There’s snow on the ground today and my Skelly is chilled to her marrow. It’s the perfect day for bone broth.
Your grandmother knew a rich stock made from the bones of a chicken could cure a winter cold or flu. It soothes sore throats and builds up strength. An old proverb even claims “good broth will resurrect the dead.”
As chicken bones simmer in the pot for hours they release the minerals that went into building them up. Stock from bones contains calcium in a form your body can easily assimilate. It also gives you other bone minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and sulphur. And you get silicon and other trace minerals.
Cooking bones also breaks down cartilage and tendons into the building blocks your body uses to construct your own cartilage and tendons. It releases glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate– the same compounds people spend hundreds of dollars on for arthritis and joint pain.
And bone broth is rich in collagen, the material that helps keep your bones flexible. As the collagen cooks it forms gelatin. That’s what makes your soup stock congeal when it cools down.
To get the most gelatin into your broth it’s important to use joints and feet. These have the highest levels of collagen and cartilage. I always add two to four chicken feet to the pot to get a good gel.
The French have used gelatin as a health food for hundreds of years. And for good reason. In your gut, gelatin attracts and holds on to liquids. That helps attract digestive juices to the food in your stomach to break it down.[i] So you get more nutrients from the food you eat. And the gelatin also helps soothe, heal, and seal your gut lining.
Don’t Shortcut Your Bones
Now I won’t try to kid you. Bone stock takes a little more effort than opening a can of College Inn chicken broth. But there’s really no comparison.
Today instead of gelatin, soup producers use chemicals and emulsifiers to thicken broth. They also add “meat-like flavors” from the laboratory. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the most common flavoring you’ll find in soups, bouillon cubes, and dehydrated soup and sauce mixes.
And although you may be tempted to use those boxes of chicken broth in the supermarket, it’s just not as good. I recently compared five of the brands on the shelf. And four out of the five contained some form of MSG and sugar. Even the organic brands. When was the last time you added sugar to your homemade chicken soup?
The best way to feed your bones is to make your own bone broth. Here’s how I make soup for my Skelly.[i] http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/