Lucy O'Donnell

Lucy O'Donnell

Cancer Is a Teacher

The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone Broth is almost the magical elixir of health dating back to our ancestors

Posted Dec 07, 2015

One of the many easy and inexpensive recipes for immune boosting nutrition I am always trying to give myself a varied yet healthy diet that boosts my immune system and is easy to prepare, which leads me to bone broth. Bone broth is a giant leap ahead of what we know as stock. Lets not get confused. Stock is made from animal carcasses and simmered for a couple of hours. But bone broth is in an entirely different league all together and is now being recognized for it’s incredible health benefits. And the best of all - it is so easy and inexpensive to make – you just need to have a butcher nearby!

They say chicken soup is good for the soul, and bone broth is just that with the addition of being good for the body too. It helps with many health issues and the following are just a few of them: - overcomes food intolerances and allergies (including asthma) - good at improving joint health - reduces inflammation, arthiritis - reduces cellulite - boosts the immune system That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and–they boost healing. Gently simering the bones - not boiling - causes the bones and ligaments to release magical healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine. And with the minerals it contains are easily absorbed by your body. Minerals such as: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. It also contain chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine – which are compounds in expensive supplements bought to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain. Crucially, convenience store bought “broth” is often not real broth at all. It is literally chemically produced meat flavouring and preservatives with MSG (a neurotoxin) – so it really is of no benefit at all.

But the great thing is, is it is really easy to make, store and freeze. Yesterday, I made enough to last me a few months so that I can have it several times a week with no hassle. And I always have it after treatment when I am feeling fragile and just want to cosy up with a hot water bottle. Making Bone Broth To make beef Bone Broth you need to find good quality beef bones from a butcher (you know – grass fed, no antibiotics).

To extract more flavour, stick them on a roasting tray, as they are, and roast for about 45mins – 1 hour.

-Place the bones in a large pot and cover with water. (Put in more water than you want to end up with as the finished product, as about a quarter of it will evaporate during simmering).

-Add what you would normally add when making stock – such as onions, celery, a couple of carrots and a bayleaf if you have one handy. Adding a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, if you have it to hand, can help pull out the important nutrients too.

-Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce it down to a gentle simmer and leave for 48 hours. Yes 48 hours – this fully extracts the nutrients in and around the bone. (NB If using chicken bones, then only simmer for 24hours.)  

-After 48 hours, you should have a rich dark looking broth. Strain this liquid and you are ready to go. But what I often do, in order to make it a more substantial dish, is to add diced vegetables, such as zucchini and carrots and simmer then for a couple of minutes (keep them al dente), and then throw some parsley of coriander on top. It is remarkably filling as well as totally nutritious.

For those dog lovers - I get extra beef bones for my dog, Snoopy. Once I’ve roasted them I give him a couple and he is in total heaven.

Part 5 of my book "Cancer Is My Teacher"  will be posted very soon.