Homemade soup has a strong reputation as a healing food, and there's a good reason for that. In particular, soups made with bone broth are especially healing for digestive conditions and other chronic disorders.
So, what is bone broth and why is it beneficial?
Bone broth contains the minerals of bone, cartilage, and marrow in a form that is easy to assimilate and healing to our gut. The most significant benefit to the stomach is due to the presence of collagen and gelatin in bone broths:
Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue. It is abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. When cooked, collagen breaks down and produces gelatin.
Gelatin acts as an aid to digestion and has been successfully used as a treatment for digestive conditions such as Crohn's disease, constipation, IBS, hyperacidity, and colitis. Gelatin can also be beneficial for patients suffering from intestinal disorders for a few reasons:
1. It soothes the GI tract by lining the mucous membranes of the intestines thus protecting it from ingested materials. Because of this healing property, gelatin is said to be a great way to treat the leaky gut syndrome.
2. It allows the body to fully utilize complete proteins that are consumed making it essential for those who cannot have large amounts of meat in their diets.
3. Gelatin absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract allowing food to move quickly through the gut and promote and healthy bowel movements.
How To Make Bone Broth
Preparing bone broth is simple. You can use a collection of bones from organic, grass-fed, or pasture-raised animals to prepare your broth. For chicken broth use a layer or stewing hen's feet, skin, necks, and back. For a beef broth, use boney bones, marrow bones, meaty bones, or knuckle bones. Place bones in a large stockpot and cover with cold filtered water. To extract the essential minerals from the bone, add an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, to the water. Bring the pot to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Be sure not to boil your stock; the ideal temperature should be 185ºF. While cooking, frequently removes any impurities that rise to the top with a spoon, ladle, or mesh skimmer. Simmer your broth for 6-24 hours. Remove from heat and immerse the bottom of the pot in an ice bath to prevent a sour flavor from developing. Strain the broth with a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. This stock can be refrigerated up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for later use.