What is bone broth? Why is it so good for you?
In Deep Nutrition I found one of the clearest explanations (even if it was a bit technical and scientific) of why bone broth is good for you. The short simple answer is that all the "stuff" (my technical term) that you rush to your local health food store and buy in glucosamine and chronditin and other joint health combinations is all present in bone broth, bone stock, and even more.
Arthritis and joint problems plagued my mother, and so I have always wanted to do whatever I could to prevent them. For many years I drank a gelatin drink every day, and also drank Green Kamut powder in water to keep my joints young and healthy. Of course, at the time I had no idea where gelatin came from, except from Knox. One time I remember a friend telling me it came from beef bones and I remember wondering how all that gelatin came from something so solid. You laugh, but that was my level of knowing about one of the healthiest things you can put in your diet -- beef, chicken or fish stock. Whenever I stopped these supplements, I could feel it after about 3 or 4 weeks -- feeling more stiffness and pain in my joints.
Here's what Dr. Cate has to say about making stocks and broth from bones, cartilage and ligaments.
How does having additional parts (skin, legaments, etc) create additional nutrition? Water molecules tug apart the connective tissue in skin, ligaments, cartilage, and even bone, releasing a special family of molecules called glycosaminoglycans. You will find the three most famous members of this family in nutritional supplements for joints: glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid. But these processed supplements don't hold a candle to gelatinous stews, rich with the entire extended family of joint building molecules. ...... Mineral salts are released from bone and cartilage durinig stewing, as well as from the meat itself.
In Deep Nutrition, Dr. Catherine Shanahan talks about the science behind why grass fed and finished beef, chicken, or pork is so much better for you. In my words, it is that there is a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals and all the other goodies in the grass then there is in the dirt in which it is grown, and animals who feed on nutrient dense organic grass for their whole lives have an even higher concentration of all this "good for us stuff" in their meat, cartiledge, ligaments, organs and bones.
I working on a new habit for myself as a result of reading this. Every morning I have a cup of beef stock after my "green stuff" and before my coffee. (Chicken stock and fish stock work, too, but right now what I have in my freezer is beef stock.) I've only been doing this for about a week. My intention is to keep it up and in a month or two I'll report back here about my perceived levels of stiffness, joint pain and flexibility.
Do you have any stories about how you think beef stock, bone broth, fish stock has been a benefit to you? Please feel free to comment.
In the meantime, I highly reccomend Deep Nutrition. You can order it through the graphic on the right of my blog.