Bones, contingent upon what kind of bone and what animal they come from, are a marvellous source of nutrients, minerals, anti-inflammatory proteins, gut healing amino acids, vitamins, healthy fats, collagen, gelatin, and healthful compounds called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that contain chondroitin, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid1. And not just the bones but the bone marrow found inside is also incredible healthful and made up of long chain fatty acids that are critical for brain development.
Even though it is unlikely that you will find yourself chewing on a bone as a snack they are a fantastic source of nutrients, provided they are cooked in such a manner that can easily be digested. A truly excellent method to get out all the nutrients that are typically found in bones is via bone broth. In this article, we share the health benefits of drinking bone broth and the best bone broth recipes you could ever find in Singapore!
The top 4 benefits of drinking bone broth
The combination of these healthful compounds makes bone broth a particularly nourishing food for the human body. Listed below are the top 4 advantages of drinking bone broth regularly2.
1. Reverses leaky gut syndrome and digestive issues
Bone broth is a remarkable source of amino acids. Amino acids, such as glutamine, are the building blocks of proteins, that help to inhibit inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract and boost the growth of good yeasts and bacteria. Furthermore, bone broth is easily digested and, dissimilar to more complex foods, its remedying nature supports gut health as your body can easily absorb all the nourishing compounds found in the bone broth without further aggravating your gastrointestinal lining.
2. Boosts immune system
Research has shown that drinking bone broth on a regular basis strengthens the immune system. In fact, it was noted that people regularly drinking bone broths were not as prone to getting common colds and flus. This likely due to the healing of the gut (discussed in the point above). A leaky gut triggers the immune system to release antibodies to invade healthy tissue where undigested food particles are not supposed to be. However, when the gut is repaired, normal immune responses are reconstructed.
3. Supports healthy and strong bones
As the broth simmers, the gelatin found in the bones is released into the soup. This is a great explanation as to why your soup often solidifies in the fridge. When you consume the broth, your body takes in all of the jelly-like gelatin. It strengthens your bones, cartiledge, ligaments and tendons promoting joint health and providing a cushion like coating for your joints. A perfect remedy to help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Promotes healthy hair, skin (reduces cellulite) and nails
Collagen is important for the maintenance of healthy skin, nails and hair. If your body does not have sufficient amounts of collagen, your body’s connective tissue weakens and creates visible cellulite, nobody likes that stuff! A lot of people have also found themselves losing weight upon drinking bone broth on a regular basis. Other studies have demonstrated that an increase in collagen consumption, via bone broth, has been shown to lower physical signs of aging (e.g. dry and brittle skin).
A history of bone broths in Asian societies
All cultures around the world have a history of slow cooked broths and in Asia in particular we have Sop Buntut (oxtail soup) from Indonesia, Bak Kut Teh (pork ribs) in Singapore and Malaysia, Black Chicken Soup (chicken carcasses) from Southern China for postpartum rejuvenation and traditional Indian Haddi ka Shorba (mutton bones). The reason our ancestors consumed so much broth was both for the health benefits and to be economical with the entire animal to ensure no wastage. Since our societies' increasingly depend on commercial, packaged and processed food our health has deteriorated accordingly along with our consumption of bone broths so there's no time like right now to prioritise your health and get some super tasty broths back in your diet.
Ingredients needed for the bone broth
Bones and scraps from 1 baked chicken
Several sprigs of parsley
1 quart of filtered water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 bay leaf
This recipe makes 1 quart of bone broth
- Put the bones of the baked chicken in a large pot
- Add water and vinegar. The water should ideally cover the bones. If it doesn't then, add even more water to ensure the bones are submersed in the pot.
- Place the pot over a stove at high heat. The water should come to a boil. With a spoon, remove any foam that rises up to the top.
- Place the lid on the pot and lower the heat to a simmer (6 to 12 hours - the longer the better). Add more water as and when needed to ensure that the bones stay covered the whole time.
- Take out the bones with a spoon and wait until they cool down.
- Next, break open the bones with your hands (they should be soft). Inside the bones is where you will see the marrow.
- Put the broken bones back into the pot.
- Chop the onion, carrots, celery into small pieces. Add the chopped vegetables, parsley and bay leaf to the pot.
- Bring the water to a boil again. Remove any foam that rises up to the top again.
- Cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for an hour.
- Let the broth totally cool down. Then, set a strainer on top of a storage container. Pour the broth through the strainer into the container. You can keep the broth in the refrigerator for not more than 5 days. If you would like to keep it any longer, store it in a stainless steel container in the freezer.
This recipe been adapted from The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children.
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Simmering bones for hours on end will create one of the best superfoods. In fact, back in the days, bone broth was once a dietary staple, as with fermented foods. The removal of these foods from our everyday diet and replacing them with modern processed and packaged foods is a significant reason why there is more and more people suffering from poor health3. We would genuinely like to encourage you to make and consume as much broth and as often as you can.
Have you experienced any health benefits from drinking bone broth? We'd love to here from you.
To your health, happiness and longevity,
The Levitise Team
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