Homemade chicken broth is the quintessential, healthy ‘comfort food.’ In ancient Chinese medicine, bone broth is considered one of the best supports possible for optimal kidney health.
Ancient Chinese theory links the bone tissues to the kidneys, and the nutrients found in bone broth, such as organic chicken broth, are key to the well-being of both.
Healthy kidneys mean clean, healthy blood, which is essential for the health of the entire body. Chinese medicine also associates bones and kidneys with the adrenal glands, which are responsible for a variety of hormonal functions. Hormonal balance is, of course, necessary for both physical and mental health.
Dr. Catherine Shanahan, author of the book, Deep Nutrition, theorizes that the nutrients found in bone broth could aid in repairing holes worn in kidney tissue by various ailments. The natural gelatin found in organic chicken broth is rich in minerals including calcium and phosphorus, which are linked to optimal liver, digestive and bone health.
Organic chicken broth also has a wide range of other benefits. The cartilage component of bone broth has been linked to anti-inflammatory properties. Bone broth contains the amino acids glycine and proline, which are associated with wound healing, healthy connective tissue and enhanced liver functionality.
When chicken is cooked, it releases an amino acid called cysteine, which has been linked to thinning mucus buildup in the lungs and respiratory tract during a cold or flu. Bone broth is also associated with immune boosting properties. These factors may explain chicken broth as an ancient remedy for colds and flus, as well as its effects in promoting rapid healing.
To make homemade, 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 uses for organic chicken broth are as endless as its health benefits. It can be sipped on its own to provide instant comfort and nutrition, or can be used as the base for soups and savory dishes.
Organic chicken broth makes an excellent first-thing-to-start-the-morning quick food source, providing a fantastic kickstart to your kidneys. Get creative, and let your culinary imagination run wild!
-The Alternative Daily