Super Foods have been the buzzword over the past couple of years. Acai Berry, Maca Powder, Maqui Berry Powder (my favourite) Mesquite Powder, Chlorella and Spirulina are popping up in smoothies, juices and protein balls. Super Foods are packed with antioxidants and have a significant nutritional profile therefore can have great health benefits supporting you nutritionally when food choices might not be the best or when you are feeling a little run down giving you a boost. Being naturally rich in antioxidants they help minimize damage to the body’s cells and tissues caused by normal body processes and exposure to toxins and chemicals in the environment. Some Super Foods may cleanse and detoxify the body while others may support healthy digestion.
Of late another buzzword seems to be circulating Social Media and Wellness Blogs – Bone Broth that in my opinion is the original “Super Food”. I have to admit all this talk about the “newly discovered food” kind of makes me giggle as I was brought up on this from the moment I could eat solids. Broth or as we Italians affectionately call it “Brodo” is a staple food in my family eaten regularly in the cooler months and in particular when feeling run down, sick with a cold, flu or bronchitis or recovering from an illness or surgery.
So why is everyone talking about it and on the Bone Broth train.
– Supports the Immune System. The marrow that leaks into the stock from chicken, chicken bones or meat such as osso bocco has great immune properties. An amino acid called cysteine found in marrow can help to thin mucus sitting in lungs when unwell making expulsion easier.
In Chinese Medicine Kidney Essence produces marrow, which is involved in making blood. Marrow also generates the spinal cord and “fills up” the brain. If kidney essence is strong, it will nourish the brain, memory, concentration & thinking. If weak the brain isn’t adequately nourished and poor memory/concentration, dizziness, dull thinking & poor vision will result. Hence all important reasons to nourish and support marrow.
– Broth is a great relaxant, you always feel better following a bowl of nourishing broth. This is due to glycine (amino acid) that aids rest.
– The collagen released when you cook chicken & meat bones for hours feeds, repairs and calms the mucus lining of the small intestine. Our GUT is or second brain and an integral part of the nervous system. The GUT actually has its own nervous system the enteric nervous system. Hence if you calm the GUT, you calm the brain and body.
When stock cools down you can see a beautiful layer of gelatine sitting on the top. This gelatin rebuilds gut lining, therefore amazing with GUT issues (IBS, Chrons Disease, Diverticulitis, Leaky Gut) because it soothes GUT inflammation. Gelatine also assists with the digestion of nutrients.
-When boiling up stock the marrow that leaks out contains glucosamine and chondrodin supporting arthritis and joint pain by reducing inflammation. The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the broth helps our bones grow and repair.
-The collagen, glycine & proline that seeps out into the broth is said to improve elasticity (hello skin health).
My Family Broth Recipe
1 whole organic chicken + bones. Or 3 to 4 pieces of Osso Bocco if making a meat broth
3 large organic carrots
3 sticks of organic celery
1 brown onion
6 to 7 clove pieces
2 bay leaves
Handful of parsley
2 sticks of thyme
1 small tomato or half a large one
Sea or Himalayan salt
- Wash your chicken thoroughly, pat dry then set aside
- Roughly chop up peeled carrots and celery
- Peel the onion and stick the cloves in and around it
- Peel the tomato but leave whole
- Place a string around the parsley, thyme & bay leaves to hold together
- Place a large pot on the stove and fill with water (being sure the water level sits just above the chicken)
- Place the chicken, bones or meat in along with the remaining ingredients
- Bring to the boil
- At this point you will notice a type of foam that will rise up to the top of the stock. Remove and continue to remove this until it stops. I use a fine-netted strainer for this
- Once the foam stops place the lid on the pot and simmer on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Once cooled place the broth in a glass container and put in the fridge, it will keep for 4 days.
I love to have stock in the freezer for future use. I make stock cubes out of the broth and have them on hand when I cook up vegetables & love always having broth on hand to make a nourishing cup of soup at the end of a long day or when my tummy isn’t in a happy place.