Growing up the only way I knew how to make soup was to open a can of pre-made soup or to add store bought bouillon cubes into a pot of water with veggies. I wondered, how did people get a good chicken flavor in their soup back before bouillon cubes were invented? Years ago, through studying recipes and traditional food blogs I found that bouillon cubes are indeed a relatively new invention and while they hardly contain any animal products they are likely to contain unhealthy ingredients like MSG. The traditional way of making soup is by making meat stock or bone broth, which is done by cooking down meat or meat and bones in water and using the water to make soup! Besides bone broth being a healthy, yummy, way to make soup it has some specific benefits that make it a good food to have every day.
Here are 3 reasons why you should drink bone broth (wait, drink it? Yup! Or use it in a soup, but it is delicious in a mug)
Bone broth helps heal achy joints - Because broth and stock are made out of the bones, cartilage, joints and skin of an animal, it contains collagen and gelatin which directly replenishes and rebuilds the soft tissues in your body which is made up of... you guessed it, collagen and gelatin! Things like your joints, hair, skin, nails and even the lining of your gut are made of up these important components. You may have heard of taking collagen supplements for a sore knee or for healthy skin which is great!... and it works! Getting your collagen from bone broth is the real deal and it supplies you with multiple cofactor nutrients instead of just one important nutrient!
Bone broth helps heal allergies and food sensitivities - Leaky gut is when the soft tissue of your small intestine gets holes poked in it from toxins or larger molecules of partially undigested food. Imagine the cells of your intestine like a cheese cloth, they form tight junctions but there is only a thin layer of them. This is good because we need to absorb nutrients from the inside of our intestine into the bloodstream, but is bad when the cells get punctured and all of a sudden, we have undigested food in the bloodstream. Leaky gut can lead to all sorts of food sensitivities, allergies and even autoimmune disease. Bone broth contains the amino acid called L-glutamine which helps protect the gut lining and promotes the healing of leaky gut!
Bone broth helps rebuild mineral balance - Bones are made out of minerals, boiling bones in water over a long period of time breaks down the bones which releases minerals into the water. Some of the minerals bone broth is richest in are magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. If you find fish bones to use in your broth you will also get iodine which is an added plus since modern Americans are generally lacking in iodine and some thyroid issues can be improved with iodine intake. A thing to keep in mind here is that the better the animal was raised the more minerals will be in their bones. Meat and bones from a pasture raised cow will provide you with a broth that is richest in healthy fats and minerals while the meat and bones from a conventional feedlot raised cow will provide a much smaller amount of nutrients for the broth.
A fun way to consume broth is to keep a quart jar in your fridge and warm up a cup in the morning adding some salt, parsley and onion and garlic powder. It’s a deliciously cozy way to start your day and gives your breakfast and extra boost! If you have never used bone broth for soup making before, rest assured it’s super easy just use the broth instead water and add lots of salt and yummy spices!...and skip the bouillon cubes ;)
Check out my favorite homemade bone broth seasoning powder here.