Bone Broth, The Superfood for Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails


Bone Broth

If you haven’t discovered bone broth yet, I recommend making friends with it fast. Don’t mistake this for your store bought versions. Homemade bone broth is one of the most nutritious foods filled with an array of minerals, protein, and amino acids in the form of gelatin. Gelatin is the superstar here when it comes to the beauty and anti-aging benefits bone broth provides.

Goodbye Botox, Hello Bone Broth!

Gelatin (which is the protein that gives skin its tightness) is formed during the cooking process when bones and meat are simmered for a length of time (usually 8 or more hours) with the addition of vinegar to help draw out minerals from the bones. The connective tissue is what forms the gelatin in the broth, so the more of this the better for your skin! Because gelatin is healing, it’s one of the few foods that anyone can benefit from and very few react to (which is usually due to a sensitivity or allergy).
Gelatin works on calming the inflammation from an interal level to show the benefits through the skin, which in turn can help reduce redness, decrease breakouts, and strengthen and tone the skin thanks to the large amount of collagen it contains. More collagen also means less wrinkles and cellulite…oh yes, it’s that good.

Benefits to Bone Broth

To obtain these benefits, I recommend drinking at least 2-3 cups a day straight from a mug. Additionally, you can also take it in through soups and use it in place of water when cooking. Other benefits include:

  • Support for joints and ligaments, providing faster healing from injuries
  • Aids digestive discomfort and heals and repairs the stomach lining (especially helpful in a leaky gut).
  • Supports the immune system and shortens duration of colds faster
  • Great source of glycine which can help regulate bowels and regularity.
  • Supports detoxification and the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels and controls cravings.
  • Calms the nervous system, reduces stress and helps to relax the body due to the magnesium content.
  • Can increase mental alertness, clarity, memory and mood

Chicken Bone Broth Ingredients

Luckily, bone broths are one of the easiest traditional staples to prepare at home. They don’t require much attention (especially if you’re using a slow cooker), and are very inexpensive when you consider that bones can run anywhere from $2-3 / lb. The same rules apply to making a nutritious broth like any other dish or meal…quality ingredients. You want to ensure you’re using bones from pastured healthy animals. Health food stores, local butchers and farms are all great resources to look into. Visit my resource page to find quality sources. Local Harvest can help in finding farms and farmers markets around your area to obtain bones. If you prefer not to make your own, there are companies that make traditional bone broth. Wise Choice Market sells Real Bone Broth and delivers right to your door. If you’re looking to yield more gelatin, the feet and necks of chicken work extremely well for making a gelatinous broth.  You may also add pastured gelatin to increase the skin supporting benefits.

This recipe for broth is a traditional version adapted from Nourishing Traditions.

  • 2 pounds (or more) of chicken bones from a healthy source
  • 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Optional: 1 bunch of parsley or cilantro, several cloves of garlic (I use about 4-5 smashed cloves), sea salt, peppercorns, and herbs or spices to taste.  You can also add the salt, pepper and spices to each individual serving.
You’ll need a large stock pot OR my personal favorite, a crockpot. I also recommend getting a large strainer and fat separator if you prefer clear broth, although drinking the fat has healing properties as well.

Instructions for Slow Cooker or Crockpot

1. Place all vegetables in a 6-quart slow cooker.

2. Add the bones with meat and additional parts such as feet or necks.

3. Add the vinegar on top of the bones.

4. Add enough water so that everything in the crockpot is submerged.

5. Cook for 8-10 hours on low.

6. Strain the broth through a strainer or cheesecloth, and toss the solids.

7. At this point, you may separate the fat using a fat separator. I usually only do this if I find that the broth looks extremely greasy, or if i’m using parts that contain a lot of skin. If you decide on removing the fat, a glass version (since the liquid is hot and I don’t want it exposed to plastic) is what I prefer. This one here is a great option. Keep in mind that some fat is actually preferred to absorb the minerals in the broth fully, but also  make it more satisfying and satiating.  If you want to skip this step, your broth is ready to enjoy!

8.  To store broth, I use 1/2 gallon mason jars and place them in the fridge. It will keep for about a week and in the freezer for several months.

How to use

  • Drink it plain straight from a mug (my favorite way) with sea salt, pepper and a squirt of lime juice. You can add any other spices if you prefer. This is the  most direct way to get large amounts in your diet, especially if recovering from sickness or an injury.
  • Cook with it whenever you can! Use it in place of water in recipes, such as when making rice, soups, stews, and braising meats and vegetables. This is one of my favorite recipes using broth to make braised beets!

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