Pills, tablets and powders line our supermarket shelves calling to us “we will heal your ills”. They are a billion dollar industry designed not only to supplement our diets but, we hope, to make us younger and healthier. Prescription medications are prescribed to address the ailments more often than not a result from poor diet and lifestyle. Yet, there are several foods that regularly outperform these pills, powders and prescriptions when it comes to the health of our:
- digestive system
- Immune system
- skin (from eczema to common age-related skin elasticity)
The first rule of what we call a complete food is one that is not denatured. Denaturing foods or supplements is typically a result of over-processing – taking away the natural characteristics of a food via extreme heat, acidity or via molecular disruption. Many supplements of course have to be denatured to produce the pills or powders – selective denaturing if you will.
Whereas a real food that we eat hopefully for both health and enjoyment should be a part of a diet providing a complete range of enzymes, minerals, select proteins, micronutrients, pre-or probiotics, healthy fats and amino acids. To achieve maximum health we need diet, exercise and sleep. Its been that way for thousands of years. Some foods provide one or a few of these necessary components, e.g., avocados, nuts or wild-caught fish for healthy fats; fermented vegetables for probiotics and minerals; green vegetables or grass-fed meats for certain vitamins and minerals — and they all are providing one or several critical amino acids. We naturally produce most amino acids but our body’s ability to produce efficiently is greatly affected by our diet and our age. As we age we generally produce less of these building blocks of brain and body function. With proper diet and certain supplements we can stave off these declines.
One of the most complete foods providing the nutrients, healthy fats, amino acids, minerals and complete proteins are select, real bone broths. Bone broths have become a regular staple of athletes as disparate as the Tour de France participants to National Basketball (NBA) teams mandating this as a staple of their players’ diets is bone broth. Bone broth has raised its “health” awareness via best-selling diet books as well as top sports scientists and nutritionists adding it to the diet of Tour de France teams, NBA superstars and Olympic Athletes.
Why has this age-old food become the embraced elixir of athletes, celebs, fitness buffs and the health-food crowd? Bone broth is more than the water, starch and monosodium glutamate that you can find for a few dollars in supermarkets in cubes or watery cartons called ‘stock’. Bone broth is one of the most nourishing foods you can make for yourself and your family. Bone broth is recommended as a daily dietary pillar by practitioners from naturopaths to dieticians to osteopaths. When made properly you are getting nutritional elements that you won’t find in any other food.
A store bought stock typically is made is 30 minutes. A high quality bone broth, and why it is more complete than a typical supplement and thus highly nourishing is due to the quality of the bones and the time it takes to make. The longer you simmer, the more minerals and nutrients leach from the bones. The gelatin that one gets from a long, slow-cooked broth is cooked collagen. There are more than 20 types of collagen but the critical types found in bones, cartilage and skin. Chicken bones of course take much less time to cook than beef bones. They are also much lower in marrow vs grass-fed beef bones – and marrow provides essential fatty acids such as omega 3, 6, 9 and greater collagen content as well as hormones that have been shown to impact digestive health. A good chicken broth can be simmered for 8-10 hours resulting in a lovely, immune-system boosting broth. Whereas a beef bone broth requires a bit more time and effort due to the obvious density of bones – at least when cooking with the marrow-rich leg bones. If cooking at an extreme temperature you can create a more viscous, dense gravy-like soup in shorter time but you are denaturing the food at least in terms of enzyme destruction. Bone broths simmer for 24-48-72 hours and the colour and texture of the broth changes the longer you cook. By 48-50 hours you are beginning to get more creaminess in taste and colour thanks to the extraction of the bone marrow. A broth gelatine, such as “Best of the Bone” is slow-cooked for well 48-50 hours after first having the bones cut which enables the cooking process to extract more of the marrow and omega 3,6, 9 essential fatty acids.
You can make bone broth using pasture-raised game, beef, lamb and wild fish. There is a mountain of research regarding the benefits of bone broth as an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and a detoxifying food. It alleviates joint pain, heals and seals our gut and is incredible for hair, skin and nails. How? Bone broth is rich in minerals: ‘calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. These minerals are highly digestible and easily absorbed in this form, in part thanks to the healthy good fats and essential fatty acids which increase the absorption of micronutrients.
Do not use factory-farmed meat for your bone broth. Toxins, antibiotics and hormones are stored in the fat and bones of animals and will leach out during a slow cooking process like this and you will be increasing your toxic load as opposed to imbibing in the most complete detox food available. So look for grass-fed bones.
Our modern diet has replaced key nutrients needed by our gut and replaced them with fillers, starches, sugars and processed grains. We have traded in organ meats, fermented foods (which contain probiotics) and naturally occurring gelatin for dry, muscle meats (such as no-fat chicken breasts). Factors like toxic environments, antibiotic use, stress, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol also play a huge role in messing up our gut.
Eighty-five percent of our immunity lies in our gut. The gut or digestive system is critical to our overall health and well-being. Due to a typical processed diet that is devoid of healthy fats, fresh vegetables and fruits we have lost good, vital bacteria in our intestines and as a result we see the epidemic of digestive issues, food sensitivities, autoimmune disease and a host of other illnesses. We need gelatin in our diets to heal and seal our guts.
“WHEN BROTH IS COOLED, IT CONGEALS DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF GELATIN. THE USE OF GELATIN AS A THERAPEUTIC AGENT GOES BACK TO THE ANCIENT CHINESE….JUST AS VITAMINS OCCUPY THE CENTER OF THE STAGE IN NUTRITIONAL INVESTIGATIONS TODAY, SO TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO GELATIN HELD A POSITION IN THE FOREFRONT OF FOOD RESEARCH. GELATIN WAS UNIVERSALLY ACCLAIMED AS A MOST NUTRITIOUS FOODSTUFF PARTICULARLY BY THE FRENCH, WHO WERE SEEKING WAYS TO FEED THEIR ARMIES AND VAST NUMBERS OF HOMELESS IN PARIS AND OTHER CITIES. ALTHOUGH GELATIN IS NOT A COMPLETE PROTEIN, CONTAINING ONLY THE AMINO ACIDS ARGININE AND GLYCINE IN LARGE AMOUNTS, IT ACTS AS A PROTEIN SPARER, HELPING THE POOR STRETCH A FEW MORSELS OF MEAT INTO A COMPLETE MEAL. DURING THE SIEGE OF PARIS, WHEN VEGETABLES AND MEAT WERE SCARCE, A DOCTOR NAMED GUERARD PUT HIS PATIENTS ON GELATIN BOUILLON WITH SOME ADDED FAT AND THEY SURVIVED IN GOOD HEALTH.” – BROTH IS BEAUTIFUL
BONE BROTH AS A SUPPLEMENT
1. Reduces joint pain and inflammation (contains natural glucosamine and chondroitin)
2. Helps grow and repair bones (calcium, magnesium, phosphorous)
3. Incredible for skin, hair & nails (collagen & gelatin)
4. Fights cold & flu
5. Easily absorbed vs. over-the-counter supplements
6. In studies it has increased bone density; increase skin elasticity (fewer wrinkles); and had immediate impact on autoimmune issues.
How can you take your bone broth. You ready for this…
If you have a coffee mug then you can have bone broth – Best of the Bone makes it easy to sip a cup of broth a day if you aren’t making your own broth.
BONE BROTH USES
- Base for soups
- Replace water with bone broth and cook your grains, beans and lentils
- Oh so many sauces (butter chicken, curries, pastas, black-bean . . .)
- Mashed potatoes
- Spaghetti Bolognaise
- Steam veggies in
- Risotto (great to add texture, flavour and increase digestibility
Best of the Bone products including the Best of the Bone Organic Turmeric-Ginger-Black Pepper, the Organic Italian Herbs and Garlic; the Organic Raw Eucalyptus Honey with Cinnamon-Ginger – all are the highest of broths in collagen protein (40% collagen but also super high in critical joint and mood minerals such as sulfur, potassium and magnesium), minerals and amino acids – due of course in part to be a thick, concentrated gelatin. Which makes them easy to add water as a broth or to add to sauces.