Let’s Start With The Why
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of the latest health craze for chugging down several daily cups of bone broth. You know that it’s healthy but you are probably wondering how often to drink bone broth too.
Bone broth shops and stands have sprung up in major cities as trendy and health conscious customers line up to get their daily cup of broth. For the less health conscious they probably follow it with a cup of coffee. It hasn’t taken over from the coffee craze, and I don’t see ‘Brothbucks’ stores opening on every corner. Nonetheless drinking bone broth is definitely a health trend that has gained some traction recently.
Drinking bone broth might seem like simply the latest health trend that will soon disappear the way low fat eating has. I’m still surprised to see low fat yoghurt and dairy goods on supermarket shelves, but no doubt they’ll disappear in time. Particularly with the fairly recent acknowledgement that eating low fat products only made the general population fatter.
The thinking of the time was that eating dietary fat makes you fat. However a study shows that during the last 40 years of the low fat craze, not only did we get fatter, but unhealthier too.
In order to make low fat foods palatable they are high in refined carbohydrates. This type of food raises insulin levels, slows metabolism and leaves you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. No wonder obesity rates were on the increase during the low fat craze.
The current bone broth craze is a little different from the low fat craze though. Sure there are some food companies providing a dehydrated powdered form of it. But the big food companies can’t really do much to adulterate bone broth for marketing purposes, hopefully.
And another thing, the best, most flavorful and healthiest bone broth is so easy and economical to make at home. The truly health conscious among us want to know where the raw ingredients, the bones, come from. The best way to be sure of the source is to buy the bones yourself from a reputable butcher and make your own homemade bone broths.
With a few carefully sourced bones from free range grass fed animals, some vegetables, apple cider vinegar (organic of course) and a non toxic slow cooker, you can whip up several mason jars of broth easily and cheaply. Your freezer will soon be chockablock full of healthy toxin free bone broth in no time.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Bone Broth?
So what’s with this craze anyway, why should we all be drinking more bone broth? Many years ago when I was a kid making bone broth in our family wasn’t a health craze. It was simply a way for my mother to make a nutritious cheap stock to form the basis of health giving soups and stews.
Coming from a middle class family feeding our large household on a limited budget in the 60’s couldn’t have been easy. No food went to waste, there were no leftovers and our plates were cleared at every meal. We weren’t hungry nor were we fat.
During the weekend broth was left simmering on the stove for hours extracting the minerals from ham shanks, chicken and mutton bones. The resulting broths being put to good use in soups, stews and casseroles during the week ahead to feed our large family.
But, somewhere along the way our lives have become more hectic and people turn to take out after working a long day. People don’t cook as much these days, many people can’t cook at all, and some just simply aren’t that interested.
Bone broths have many health benefits and were traditionally made as a way of making use of all parts of the animal. Parts that were pretty unpalatable to eat on their own, tendons, feet, ligaments, bones and marrow can all be simmered slowly into a nutritious and tasty broth.
The long simmering time used causes these unpalatable animal parts to break down and release compounds such as glutamine, collagen and proline as well as useful minerals like magnesium and calcium. Not only that, but they are in a form your body can easily absorb and use.
There are many health benefits to regularly consuming bone broth. Some of the main ones include:
- Healing a leaky gut.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Improving the health of your joints.
- Helping overcome allergies and sensitivities.
- Improves the appearance of skin and hair.
Including organic bone broth regularly in your diet has many health benefits from supporting your joints to improving the integrity of your gut lining. But with so many reasons to include it in your diet, you are probably wondering just how much do you need to reap the benefits.
There’s no such thing as too much bone broth. If your main aim is to improve your gut health, drinking 2 or 3 cups of bone broth regularly each day will start making a significant difference in improving the integrity of your gut lining.
Let’s Get To The How
If you are now convinced of the benefits of adding bone broths regularly to your diet there are several ways you can do it. I’ll admit, when I was on a major gut healing protocol there came a point when I just could not tolerate drinking one more cup of bone broth ‘straight’. Many people I know also seem to reach this ‘saturation point’ too. There could come a time when the thought of queuing up at your local trendy broth outlet may start to lose its appeal.
What do you do if you get to this point? Well, you can take a break for a while and see if your appetite for drinking bone broth returns. But, if you are including bone broth in your diet as part of a gut healing protocol you will want to keep taking it regularly. Depending on the state of your gut you need to keep taking bone broth daily for several months as I did.
In this situation, you need to get creative. If you are a cook, even a moderately skilled cook you can use bone broths to make hearty slow cooked stews and casseroles with ease. Using a slow cooker, this type of dish tastes like you have slaved over a hot stove for hours. But, they are super easy to make. Soups and sauces like bolognese are also easy ‘vehicles’ for using bone broths.
Chicken, ham and mutton broths are all fantastic bases for nutritious soups loaded with vegetables and a handful of pulses like chickpeas or dried beans and lentils. Top your soup off with some fresh chopped herbs and a chunk of sprouted bread for a complete and delicious meal.
Veal and beef bone broths with their stronger flavor are delicious used in sauces like a bolognese, adding depth of flavor and even more nutrition to a favorite sauce.
Get your slow cooker out and get organized for the month ahead by batch making soups, stews, casseroles and sauces that can all be stored in the freezer and pulled out for delicious, nutritious meals that are ready to eat in a flash. Way quicker and definitely healthier than ordering takeout when you arrive home tired and hungry after work. Try my easy and impressive gut healthy Osso Bucco recipe to get started.
If you are not much of a cook you can use a clear bone broth to make quick and easy Asian style soups from chicken bone broth. Simply add a few slivered carrots, onions, bean sprouts and cilantro and a light lunch or dinner is ready in no time.
Or if even that is too much for you, bone broth can be easily added to your breakfast smoothie or green smoothie bowl for a protein power kick. The lighter flavor of chicken bone broth is probably more suitable for this.
Add a handful of spinach leaves, some avocado, chia seeds, chopped apple and banana and you won’t even taste the bone broth, but, you’ll still get all the health benefits. Experiment with healthy ‘add ins’ such as kale powder, spirulina or chlorophyll for an extra green kick.
Putting It All Together
There you have it, if you were unsure of how often to drink bone broth, now you know. Just include 2 or 3 cups every day. And these useful ideas for ways to include bone broth daily mean you don’t have to keep chugging down cups of ‘straight’ bone broth either.
Get to work making bone broth the easy way with a slow cooker. But, the first step is making sure the slow cooker you use is as healthy as the ingredients you choose. Select a slow cooker with a ceramic insert and stay away from possible toxic chemicals from non stick cookware leaching into your broth.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. Let us know the creative ways you’ve found to include bone broth into your regular diet.