The Health Benefits of Broths
Many of you who have my book, The IBD Remission Diet will know that I strongly advocate that people drink meat and vegetable broths in between the Absorb Plus shakes on the Diet. This is largely due to the amazing health benefits of homemade bone broths. But it also serves to stimulate the appetite: If you just consume sweet tastes all the time, you’ll hit satiety quite quickly and just not be able to face the thought of yet another shake!
However, if you alternate sweet and salty tastes, this keeps the appetite stimulated and makes it much easier to consume the number of calories you need each day from the Absorb Plus elemental diet shakes.
For those of you who have purchased the new Listen To Your Gut program, one of your Complimentary Bonuses included a Healing Diets Recipe Book, and in that recipe book, I give you all the recipes for making homemade broths. You can then use these broths when you make soups, stews, or gravies/sauces. Again, I did this partly for the taste benefits, but primarily for the health benefits.
Are Homemade Broths Worth the Time & Hassle?
Traditional cultures all over the world – from Jewish to Asian – have always used homemade broths as an integral part of their diet. Sally Fallon and Mary Enig have written a fantastic cookbook based on traditional/primitive food preparation techniques, called Nourishing Traditions. If you’re to the point in your healing journey where you’re on the Minimize Gas & Bloating Diet or Maintenance Diet, then I highly recommend you pick up this cookbook and begin eating this way for optimum health. If your system has not yet healed to the point where you can move on from the Reduce Diarrhea Diet, then it’s too early for you to use the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Until your system is healed more, you won’t be able to benefit from it. However, whatever stage of healing you’re at, you can most certainly benefit tremendously from homemade broths.
As Sally Fallon writes in her article Broth is Beautiful:
“Thus, broth is a vital element in Asian cuisines–from the soothing long-simmered beef broth in Korean soups to the foxy fish broth with which the Japanese begin their day. Genuine Chinese food cannot exist without the stockpot that bubbles perpetually. Bones and scraps are thrown in and mineral-rich stock is removed to moisten stir-frys. Broth-based soups are snack foods from Thailand to Manchuria.
Asian restaurants in the US are likely to take shortcuts and use a powdered base for sweet and sour soup or kung pau chicken but in Japan and China and Korea and Thailand, mom-and-pop businesses make broth in steamy back rooms and sell it as soup in store fronts and on street corners.”
What’s In The Bones?
Now, to be honest, the recipes for broths in “Nourishing Traditions” are actually better than mine – because they call for more bones in the pot, and also get you to add vinegar to draw out the minerals from these bones. I like to use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (another health product) and you don’t have to worry about the acidity because the vinegar is boiled off in the cooking. As Sally Fallon points out in her “Broth is Beautiful” article:
“Peasant societies still make broth. It is a necessity in cultures that do not use milk because only stock made from bones and dairy products provides calcium in a form that the body can easily assimilate. It is also a necessity when meat is a luxury item, because gelatin in properly made broth helps the body use protein in an efficient way.
The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut.
Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily-not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Fish stock, according to traditional lore, helps boys grow up into strong men, makes childbirth easy and cures fatigue. “Fish broth will cure anything,” is another South American proverb. Broth and soup made with fishheads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.
When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese. Gelatin was probably the first functional food, dating from the invention of the “digestor” by the Frenchman Papin in 1682. Papin’s digestor consisted of an apparatus for cooking bones or meat with steam to extract the gelatin. Just as vitamins occupy the center of the stage in nutritional investigations today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food research. Gelatin was universally acclaimed as a most nutritious foodstuff particularly by the French, who were seeking ways to feed their armies and vast numbers of homeless in Paris and other cities. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal. During the siege of Paris, when vegetables and meat were scarce, a doctor named Guerard put his patients on gelatin bouillon with some added fat and they survived in good health.”
When you go to make your own homemade broths, you can either use Sally’s recipes (provided in her article) or you can use mine, but add extra bones (and feet if possible) and 1 tbsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to each of my recipes.
In his article on the benefits of MSM (the benefits come from the sulfur), Dr. Joe Mercola gives us another reason to consume bone broths:
“Ideally, you’d be best off getting your sulfur needs filled from the foods you eat. However, this can be a bit of a challenge these days. There’s been a transition away from many traditional foods that have been the big sources of sulfur, like collagen or keratin, which we just don’t eat much nowadays. You can perhaps get enough if you cook down bones from organically raised animals into bone broth and drink the broth regularly (or use for soups and stews). The connective tissues are sulfur-rich, and when you slow-cook the bones, you dissolve these nutrients out of the bone and into the water.”
CHICKEN BROTH RECIPE – An Easy Way To Get Started
I know that cooking organic, unprocessed food from scratch takes a lot more time than the way all your friends and neighbors eat! But it is so important for your healing that if you cannot find the time to make it yourself, then ask a family member to help out. Or advertise on Craigslist for a personal chef to come in once a month and cook up a few different broths for you. You can also do an Internet search as there are a number of companies now offering good quality bone broths online.
You can also quickly turn this broth into a meal for yourself or the kids by adding rice ramen noodles, or egg noodles and a spoonful of dehydrated veggies (buy these from your local organic store) – presto! A super healthy meal in about 5 minutes flat.
So if you want the quickest way to make chicken broth, here it is. You can either buy organic chicken necks and backs from your grocer. Or, you can buy your chicken breasts, thighs, etc. with “bone-in” and then remove the bones after cooking as usual.
- Take raw or cooked organic chicken bones, back, neck and place in a large saucepan. Fill saucepan 1 inch from the top with filtered water. Add 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
- Chop up a couple carrots and 2 sticks of celery and throw them in the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Simmer, covered, for as long as you can – anywhere from 2 to 12 hours. If any gunk/foam appears on top, skim it off. Add more water as/if needed.
- Strain off broth into a large bowl, allow to cool for a bit, then place in the fridge.
- Next day, skim off any fat (if you want) and portion broth/jelly into Ziplock freezer bags. I usually put 2 cups in each bag. Freeze until you need it! If you want to eat it right away, it’s good in the fridge for 3 days.
Now, if you’d like to know how to get 3 different meals, PLUS chicken broth, from just 1 organic chicken… come on over…
Jini Patel Thompson’s books on natural healing for digestive diseases have sold in over 40 different countries. Her health articles have been published in journals and magazines in the U.S., Australia and U.K. www.ListenToYourGut.com