What do your bones, your teeth and your adrenal glands have in common? The first supports the structure of your body, the second breaks down your food for easier digestion and the third is integral to hormonal balance. The connection? All three of these vital body parts are strengthened and nourished by bone broth, one of mankind’s ancient superfoods.
The many nutritional wonders of bone broth have been long recognized by ancient Chinese medicine. In this tradition, bone broth is linked to the support of kidney health. However, the skeletal system (which includes the teeth) and the adrenal glands are associated with the kidneys as well – all three areas are related, and can each benefit from bone broth in an important way.
When it comes to bones and teeth, it’s easy to see how bone broths can reinforce their strength. Bone broth is brimming with minerals, including calcium and phosphorus. When bones simmer for hours, all of their mineral-rich goodness is released into the broth, ready to be enjoyed in a highly digestible, soothing form.
Getting ample amounts of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in our diets, such as from bone broth, is essential to maintaining the integrity of our skeletal systems as we age, and may even help to prevent chronic bone ailments such as osteoporosis, as well as the breakdown of the teeth.
The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, are responsible for producing multiple types of hormones. When these hormones are balanced, the groundwork is laid for good physical and mental well-being. If they are imbalanced, system-wide havoc – physical, mental or both – can ensue. One the the hormones manufactured by the adrenals is cortisol, known as the “stress hormone.”
If the adrenals are in poor health, and the body’s production of cortisol is off kilter, it can become quite dangerous. For example, elevated levels of cortisol, if sustained over an extended period of time, can lead to inflammation, an immune reaction which leaves your immune system busy and less able to fight invading pathogens. Chronic inflammation has also been linked to a host of illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, heart disease and even cancer.
The adrenal fatigue theory states that if you are overly stressed and do not manage it well, the adrenal glands can malfunction, and fail to produce sufficient amounts of hormones. According to proponents of this medical theory, symptoms of adrenal fatigue include clouded thinking, depression, chronic lack of energy and, even more stress, which compounds the problem. Drinking bone broth can help to support adrenal function, and its soothing properties and high nutrient content may play a role in alleviating stress, as well.
So, now that you know a bit about these less-known benefits of bone broth, it’s time to make your own, as store-bought varieties pale in comparison to the real thing, and may contain harmful additives. Check out our simple recipe for tasty, organic, chicken broth below.
Organic Chicken Broth
- Start with the carcass of an organic, free-range chicken. Cut into smaller pieces.
- Place the bones in a large pot and cover with cold water.
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, which helps draw minerals out of the bones, and also increases the calcium content of the resulting broth.
- Add your favorite veggies, herbs and aromatics. Garlic is a flavorful choice, filled with antioxidants and boasting its own anti-inflammatory properties. Onions, celery and carrots create a traditional French ‘mirepoix’ flavor. You can even use veggie peels and trimmings, as the broth will be strained once cooking is complete.
- Slowly heat to a boil, then turn down heat and let the pot simmer for at least 6 hours, or longer; as long as you are able to keep an eye on the stove. Remove surface scum that rises to the top, if desired.
- Alternatively, use a slow cooker and cook up to 24 hours on low (at least 12 hours). This option makes it much easier to start in the evening before you go to bed without the worry about leaving something on the stove.
- When finished, strain your broth through a colander to remove solid pieces. For a thinner, clear broth, strain again through a finer sieve.
- Allow the pot to cool completely, and remove the fat from the top (optional – since the fat is actually quite good for you). Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for several months.
-The Alternative Daily