Bone Stock and Discovering Deep Nutrition
I am sometimes reluctant to try new things if the effort required is perceived to be greater than any benefit that may be received. When I say sometimes, I mean pretty much always. If a somewhat laborious task is not going to have a known and measurable benefit, it often gets relegated to the bottom of my to-do list only to be completely removed after I give up trying to convince myself that I will complete such a task at a point when there is more time. And, although this approach seems reasonable when trying to improve efficiency, it has undoubtedly caused me to miss out on many valuable learning experiences that may have been able to contribute to my personal and professional development, not to mention my health and much coveted gains in my spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
So, in an attempt to correct this less-than-ideal pattern, this past week I decided to undertake one of my most time consuming culinary projects to date: homemade beef bone broth. And, although there is no way for me to speak on any improvements in my nutritional status, I am happy to report that the experience was far greater than I anticipated. The icing on the cake, making broth actually requires very little effort or active prep time, because most of the magic happens while it is slowly simmering over low heat or in a slow cooker. But, before we get to all the “warm-and-fuzzies” I felt while taking in my homemade vegetable soup made from freshly prepared bone broth, let’s touch on the potential health benefits.
Like Heals Like
According to one of my new favorite more holistically focused ancestral nutrition reads, Deep Nutrition, bone stock is vital in maintaining joint and bone health. Joint health, dependent upon the collagen found in our ligaments, tendons and on the ends of our bones, is bolstered by the glycosaminoglycans, collagens, drawn out of bones when making broth. Glucosamine, a common supplement taken to support joint function and help those recovering from joint damage or surgery, is a member of the glycosaminoglycans family and one of the many joint-building nutrients that one can receive from the consumption of broth.
According to Dr. Catherine Shanahan, author of Deep Nutrition, bone broth is also rich in calcium and other bone building minerals. Calcium and magnesium, in addition to the glycosaminoglycan growth factor received from bone broths, is essential in developing tall, strong, well-proportioned children and consuming bone broth liberally is one of the best ways to ensure such growth.
This makes complete sense to me. Like heals like. The nutrients drawn out of the joint and bones when making broth have the ability to greatly improve joint and bone health.
Nature’s Complete Supplement
And, according to Shanahan, “the benefits of broth consumption far outweigh the benefits of taking a pill.” First of all, making bone broth over low heat is a far gentler process than the high heat and pressurized process involved in making glucosamine tablets. Second, bone broth provides the entire bone and cartilage building glycosaminoglycan family plus vitamins and minerals, while supplements typically only provide one or two factors. “Broth’s nutritional complexity makes it a nearly perfect bone-building, joint-health-supporting package,” which is also extremely versatile and tasty.
It has been my experience that truly handmade food has a greater ability to connect me with my food and my health. The energy I put into a meal is transferred into the food and, assuming its positive energy, provides more depth and nourishment. For me, this means that food is an antidepressant, stimulant and mood-stabilizer all in one and has the ability to relieve the emotional turmoil that may exist in any given moment. In addition to having the unique ability to improve my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, homemade foods, especially bone broth, are extremely delicious. A win-win-win.
For a little extra credit, here are a few more bone broth write-ups from a few of my go-to blogs:
Top 5 Reasons Why Bone Broth is The Bomb via Underground Wellness
Broth is Beautiful via The Weston A. Price Foundation
Traditional Foods 101: Bone Broth, Broth & Stocks via Nourished Kitchen
And here are a few recipes that I used as my guides, which you can try when experimenting with bone broth:
How to Make Bone Broth via Wellness Mama
Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth via NomNomPaleo
Beef Stock, Anyone? via The Nourishing Cook
Regardless of your disposition towards work and the perceived benefit of trying new things, enjoying bone broth on a regular basis is an easy way to step up your nutritional game and is will worth the time and effort required.