It’s no myth that chicken soup truly heals the body (and soul). Maybe that’s why this cold weather has me yearning for my rich and nutritious homemade soup.
My favorite, incredibly easy to make soup base is bone broth.
So, what is bone broth, and why is it beneficial? Let’s start with the benefits which should convince you that making this broth is worth the small investment of time. Bone broth helps reduce joint pain and inflammation; fights colds and flu; prevents dehydration; aids in digestive healing; enhances your skin, hair and nails; and even reduces cellulite.
The basics of making this healthful broth include cooking chicken (my favorite), beef, or lamb bones covered with water over a low heat for 24-plus hours along with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Of course, you should add your favorite herbs, spices and vegetables to make a traditional chicken soup that will be even healthier than grandma used to make.
Broths are low in calories and high in nutrients and minerals. The minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium are nutrients missing or under-represented in today’s modern diet. The long cooking time leaches the minerals from the bones, thereby providing them to us to strengthen our bones.
Additionally, minerals assist the body to function optimally and provide energy. And there’s more! Our bones and connective tissue require collagen to stay strong and flexible. Fortunately, bone broth is a terrific source of collagen. When cooked, collagen breaks down and produces gelatin, one of the most valuable components of bone broth. Gelatin acts like a soft cushion between bones that
helps them “glide” without friction.
It’s not just our bones that will benefit. In general, collagen/gelatin offers many health benefits including:
- healing the gut especially for people suffering from intestinal disorders
- boosting and regulating the immune system
- providing an excellent source of protein
- building stronger bones and joints
- promoting improved sleep and calming the mind
- supporting skin, hair and nail growth
Sipping bone broth is a palatable and easy way to digest and absorb these valuable nutrients. Not only is bone broth delicious by itself, but it provides a wonderful base for making other soups. Of course, this should be a part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
So, it’s obvious why bone broth has become so popular, but not all bone broth is created equally. The broth that comes in a can or carton has far less nutritional value compared to homemade. Give it a go with this simple recipe.