historic past. It is a step up from the broth of our youth. The ancient indigenous hunter and gather tribes of North America would use every part of the animal, bones included, boiling the bones for many hours releasing marrow, collagen, and a whole slew of vitamins and minerals that were kept hidden inside those dense animal bones. As we are quickly finding out, our ancestors kept it simple and that kept them healthy.
I suspect they didn’t know the actual nutritional and health benefits of bone broth.
Bone broth–especially grass-fed beef bone broth–is rich in minerals and probiotics which help to restore gut flora. Bone broth in conjunction with probiotics can restore gut health back to normal. I mention this because my other half is gluten and dairy intolerant, and has had many gut problems. He is loving bone broth now and definitely feeling the love in his gut. More important is that beef bone broth contains a high amount of collagen which actually repairs the damage that has been done to your intestinal tract and stomach lining through years of eating an improper diet.
Beef bone broth, as I mentioned, contains high amounts of collagen, which not only helps repair the intestinal tract after years of abuse, but has an anti-aging property, and rejuvenates skin elasticity. Coupled with glutamine (an amino-acid that helps protein aborption), which is also found in beef bone broth, you have a sure-fire way to restore your gut back to its normal self. This process, if done properly can take only a few weeks. You can buy glutamine products in health food stores; but, I assure you they are nowhere near as delicious as a piping hot bowl of bone broth.
The final point I would like to bring up is how bone broth aids in combating intestinal inflammation. If you have a high processed foods diet or a high sugary diet, I’m sure you can attest to having those days where you just feel bloated and lethargic. Imagine bone broth acting like a degreasing kitchen soap when your washing a greasy pan. The piping hot water of the broth loosens up the grease (the heat of the broth itself), the minerals and probiotics found in bone broth act like the soap and wash away excess fat and sugar deposits in the stomach lining. This improves digestion, absorption, and bowl movements!
Now imagine that same greasy pan has been used over and over again, and has never been properly washed. You can imagine how many times you’d have to wash it. Now think about what happens when you wash a greasy pan right after using it, it’s much easier to clean! Think of bone broth in these terms. A bowl of beef broth after a meal is like cleaning that greasy pan; but, in fact you are cleansing your digestive system!
So what are you waiting for! Go to your local butcher and ask them for some bones, beef knuckles work very well. Put them into a pot of water, add a bit of salt, bring them to a boil and let them simmer for up to 24 hours. Grab a ladle, pour yourself a bowl and enjoy!
About Sara Nicholson
BSc graduate of McGill University, Major in: Ecological Determinants of Health. Certificate of Nutrition from Shaw Academy. Holistic Health Advocate and Organic Gardener. Recent Founder of By the Seasons: an online grocery in the Brockville area that offers delivery of fresh and sustainable produce from local farmers. Tagline: Feel Good with Fresh Food By the Seasons!