I am a big fan of bone broth, it has to be one of the most nutrient dense and nourishing foods on the planet. Whole books have been written on the restorative powers of drinking bone broth and regularly consuming cups of this rich elixir has become a rapidly growing trend in the States.
I’ve already written about the vast benefits of stock here, but thought I would tell you a little about how it really is one of the best anti-ageing tools you can use.
Bone broth has really taken off recently with experts claiming it can firm up the face. Julia Marsh, beauty advisor to numerous Hollywood celebs states that broth “repairs, strengthens, rejuvenates and heals the skin” and has her clients drinking about three cups a day. This is a really cheap way to look after yourself compared to the ridiculously expensive beauty products on the market.
Creams and toners are useful, but by far the most important consideration for your skin is what you are putting in your body, not on it. Healthy skin definitely comes from within and broth is one of the best ways to ensure you’re giving it everything it needs.
Containing a healthy dose of collagen and cartilage, as well as hyaluronic acid, and packed full of other nutrients it’s a no-brainer for reducing wrinkles and cellulite and maintaining strong, youthful skin.
- Broth is excellent for recovery from illness not just because it’s nourishing, but it also inhibits infection
- It’s healing to your gut, supporting digestion and helping you absorb more nutrients
- Extraordinarily rich in nutrients needed to heal the body
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation as it’s rich in glucosamine and chondroitin
- Rich in calcium and other bone nutrients, it helps build and repair strong teeth and bones
- Broth is particularly good for skin, hair and nails thanks to the gelatin and collagen which helps us stay youthful
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Unfortunately, good quality broth/stock is hard to buy. To make it really worthwhile and loaded with nutrients the bones need to come from organic, preferably pasture-fed, animals and the broth needs to be simmered for at least 12 hours. Then there’s the addition of some acid (vinegar or lemon juice) which helps draw even more minerals out of the bones. Shop-bought varieties just don’t do this so you do get lots of nutrients, but not the specific anti-ageing ones, like collagen, which take longer to be extracted from the bones.
I get my bones for free from my local farmers’ market, alternatively local butchers are also more than happy to give them to you. You can even use the leftover bones from a Sunday roast.
Simple bone broth
This takes 5 minutes, although the simmering time is lengthy (12-72 hours). Beef stock is the best for its’ anti-ageing qualities but you can also make it out of organic chicken, pork or fish bones (including the head). Each impairs different nutritional qualities and tastes but all are packed full of goodness.
It couldn’t be easier to make, I just chuck a load of bones into a large pot and fill with water, add ½ cup of vinegar or lemon juice and bring to the boil. At this point remove the froth/scum from the surface as this contains any impurities. Add in 1 onion, 2 carrots and 3 celery sticks, put the lid on and leave to simmer for at least 12 hours – I usually remove the liquid after this time and then refill the pot with water and leave the bones to simmer for another 12 hours, this time adding some seaweed, mushrooms and more onions to give a different flavour and make more stock in one go.
The longer the bones are boiled, the more goodness is extracted. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving it on overnight, just turn it off and start again in the morning. When it’s done, simply strain the broth, making sure all the marrow from the bones has dissolved into the liquid.
Once cooled, the broth turns gel-like, this is normal and shows that it does indeed contain the gelatin you’re looking for. Unappetising in this state, it turns back into a liquid when heated. I freeze broth in various sized containers and use for soups, stews and even enjoy cups of broth with miso – you just feel so virtuous drinking that.
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