I discovered the healing properties of bone broth soup a few years ago when I first began my health and wellness journey. The protein-rich liquid garnered from slow-cooking meaty joints and bones in water is currently all the rage in the holistic and mainstream health world (with health stores offering powdered and pill varieties of the broth).
Back then, people were just starting to hop on the bone broth train, discovering the gelatinous and savoury soup could cure all that ails you (not medical advice, in case you assumed I wore a white coat).
I know it might seem silly to write an entire column about soup, but if the authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series could do it, so can I.
I rediscovered my love for bone broth soup this month after I came down with a stomach bug. I haven’t been sick from a bug in years, and so it caught me by surprise. I won’t get into the details of the infection but suffice it to say the soup was the only thing I could keep down during “hell week.”
The highly nutrient-dense liquid gave me the nourishment needed to bolster my immune system and biological defences against the invader. In a matter of days, I was starting to feel like myself again.
In case you hadn’t heard, the small intestine is the primary site for nutrient absorption. It is also the first line of defense in our immune system.
According to an article published by the BBC, if the gut barrier becomes damaged or leaky, this can disrupt the immune system. The amino acids found in bone broth may have a protective, healing, and restorative effect on the consumer, including restoring the gut lining. Studies have shown this to be true.
The benefits of bone broth soup don’t just stop there. In fact, the collagen and gelatin in the soup may have a positive effect, helping with anti-aging and joint health.
The soup may even help promote sleep, according to the same article, which stated the amino acid glycine, also found in bone broth, has multiple functions in the body including supporting healthy sleep patterns.
Bone broth is very simple to make and involves selecting bones (preferably joint bones such as knuckles or feet) and cooking low and slow for at least 10 to 12 hours to get all the nutrients out of them. Cooking longer is always preferred. I sometimes like to put bones in a slow cooker for a day or two.
After the concoction is done brewing, I like to add vegetables, herbs, and (sometimes) grains to the soup near the final hour of cooking for extra flavour and nourishment. Other times, I just like to sip on the broth rather than make a full soup.
No matter how you prepare your bone broth soup, I hope you too will discover the health benefits of this liquid health elixir.