Bone broth is so comforting and delicious. It's a great source of easily digestible glycine and proline, as well as gelatin which may break down into collagen in the body, which is especially important in the joints. Glycine plays a number of important functions in the body, such as acting as a neurotransmitter and making up a component of collagen. Proline is important for skin healing. And collagen is the body's super glue. It give our skin structure and supports our joints and bones.
Bone broth is a superfood at any stage of life but especially during perimenopause and menopause when our skin starts loosing plumpness. Just look at the back of your hands, are the veins more prominent than they used to be. This is because your skin density is changing because we loose collagen every year after 35.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
So why should you consider bone broth? We came up with at least half a dozen reasons. Admittedly there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies of bone broth per se, although the literature is peppered with a few on chicken soup. Proof of the healing value of bone broth comes from evaluating what we know about the ingredients in bone broth. For example:
• Gelatin in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid, which means it attracts digestive juices and other liquids and holds onto them. This characteristic makes bone broth supportive of the digestive process. Great for healing leaky gut, a condition where the tight junctions in your gut open and food particles can enter the bloodstream.
• Gelatin also supports hair and nail health and growth.
• Amino acids in bone broth can offer various benefits. Arginine has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts immune function; proline regenerates cartilage, helps leaky gut, and reduces cellulite; glycine helps detoxify the body and may help you relax and improve sleep; and glutamine protects the gut lining, helps build muscle, and improves metabolism.
• Broken down cartilage provides glucosamine and chondroitin, which are often taken in supplement form to treat pain and inflammation associated with various forms of arthritis.
• The calcium and other important minerals in bone broth can support strong bones and teeth. One study conducted at the Charles A. Dana Research Institute in Boston reported that prolonged cooking of soup with a beef bone increased the calcium content when cooked at an acidic but not neutral pH (which is why vinegar is part of a bone broth recipe; see below).
Basic Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
Making your own bone broth takes very little prep time but at least 24 hours of simmering. You will need a large cast iron or stainless steel pot or a crockpot. Since bone broth requires about one full day of simmering, for safety reasons it’s best to use a crockpot if you are not going to be home during the cooking process.
The following is a basic recipe using chicken for bone broth. Beef bone broth typically has a longer simmering time; you can get a recipe for beef bone broth here.
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar (which leaches the minerals from the bones and also combines with fats)
Either: one whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 lbs bony chicken parts (backs, wings, necks)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
Handful of fresh parsley
Place all of the ingredients except the parsley into your pot or crockpot. Bring to a boil and then skim off any foamy scum floating on the top. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours. If you used a whole chicken, now is the time to remove the meat from the bones and put it aside for other uses later, such as chicken soup, salad, or casserole. Once the meat has been removed, continue simmering for 24 hours. If you used bony chicken parts, just continue to simmer for 24 hours. 10 to 15 minutes before the broth is done, remove the bones with a slotted spoon and a strainer.
Use your bone broth as the base for soups, alone as a quick pick-me-up, or add it to stews. Bone broth can be frozen for several months for future use.
Naturally, bone broth isn’t for everyone, especially for vegetarians or vegans. But for those who want to explore an inexpensive and easy way to boost their nutritional intake and experience some other health benefits during perimenopause and menopause, bone broth may be just what you need.