We all grew up knowing that if we got sick, chicken soup was a go-to cure-all, that a big steaming bowl of warm, hearty and healing chicken vegetable soup would heal whatever cold you caught, flu you were fighting. What most of us don’t know, however, is that this healing tradition dates back further than we all might think.
Bone broth (the, er, back bone of chicken soup) has been recognized for its healing properties for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese medicine, for instance, has been using bone broth for the past 2,500 years to help soothe and nourish the digestive system, strengthen the immune system and help support kidney function. Now the Western world is starting to see a rise in popularity of bone broth, thanks to the rising popularity of the Paleo diet and ancestral health. There are even a couple of restaurants and broth bars (!) championing this health food trend, like Picnik in Austin, Brodo in New York and Broth Bar in Portland.
But what is bone broth—or rather, what is in it—and why is it so good for you?
Simply put: Bone broth is a nutrient-dense soup stock made of high-quality bones (beef, chicken, turkey or pork) and fresh high-quality vegetables, like carrots, garlic and onions. The vegetables and bones simmer together in water with apple cider and spices for typically 18 – 24 hours. Collagen, a nutrient that naturally occurs in bone, is transferred to the broth over these long cook times. Collagen does incredible things for your skin, hair and nails, in addition to being a healing powerhouse for your gut and intestinal lining. In other words? This rich, nutrient dense broth is packed with minerals and protein.
With winter (and that yearly cold) just around the corner, now is a good time to reacquaint yourself with bone broth. If you’re the cooking type and looking for a good recipe to make at home, we like this one by Wellness Mama. Or if you want skip the cooking part and go straight to the sipping part, this one from Kettle & Fire is fantastic.
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