Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bone Broth - The Great Health Elixer

I have made quite a few changes to our food consumption as a family since finding out that I have some sort of disease that seems to change on a quarterly basis. Currently my pain levels are so great that I am inspired to intensify my search for better foods, which I am not finding to be easy in this remote part of Africa. In the "real" food department we are seriously lacking.

My latest discovery that I just have to share with you, is bone broth, yes the stuff that Granny used to make from left over bones, the stuff that she would re-use in curries, stews, casseroles and the good old South African bredie. Now Granny used to make this stock/ broth to save money and add flavor to the next dish she was making, so it is quite understandable that this long, drawn-out process was slashed from our to-do lists as soon as we were able. After all, who had the time to boil meat bones for hours on end right? 

After being exposed to some bone broth fundis, I suddenly began to realize what the fuss was about. I can honestly say that I have not consumed bone broth in any way, shape or form in the past 20 years and I have never fed my children this delicacy. A few years ago I was stunned at the pharmaceutical sales of a product for arthritis which contained Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the magic pills to help with cartilage erosion and the pain induced from this condition. The product literally flew off the shelves. I wondered at the time, why there was such a major surge in arthritis sufferers. Now I discover that meat, chicken and fish bones contain these miracle ingredients (including a whole lot more - see list below) and the only reason so many people need to take this (super-expensive) supplement is because they we are too darn lazy to make bone broth and add it to other meals. Problem is that I've realized that there are very few meals that I COULD add this to - eek! I also couldn't understand why our black population are not suffering as much from diseases which seem to be increasing in the white population - the majority are still eating "the old way" due to financial constraints and their most popular meal is bone broth (made from any part of the animal they can find e.g. feet, necks, gizzards) spooned over pap to add flavour to their meal - wow, a real eye-opener. Are the more privileged getting "privileged" diseases because we are no longer wanting to eat the "yucky" parts of the meat?

Stock, Broth and Frequently asked questions

Upon scrutinising our lifestyle, I was shocked to realise that although we eat a lot of chicken, we never put pieces, on the bone, into any type of stew where the bones could leach their goodness into the food, we always cut up breast fillets. All the "gross" bits have never entered my home!! I have also only given my children this type of meat; is this why I have a child with immune issues linked to her gut health? I'm pretty sure that this answers the question of why my cartilage is dwindling. 

So I have started to make the broth and it is damn time-consuming (boiling bones from 6 - 12 hours is a pain) but it makes sense. I am now sneaking it into meals without anyone knowing (popped it into bolognaise last week). But the real challenge is to get more of this broth into my family in ways that will turn meals on their heads and change our way of cooking and eating, but it must be done. I've read about people who swear by the amazing results from starting to consume bone broth and some even claim that their cartilage has regrown (that would be nice).

A bit of a curve ball is that the bones should come from an organic animal otherwise the antibiotics, pesticides and hormones are leeched into the broth! I haven't done this up to now, so I'm going to have to source organic chickens and meat. Interestingly studies have shown that 40% less protein is required in the diet if you consume bone broth as it is packed with so much good protein, so ideally you could reduce the costs of your meals overall, by consuming the broth from the bones of the meat you consume and having some meat-free days.

Here is a link from an inspirational lady named Alexx Stuart. She explains everything so well that I won't bother trying. Everything you ever needed to know about bone broth

I found that it is better to get a whole lot of bones together and make a huge pot full. It is also easier for me, as I'm starting out, to freeze in small containers, even ice trays because I'm not using that much at the moment, while I try to come up with meals to include it in.

Good luck if you're going to try it. Let me know if it helps :)

Below taken from Mercola


Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: 
The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid.
It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion.

Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: 
A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection.
Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage.

Fights inflammation:
Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better.

Promotes strong, healthy bones: 
As mentioned above, bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation.
Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth