written by Chef Kathryn Rogers of Vivacious Dish
Bone broth changed my life. Three years ago I was struggling with chronic abdominal discomfort, leaky gut (meaning that I was having a really hard time digesting things properly and had a number of food sensitivities) and skin eruptions including eczema and acne. I was eating pretty clean – following a mostly low carb diet, steering clear of gluten and avoiding processed foods. My stress levels were high – having recently moved, started a new job, and bought my first home. I was exhausted – emotionally and physically – and my body and brain needed some serious TLC.
I did some research about healing leaky gut and discovered Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet. I had tried bone broth a number of years before, while visiting with a friend and holistic health expert, but it wasn’t until my 6-week foray with the GAPS that I made bone broth a staple in my daily routine. Upon further examination, I found that broth’s benefits have been touted by holistic health leaders like Sally Fallon Morell and Louise Hay.
By the end of 6 weeks drinking bone broth every day, my digestion had improved dramatically, my skin looked the most radiant it had been in over a decade, and my inflammation markers had decreased dramatically. Fast forward to today, and my digestive system is strong, my food sensitivities have improved (although I still steer clear of gluten and refined sugars), and my hair is shiny, my nails strong and my skin supple and smooth. My life with broth is good!
While there are limited scientific studies on the proven positive effects of bone broth, many nutritionists and holistic practitioners are strong proponents for its potential benefits.
Top 6 Benefits of Drinking Bone Broth Every Day
- Improved Digestion: Bone broth’s amino acid structure and high gelatin content make it soothing and healing for the gut. Gelatin helps to soothe any fissures in your gut lining and can increase elasticity, making your internal pipes smooth and strong.
- Strong Bones & Joints: Whether you are recovering from an injury or want to prevent osteoporosis later in life, bone broth is here to help! Rich in glucosamine, chondroitin sulphates and other compounds, bone broth lubricates achy joints and tissues and can support regeneration. When I injured my knee two years ago (dislocated my patella), bone broth was an essential ingredient in my rehab program.
- Sustained Energy: Bone broth is rich in healthy fats and other beneficial compounds. An 8 oz. mug in the morning will kick your day off right with easy-to-digest nourishment, help stabilize blood sugar and give you a healthy energy boost (unlike caffeine or sugar) that will sustain you throughout the morning.
- Immunity Boost: Mother knows best! Chicken soup (and other broth-based recipes) are timeless cold busters for good reason. We now know that a strong immune system begins in the gut. With its high gelatin content, bone broth supports gut health and is rich in amino acids that reduce disease-causing inflammation.
- Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails: Beauty from the inside out? Yes please! Bone broth contains collagen, which supports hair, skin and nail health, and it provides the amino acids needed by your body for collagen production. Collagen keeps the skin smooth and firm, and reduces wrinkles.
- Reduced Food Waste: When you make bone broth at home, you create an opportunity to use another part of the animal: the bones. Like so many native cultures knew, animal bones are rich in vitamins and minerals, so instead of throwing them away, re-purpose them into this nourishing elixir.
Speaking of animals, it’s important to use 100% grass-fed beef, pastured pork, wild fish heads/bones or pastured organic chicken bones/feet in your broth. Bones that come from healthy, happy animals have greater nutrient density that in turn impacts our cellular function. Holistic land management is also better for the environment since it regenerates the soil and supports a healthy ecosystem.
You can find bones at your butcher shop or from your local rancher; just ask if you don’t see them in the case. Chicken feet work great too.
To learn how to make simple bone broth at home, watch this video from Chef Kathryn Rogers of Vivacious Dish:
Chef Kathryn Rogers has more than 15 years’ experience creating colorful dishes from locally sourced ingredients. She believes that food has the power to change the world – both in our own bodies through nourishing, clean ingredients that fuel whole health and in our larger community by supporting sustainable and regenerative farmers committed to improving the environment and treating workers and livestock ethically and humanely. She splits her time between San Diego, CA and Carson City, NV, where she teaches cooking classes and offers catering and private chef services. When’s she’s not in the kitchen, she volunteers as Co-Chair and Food Justice Chair for Slow Food Urban San Diego.
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