Bone Broth 101

So you’ve heard a little bit about bone broth, and you’re here to get the scoop. Well, you're about to be educated on why bone broth is about to be the new addition to your daily routine.

The Simplicity of Making Bone Broth

There’s no real glitz or glamour in bone broth. No secret recipe to follow or culinary school skills needed. In fact, you don’t even need any state-of-the-art equipment. Using your stockpot or a slow cooker will work just fine. Simply put, bone broth is made with pasture-raised or range-free animal bones that have simmered for a period between 8 and 24 hours, or up to 48 hours if you’re working with beef. This process allows time to extract all the nutritional benefits as well as the delicious flavor.

The most commonly used animal bones tend to be turkey, beef, and chicken. You’ll add your favorite vegetables, like carrots, celery, and onions, along with your favorite herbs. When it’s finished simmering, you’ll strain, cool, and enjoy. Pretty simple, right? I’ll even load you up with a few extra tips to try out, depending on which cooker you prefer to use. I love the benefits of an Instant Pot, in case you were curious.

The Breakdown

Will Any Bones Do?

It’s best to remember that the healthiest ingredients will make the healthiest bone broth. The best bones to use come from pastured, organic, and grass-fed animals. These are highly recommended because the bones are the most nutrient-dense. These particular bones come from an environment with substantially fewer toxins, so you know you’ll be getting bones from very healthy animals. Try to choose bones with the most cartilage. These will yield the most collagen which will break down into your gelatin bone broth.

Where Should I Get My Bones?

Start saving leftover bones from your regular meals. If you’re not planning to make bone broth immediately, you can always store your bones in the freezer without worry. Some butchers will have the bones you are looking for or should at least be able to order them for you. If you have the option, visit your local farmers market. Local farmers are an excellent source for high-quality bones. You can also find a few great options online. Lastly, your favorite local health food store or your nearest Whole Foods should be able to provide you with soup bones.

Why So Slow?

I’m often asked why it’s so important to slow cook the broth. Slow cooking allows the essential minerals and collagen to be properly extracted. It breaks down the animal bones, allowing all the nutrients and minerals to be released. The slow cooking process is also what makes the collagen, gelatin, and glucosamine more easily digestible.

Gelatin Without the Jiggle

If your gelatin isn’t jiggling once it’s cool, you may want to add a tablespoon of unflavored gelatin. When you’re ready to make your next batch of bone broth, here are a few of my best tips for getting more gelatin out of your bones:

  • Don’t be afraid to use more bones. The more, the merrier!
  • Try to use bones that are rich in cartilage.
  • Add a pig’s foot for a bit more gelatin.
  • Don’t go overboard on the water! Use just enough to cover all your ingredients.
  • Vinegar is what helps dissolve your bones in order to release gelatin, so don’t skip this step.
  • Make sure to use simmer! Too much heat will cause your gelatin to break down.

Non-Meat Options

Are you a vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan? No problem! You’ll find everything you need for a meatless alternative here.

The Amazing Benefits

There is a multitude of fantastic health benefits from daily bone broth. The vitamins and nutrients alone offer tremendous health benefits.

Bone Broth for Healthy Skin

Collagen is responsible for the elasticity of your skin and gives it that vibrant, age-defying glow. Collagen has the ability to reduce the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles while warding off dry, saggy skin. It’s what gives your skin its firmness while keeping it from looking dull and gray. As you age, your body will naturally slow down its collagen production, so adding bone broth to your diet provides a tremendous benefit. You’ll notice your radiant color come back, while the return of elasticity reduces those pesky fine lines and wrinkles.

Bone broth also acts as a healing agent and has the ability to help soothe and heal skin conditions including eczema and acne. Various ingredients in bone broth heal by targeting and treating inflammation, irritation, and infection. Bone broth even has the ability to strengthen and firm your skin in order to minimize or even get rid of the appearance of cellulite. You’ll notice smoother, healthier skin instead of the thin, collapsed effects produced by a lack of collagen. How’s that for a reason to start drinking bone broth?

Provides a Happy Gut

A healthy gut is a happy gut, and bone broth will get you there. Your gut may just be the root of all illness evil. Inflammation in your digestive system can lead to a number of other health issues. When inflammation sets in, it has the potential to cause damage to your intestine, and leaky gut begins. When toxins, digested food, and other elements pass through these damaged areas, it creates chaos within your immune system. Unable to differentiate between these escapees and your body’s healthy cells, your immune system will simply attack them all. And so begins the spread of inflammation and the start of several health issues.

Bone broth has the power to heal your gut by tackling inflammation. It’s loaded with gelatin which is known to soothe and repair the damage in your digestive system. Bone broth is also packed with glycine; an amino acid with the healing properties of an anti-inflammatory. As an added bonus for some, a happy gut is the secret to weight loss. Along with these digestive issues is the issue of constipation. Bone broth contains healthy fats that can help relieve constipation.

The collagen and gelatin work together to heal the inflammation in your gut and get you back to a regular, healthy routine. On the flipside, we have diarrhea. Once again, the healing powers of gelatin work to calm and soothe inflammation. Together with collagen, they are able to restore balance and relieve you from the constant trips to the bathroom.

A Natural Sleep Aid

How many nights have you found yourself staring at the ceiling, just waiting to fall asleep? Well, guess what? Bone broth also offers a natural solution to help you sleep, including your battle with insomnia. Don’t believe me? Try sipping on a cup of bone broth before bed. Not only will the glycine help you sleep soundly, but you will also find yourself feeling more refreshed in the morning. If only you'd known it could be this simple.

Relief for Joints

Patients suffering from joint pain are often prescribed the nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin. These two nutrients are found in bone broth and known to be just as effective in treating knee osteoarthritis as Celebrex; a prescription drug. That’s pretty impressive. Not to mention, a much safer option! Bone broth also offers the benefit of acting as a lubricant for your joints; reducing the chance of pain.

Strong Nails and Silky Strands

I think we can all agree that strong nails and silky strands have been a lifelong goal for many of us. Well, it turns out that gelatin is the key! By consuming gelatin daily, your nails will improve in length and strength while also giving you the gorgeous healthy hair you’ve been dreaming of. I’m willing to bet some of you just rushed off to make your first pot of bone broth. But that’s not all.

Bone broth is also rich in iron and zinc; just a few more nutrients worth highlighting for healthy hair. For women, low levels of iron play a significant role in female pattern hair loss. Bone broth can provide the iron your body needs to help protect against shrinking follicles and thinning hair. Zinc also provides the benefits of strengthening your hair and helping to prevent hair loss.

Bone Broth Intermittent Fasting

Many people often question if fasting is safe and effective. Quite honestly, many just don’t want to feel hungry for days. That’s where the bone broth “mini-fasts” differ. Let me explain. The ingredients in bone broth have the added benefit of curbing your cravings. Bone broth is hearty while having only a few calories and essentially no carbs. This means you can have as much as you want without ruining your diet. This is why you’ll often hear me recommend sipping on bone broth throughout the day.

You’ll find that the bone broth actually helps you feel full and satisfied and gets you through the fasts before you know it. In the meantime, your body is burning off fat, detoxing, healing your digestive system, and improving your overall health. My bone broth intermittent fasts substantially reduce the chances of fasting headaches, lack of concentration, and the jittery, shaky side effects some experience. It’s a fasting plan with enormous benefits and a greater likelihood that more people will stick to it through the end. An intermittent fast is a very healthy way to begin your weight loss journey.

Here’s why:

  • High insulin levels = stored belly fat. Intermittent fasts can help keep these insulin levels low, allowing glucose to be burned as energy instead of stored as fat.
  • Fasting rids your body of toxins. The benefits of this include a metabolism boost while looking and feeling healthier.
  • Fasting results in your body releasing a natural anti-inflammatory, and we know what kind of chaos inflammation unleashes in our body.
  • Fasting increases your HGH levels. Human Growth Hormones are responsible for helping create lean muscle, a quicker fat burn, and supporting healthy skin.

And how about the fact that we weren’t actually designed to eat as much or as often as we do today? If you think about it, when our ancestors needed a meal, it had to be hunted. Surely, they didn’t always come home with something to eat, proving our bodies were designed to handle going through periods without food. In fact, we know that these periods actually provided time for our bodies to cleanse themselves. Now combine these benefits with all we’ve covered about bone broth. Intermittent fasts don’t sound so bad after all, do they?

For those of you who are not attempting to lose weight, an intermittent fast with bone broth is still an excellent way to cleanse your system and reap the benefits of fasting. One or two intermittent fasts each month will have you feeling healthy and energized. If you do have a weight loss goal, the bone broth fasts work ideally when done two times a week. No matter which schedule you choose, your body will be thanking you for it. You know I could go on and on about the wonderful healing powers of bone broth.

Instead, I invite you to browse through the blog where you’ll find a wealth of resources and information. You’ll also see its full of bone broth recipe variations, so you’ll never find yourself getting tired of it. If you’re ready, join me on the bone broth road to better health and wellness and cook up your batch today!

Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!