Bone broth is an old-world superfood that dates back to cave dwellers.
It is an infusion of bones used as a base for many foods from soups, casseroles, curries, sauces, and you can even cook your grains in it for added fortification. The pure nourishment and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium from the bone, marrow and joints, are extracted during the cooking process. The result is exceptionally nutritious, delicious broth and has a nourishing and healing effect on our gut, bones, and overall health.
Bone Broth doesn’t have as much calcium as milk, but the minerals are more bioavailable and easily absorbed into the body. Calcium is essential for bone health. It builds structural strength and hardens the bones, particularly during pregnancy and menopause, when lower estrogen levels can interfere with the bones’ ability to hang on to calcium. During pregnancy, women need extra calcium to grow the bones of the baby. Calcium also plays a vital role in nerve transmission and muscular and heart function. It goes hand in hand with magnesium which balances calcium and activates muscles and nerves, creating energy. When there is insufficient calcium in the body to help with these functions, it is taken from the bones, leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Another critical component in bone broth is collagen, the matrix fibres to which calcium attaches. Both calcium and collagen are crucial for bone health.
Collagen is found everywhere in the body, and it’s the glue that holds us together. Collagen provides elasticity and structural support and is located in the bones, the skin, joints, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues. In our Thirties, the body stops making collagen, and it starts to decline. So adding it into your diet helps lubricate your joints, keep the skin healthy and nails and hair thick and strong. In Ayurveda, the teeth are a bone sub tissue, and the nails and hair are a waste product of the bone. We can always tell the state of bone health by assessing someone’s nails and hair, and teeth.
Our skin also pays the price of depleted collagen along with our joints. Bone broth can ward off dry loose skin and aches and pains in our joints. Collagen molecules in expensive face creams are too big to be absorbed to their full potential. Digesting collagen through the stomach is a freight train of elasticity directly to your cells, repairing and nourishing where they need it most.
Cooked collagen turns into gelatin which provides several invaluable amino acids essential for specific bodily functions. Glycine, Proline, Glutamine, and arginine are non-essential amino acids, and when we are in good health, our bodies can make these non-essential amino acids on their own. But when we are in recovery or suffering from debility, our body cannot keep up with the amount needed to build immunity.
Glycine is abundant in bone broth and plays a vital role in digestion. It helps increase hydrochloric acid in your stomach needed for digestion and assimilation of nutrients. There is a misconception that heartburn and acid reflux result from too much hydrochloric acid. It is actually due to too little HCL in the stomach so glycine aids digestion, and glutamine help plug holes in the gut and seal a leaky gut.
Glycine also helps detoxification, wound healing and blood production.
Glycine also helps to make glutathione, an antioxidant that helps move toxins out of the body, including excess estrogen found in birth control, high diets of processed foods, and environmental pollutions.
Gelatine also boosts the digestibility of food. It attracts water and stomach acid towards food, putting less stress on the digestive system, making bone broth an excellent choice for weak digestion or those convalescing.
In folk traditions, rich chicken broth coined the Jewish penicillin is a valued remedy for the flu, colds and asthma. Studies show that eating chicken broth when you have a respiratory infection slows down the white blood cells’ movement that causes cold and flu symptoms. Cystine, the wonder amino acid found in gelatine, has been shown in studies to thin mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky and more straight forward to move out of the body.
The cartilage gives us glucosamine, which helps our bodies repair and grows connective tissue. It also ignites the immune system to produce white blood cells when needed to kill bacteria and viruses.
Bone Marrow found inside the bones. It is full of healthy fats, and Ayurveda connects it to the nervous system and the brain.
Marrow bones from grass-fed animals are an excellent source of omega 3’s, which are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce cancer and heart disease. The immune system relies on Bone marrow to carries oxygen around the body and for bone growth.
Bone marrow is directly related to the nervous system via Majja Dhatu – the body’s nerve tissue. Regularly consuming bone broth provides direct nourishment to the body’s deeper tissues and helps replenish the nervous system, the bones, the joints, skin, and gut lining, and can even brighten your mood, a healthier body and mind. Bone broth helps build great Ojas, which is the word in Sanskrit for supreme immunity.
When making bone broth, Always buy Organic bones, preferably from grass-fed animals. The bones are incredibly porous and soak up heavy metal and toxins, including hormones and antibiotics. Always purchase from an Organic butcher or a well-run farm where they treat their animals with care.
Here at Inner Farmacy, we often use leftover bones from organic roast chicken or buy our beef bones from Old Hall Farm in Norfolk.