Bone broth is all the rage for a good reason! It is a great source of collagen and contains many other nutrients your body needs to make collagen.
But what exactly is collagen? Collagen is the primary structural protein in the body, essentially acting like the “glue” that holds us together. You can say it has form and function in our body such as providing elasticity and strength to our skin, repairing and replacing skin cells, and maintaining the health of joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, hair, skin, and nails.
With all these essential functions in the body, no wonder bone broth is popular with health enthusiasts as the new health food. But the fact is that bone broth has been around for thousands of years in Asia. For those who grew up with grandparents or just older parents from the old world, bone broth was likely a part of your diet, like it was for me. As a child, my mother made bone broth frequently and touted its goodness to entice me. I didn’t really understand all the benefits then but her bone broth did taste pretty good!
There is nothing complicated about making bone broth. Just simmer your bones of choice (chicken, beef, turkey, or fish) covered, over low heat for 48 hours. This will extract the most collagen and nutrients from the bones. A slow cooker works well if you don’t want to leave the stove on overnight. Once the broth has finished cooking, transfer to glass jars, let cool, and refrigerate or freeze. As the broth cools, you will notice a layer of gelatin forming. This is a good sign as the gelatin layer is the main source of collagen in bone broth, so be sure to keep it!
Here are some helpful tips to make your bone broth extra healthy and delicious:
● Although not necessary, roasting your bones before simmering can improve the flavor of the broth.
● Since toxins are stored in fat and bone broth contains a lot of it, quality is key when purchasing bones. Look for bones from “organic”, “sustainable”, “grass-fed”, “pasture-raised”, and/or “free-range” sources.
● Add various organic vegetables, herbs, and spices to your broth for more flavor and nutrients. This is a great way to use up vegetable scraps like onion peels and carrot tops that you might normally throw away. Be creative and experiment with different seasonings to make your own signature bone broth!
● Add 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to your pot to give it a slightly acidic taste and assist with breaking down the bones.
If you are not a fan of bone broth or prefer not to eat meat, there are other ways to increase your collagen in the body by eating foods with collagen-boosting nutrients. Below are the top nutrients for supporting collagen formation:
|Proline||Egg whites, meat, cheese, and soy|
|Glycine||Fish, meat, dairy, spinach, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, banana, and kiwi|
|Hydroxyproline||Meat, fish, eggs, carob seeds, alfalfa sprouts|
|Vitamin C||Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale|
|Anthocyanins and antioxidants||Berries, herbs and spices such as oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, and turmeric|
|Copper||Beef liver, sunflower seeds, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, dark chocolate, hazelnuts|
|Sulfur||Garlic, onions, egg yolk, cruciferous vegetables|
|Vitamin B6||Chickpeas, meat, fish, potatoes, bananas, bulgur|