Bone Broth Basics
Updated: Mar 29
Bone broth is used around the world as a healthful soup and easily digested medicinal food. Why? It’s full of nutrition.
Depending on what you have and perhaps your culture, you’ll make bone broth from beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, and/or several kinds of fish. It is the bit of acid added and the slow long cook which is common and will provide the easily digested minerals and vitamins you seek. The smaller and lighter the bone, the shorter cook time. Adding vegetables and herbs add will result in even more vitamins.
Why not use the store bought organic natural broth instead? Funny you should ask. You’ll notice your bone broth cools and becomes rubbery. Many commercial broth products may be made from animal skin and not bone so the product is more ‘pour-able’. It may also contain MSG and other components for extending its shelf life. Your broth is less pour-able and has a short shelf life.
GOING TO MARKET
Ingredients are key. Ensure you know the source of your bone. Look for hormone, anti-biotic free, humanely raised and slaughtered. I’m fussing about the ingredients because everything, hormones and all which went into the animal will come out into your broth. Look for sustainably grown or certified organic ingredients. Fresh herbs are best, but dried will do. Try any combination you like including Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, sage, parsley. Fresh vegetables are best. Frozen/unsalted are fine including: Peppers, Onions, Garlic, celery, parsnip, leeks, and chives.
NUTRIENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS
Vitamins and minerals provided in balance together are more effective than individual nutrients in supplements, for example Calcium, Vitamins D, K, and C are all necessary for bone growth, repair, and health. Below you’ll find a list of what you get from just a knuckle beef bone. Herbs and Vegetables provide more vitamins and minerals.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin from cartilage are anti-inflammatories, improving joint health and easing digestion. Glucosamine may also help heal arthritic joints.
Collagen is the principle structural protein in cartilage. The body relies on this critical nutrient to assist in maintaining healthy cartilage
Gelatin is extracted from collagen. Gelatin aids digestion particularly proteins like beans, meat, and dairy.
Glycine and Proline amino acids manufacture glucose, enhance protein digestion, detoxify your liver and are essential for building, maintaining, and repairing healthy tissue.
Calcium is necessary for bone development, maintenance, and repair. Important for blood clotting, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and cell metabolism.
Phosphorus is required for bone and teeth mineralization, acid-base balance, and energy storage & transfer also a DNA component.
Magnesium is required for bone structure, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction. Plays regulatory role in glucose and mineral metabolism The most common dietary deficiency in the US. Inadequate magnesium may impair insulin secretion and action.
Sodium and Potassium are both required in balance for nerve transmission. The standard American diet is very heavy in Sodium, giving rise to a notion that Sodium is bad or should not be used at all. Most Americans are quite low in potassium and very high in Sodium intake.
Sulfate is essential for cellular metabolism during growth, development, and bone/cartilage formation.
Fluoride has an affinity for calcium and stimulates bone formation.
Phosphorus is key for generating energy, helps regulate intracellular pressure and increases the amount of Calcium absorbed. Having the two together improves bone density.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY/EXERCISE is also important for bone strength, repair, and overall health.