Heart Of The House

The importance of bone broth

“A big stock pot is the most important gift a bride could receive.” – Dr Francis Pottemger

Making bone broth is a regular part of my kitchen routine.  I use bones from chicken, duck, beef, lamb and pork, odd bits such oxtails (my favourite), pig trotters, pig tails, pig skins and chicken feet.  When available, I also make fish stock using fresh fish heads and carcasses.   We have it in the form of soup, stew, curry, gravy….. One of my favourite breakfast is a cup of bone broth with 2 or 3 raw egg yolks and a teaspoon of creamed coconut.  What a great way to start the day.  YUM!

This “liquid gold” is simple to make, inexpensive and full of health benefits.    The following article  “The beauty of Bone Broth” by nutrition expert, Graham Sait, will help you understand the importance of adding bone broth to your diet and its many therapeutic benefits.

The Beauty of Bone Broth

Protection Beyond Pill-Popping

The recent WHO research report, entitled “Nutrition and Disease”, highlighted the nexus
between diet and disease susceptibility. In the disturbing report, researchers were unable
to find a single disease which did not have a nutrition link. It has been estimated that our
food contains just 20% of the nutrition found in the food consumed by our grandparents
when they were children. Part of this alarming decline relates to the demineralisation of
our soils but there are also serious issues linked to food processing, handling and storage.
The conversion of wholemeal fl our to white fl our, for example, removes 80% of key
nutrients including powerful heart supporters, like Vitamin E and Magnesium. The white
flour becomes an ‘anti-nutrient’- a material which actually removes more nutrition than it
supplies, during the energy-intensive process of digestion.

The Bounty in Bones

Broth from animal bones has been a traditional remedy in numerous cultures for centuries.
It is a famous folk remedy for colds and flus (chicken soup – the Jewish penicillin) and is
widely used for ailments affecting connective tissue (i.e. the GI tract, the joints, the
muscles, skin and lungs). Although no longer favoured in the home, it remains an
‘essential’ for gourmet cuisine. Bone broth comprises a rich lode of dissolved and easily
assimilated nutrients derived from both bones and cartilage.
The bones serve as a mineral store house in the body and these minerals are readily
relinquished during broth making along with copious quantities of a flexible rubbery
material called gelatin (or collagen). The cartilage, which also dissolves during the many
hours of simmering, also contains gelatin along with a gel substance consisting of
glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) which had originally served to absorb shock and neutralise
friction in the skeletal framework.

What’s the Deal with Gelatin?

Dr Frances Pottenger, author of the famous cat studies, wrote many articles on the
benefits of gelatin. He contended that the stockpot was the single, most important
piece of kitchen equipment. Pottenger demonstrated that a major benefit of bone broth
was the addition of hydrophilic colloids to the diet. Raw food colloids tend to be
hydrophilic (they attract liquids) but when colloids have heated they become hydrophobic
(they repel liquids). Raw food is much more easily digested than cooked food but you don’t
need to become a ‘raw foodie’ to improve digestion. The tantalising taste of cooked food
can still be enjoyed (and digested) with the inclusion of a simple bone broth. The gelatin in
bone broth remains hydrophilic even after prolonged heating – just as gelatin attracts water
to form desserts like jelly, it also attracts digestive juices to the surface of cooked food
particles. Gelatin can dramatically improve the digestion of proteins like milk, gluten, meat
and beans. This explains the benefit of meat gravies and broth-based soups before a
main course. Gelatin is a well researched and proven digestive aid. It has been used
successfully to treat colitis, leaky gut syndrome, Chrohns disease and hyperactivity
(which has digestive links).
Mineral Magic in Bones

In over a decade of working with soil and leaf analyses in agriculture, we find that over
80% of soil and plant tissue tests reveal calcium deficiencies. If we are not getting
sufficient calcium from cereals, fruit and vegetables, where do we source it? Dairy
products! I hear you shout – but unfortunately, this is not the case. Raw milk contains
luxury levels of bio-available calcium but uptake of this mineral is governed by an enzyme
called phosphatase and the fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin D. The pasteurisation process
completely destroys both of these synergists and the processed milk now delivers
an empty promise. In fact, in recent research, calves fed pasteurised milk, instead of raw
milk, were killed at six months and their bones were already revealing evidence
of osteoporosis at that tender age. So where else can we source calcium? Canned
sardines or salmon are good (as they contain bones) but the best, and least
expensive source of calcium, is bone broth. There are higher levels of easily-assimilated
calcium, phosphorous and magnesium in bone broth than in any other food source.
Magnesium is the most widespread deficiency in the western world. This is an absurd
oversight in terms of proactive health management when we consider this mineral’s critical
role in the prevention of heart disease (our leading killer). Broth also contains good levels
of the important twin electrolytes, sodium and potassium and it is also a significant
source of the detox master mineral, sulphur.

Cartilage for Cancer and Arthritis

Cartilage does not require a comprehensive blood supply so it produces chemicals called
anti-angiogenesis factors (AAFs) to inhibit the growth of any intruding blood vessels.
Cancer cells grow very rapidly by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels to support
the emerging tumour. AAFs have proven very successful at inhibiting the growth of blood
vessels into cancer cells.
Initially, all of the buzz was related to the supplementation of shark cartilage as a cancer
treatment but more recently research has revealed that bovine cartilage is at least as
effective. In one popular book by a survivor of advanced prostate cancer bovine cartilage
is heralded as his principle cancer-beating treatment.
Bovine cartilage also appears to double as a treatment for arthritis. Several research
projects including a paper by J. Pridden have reported dramatic improvements in
arthritis following supplements with bovine cartilage. This researcher also reported a
marked improvement in inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers, Murray and Pizzorro, showed that cartilage supplementation increases B
cells, T cells and macrophages (key components of the immune system).
Bone Broth is an inexpensive alternative to commercial cartilage products. It can supply
therapeutic doses of dissolved cartilage, particularly if knuckles, ribs, chicken feet
or other cartilaginous parts are included in the broth.

Bone Broth for Detox

Gelatin is the richest source of a key amino acid called glycine. In fact, gelatin consists of
27% glycine. This amino acid is a key player in phase I detoxification and it is also one
of the three amino acids which form glutathione (phase II detoxification). Glycine is also
used in the synthesis of creatine (the energy manager) and bile salts.
Pregnant women have a five to ten times higher requirement for glycine and
supplementation of this nutrient has been linked to a reduced risk of asthma. Glycine
supplementation can be used to prevent muscle wasting during fasting.

GAG’s Silence Pain

Glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) are the second major component in cartilage. Bone broth
can contain therapeutic levels of a well known GAG called chondroitin sulphate – a
highly effective supplement for arthritis-based joint pain. Chondroiton sulphate also plays
an important role in reducing atherosclerosis and lowering cholesterol. The other major
GAG found in bone broth is hyaluronic acid. This acid has a very strong negative charge
allow-night’s roast – turn them into natural medicine for your ing it to attract and bond to
large amounts of water (or digestive juices).

Making the Broth

Bones from poultry, fish, beef or lamb can be used and they can either be raw or cooked
(i.e. remnants from a previous meal). If you are seeking the benefits found in cartilage
then include feet, ribs, necks and knuckles in the broth.
Fish carcasses (with heads) are particularly good as they can contain both iodine and
thyroid hormone in medicinal quantities.
Water and vinegar are the other ingredients. It is critical to start with cold water, using just
enough to cover the bones (about 1 litre to 1 kilo of bones).
Vinegar is essential as it helps to facilitate the leaching of minerals. Any vinegar can be
used at a rate of two tablespoons per 1 kilogram of bones.

The Recipe
• Combine bones, cold water and vinegar to a pot and let it stand for 45 minutes.
• Bring to a simmer then reduce heat and simmer for 6-48 hours for chicken/fish or 12-72
hours for beef/ lamb. Note: skim any unwanted impurities from the top after two hours.
• Strain through a colander or a cheese cloth.
• Broth may be frozen for months or stored in a refrigerator for 5 days.
Note: Cold broth will gel if sufficient gelatin is present.

Serving Suggestions
Broth can be used on a base for delicious soups and gravies. The French have always
used broth as a centrepiece of their cuisine.There is even a suggestion that ‘the French
paradox’ (excellent longevity despite a diet high in saturated fats) may be linked to this
regular consumption of bone broth (along with a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol
found in the red wine which is an integral part of the French diet).

In Conclusion
Bone broth represents a remarkably inexpensive therapeutic food. A twenty cent cup of
broth contains the equivalent of a small fortune in supplements. Exceptional levels of bioavailable calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium are supported by gelatin, chondroiton sulphate, bovine cartilage, glycine and hyaluronic acid. It’s a
stock for superior cooking and a powerful digestive aid into the bargain. Don’t discard the
bones from last night’s roast – turn them into natural medicine for your family.

(Reprinted with permission from Nutri-Tech Solutions (http://www.ntshealth.com.au/)

Further reading:

Broth is beautiful by Sally Fallon

Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin by Kaayla T. Daniel

Gelatin in nutrition and medicine by N.R. Gotthoffer

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