Recently I did a lecture called Digestion is the Key to Health and provided a sample of homemade bone broth. Broth is not only one of the best ways to heal a digestive tract, but it is also one of the most nutrient dense liquids you will ever come across for athletes. Supplements are made to mimic what broth can do for your muscles and bones.
Bone broth is very rich in minerals and amino acids. If you are deficient in certain minerals, then heavy metals will take their place. For example, lead will take the place of calcium, cadmium will take the place of zinc, aluminum will take the place of magnesium, and nickel will take the place of manganese. So when you hear about being toxic in heavy metals, it is because the minerals are too low. Grains are high in phytic acid, which can block minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc. So if your diet is high in wheat for example and low in minerals, you will be deficient. This also is how osteoperosis is occurring along with low vitamin D levels.
Gelatin, collagen and the spectrum of amino acids in bone broth are responsible for promoting probiotic growth, and healing IBS, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux. They are also responsible for muscle and joint repair and higher levels of creatine and human growth hormone for physical performance. Most impressively, is that the amino acid profile creates glutathione, which is that master antioxidant system for dealing with toxins and oxidative stress. Glutathione is your body’s own personal defense system made by the amino acids in this broth, and as I mentioned depleted by heavy metals and toxins. In fact, alcohol, Tylenol and other pain killers actually deplete glutathione as well.
Bone marrow may have been one of our first major sources of nutrition, even before we became hunters. Vultures will drop femur bones from the sky to break them and get the marrow, which is possibly how we learned to get it from leftover bones. Instinctively, every animal will go towards the marrow first. Bone marrow helps the immune system by carrying oxygen to cells and one of the most effective remedies for the gut lining next to gelatin. Consuming bone marrow will help improve brain function, maintain healthy bones and speed up the healing process of any injury or fracture.
Bone Broth Recipe (makes about 5 quarts)
2-3 pounds grass-fed beef soup or knuckle bones
2 pounds marrow bones
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1 onion chopped
2 leeks chopped
2 large carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
6 cloves of garlic
1. If you are deciding on a slow cooker, make sure you buy one that is certified lead free. This can be a problem with some slow cookers. The one I am using is a KitchenAid Slow Cooker.
Place the bones in the pot and fill with enough water to cover the bones. Add 2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar.
2. Meanwhile, slice up the vegetables.
3. Add vegetables to the pot and fill with more water until you are at the max line on the slow cooker.
4. Place on low for 6-24 hours. If you are sensitive to glutamate, do not make a broth over 6 hours.
5. When it is done, it will look like this. Take the marrow bones out and shake or scoop the marrow out. You can serve this with some wheat free crackers (I like Le Pain des Fleurs Chestnut Crispbread), mix it into some vegetables (actually goes well with mashed potatoes), or save it and add it back to the soup. It is very rich, so a little bit goes a long way.
6. Strain the broth into glass containers and let it cool. Once it is cool to touch, add to the refrigerator and let it sit overnight or all day.
The Final Bone Broth Product
The fat will rise to the top, and you can either use it for cooking or discard it. In my culinary opinion, keeping the fat in makes it too greasy.