Homemade bone broth for immunity contains a bounty of healing goodness. For centuries it has been used as an easy and inexpensive way to not only get the most out of our food, but to extract beneficial nutrients as well. There is a reason why chicken soup broth is a well known remedy for illnesses such as the common cold and the flu.
However, we’ve replaced our grandmother’s nutrient dense broth for the store bought canned (or boxed) varieties that are often packed full of harmful ingredients and lack the nutrients our bodies and immune systems need the most. Forgotten and lost along the years, the original homemade bone broth, with its powerful healing properties, is making its much deserved come back into our kitchen and the lives of our families.
Bone Broth for Immunity
Most importantly, bone broth specifically helps support your immune system through a nutrient extracting cooking process that causes the bones and ligaments to release healing elements such as inflammation reducing amino acids and gut healing gelatin and collagen.
Bone broth also helps our bodies fight illness by increasing support for the neutrophils in our immune system response that help eliminate the invading bacteria which makes us sick. The added vegetables and herbs in a bone broth recipe only increase its already immune supportive and anti-viral properties.
Supportive Amino Acids Found in Bone Broth
- Glutamine – Helps protect the digestive tract lining and the integrity of intestinal mucosa. One of the primary amino acids in healing leaky gut.
- Glycine – Plays a big part in the formation of substances that create the gut lining, collagen and gelatin.
- Proline – Supports beautiful skin and is key in the production of collagen and cartilage.
Other Healing Nutrients in Bone Broth
- Collagen – Protects skin elasticity, supports healthy hair and nails. Helps build the connective tissue that keeps the gut lining strong.
- Gelatin – Gelatin supports digestive strength, protects and restores the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and assists in the digestion of nutrients.
- Bone Marrow – Incredibly nutrient dense and supports the immune system.
- Minerals – Bones from free range, grass fed animals are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. These minerals are essential in helping our bones grow and repair themselves.
Immune System & The Gut
When we think of the gut, we typically associate it with being the place that our food goes to digest. However, the gut is so much more than that! Would you believe that the large majority (around 70-80%) of your immune system resides in your gut? This is why taking proper care of your gut lining is crucial in allowing your immune system to work properly as well as supporting your body for overall wellness.
When your gut lining begins to break down due to poor eating habits, microbiome damage from antibiotics, chronic stress (and more), the tight junctions that keep your gut lining sealed start to allow particles such as bacteria and food to leak into your bloodstream. This causes a more extreme immune system response, which, increases body inflammation and in addition does more damage to the gut lining. Over time the condition worsens and can manifest itself as many different modern day illnesses, food allergies and autoimmune diseases.
The chronic damage of the gut lining and tight junctions is commonly known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Luckily for us, there is a way to heal it and bone broth plays a big part by supplying gut sealing amino acids, specifically glutamine, proline and glycine. So whether you’re just trying to fight the common cold or have something more serious going on (like leaky gut), bone broth is a must have in your healing regimen.
Not Just Any Bones
Where you source your bones from is incredibly important when making bone broth for immunity. You do not want to use broth that has been made from the bones of a mistreated, sick or antibiotic filled animal. Your bone broth for immunity needs to be made from healthy animals that are free range, antibiotic free and have been allowed to eat off the land instead of fed grains. This helps to ensure that you are ingesting bones that are beneficial and nutrient dense.
Where to Get Bones for Broth
There are quite a few places you can get bones from. Here’s a quick list to get you started:
- You can use bones from food you’ve already roasted (my favorite method) such as a chicken or duck. You can collect the bones and even freeze them to use later for bone broth.
- Find a local Butcher that can provide you with healthy bones. If you go with this option, you will be given raw bones. For your bone broth, it’s best to roast the bones first (to get the most flavorful broth) on a pan in the oven for around 30 minutes at 350*.
- If you have a local Farmer’s Market, chances are there is a farmer who can provide you with grass fed bones or knows someone who can.
- Can’t get out of the house or have limited time? Two of my favorite places to purchase bones online are: US Wellness Meats and Tropical Traditions.
How to Make Bone Broth
Now that you know how to source your bones, learning how to make bone broth for immunity is the next step. The process is not as overwhelming as it sounds and once you understand how easy it is, you will want to make this golden elixir known as bone broth for life!Print
Before You Start:
1. Source, purchase and roast your bones
2. Find a large stock pot (6 – 12 quarts)
3. Acquire a strainer
- 2–4 pounds of chicken or beef bones (you will need a 6 quart pot for 2 pound of bones)
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt (or to taste)
- 3 cloves of garlic (optional)
- Place your bones into your pot (6 – 12 quart pot)
- Add Apple Cider Vinegar
- Cover in water
- Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the acids in the vinegar to help release the nutrients in the bones before cooking.
- Add your Vegetables to the pot
- Bring pot to a boil. Once it has reached boiling, reduce to a simmer.
- For the next few hours, keep an eye on the soup and skim any fat off that rises to the surface.
- Keep soup on simmer for the next 24 hours.
- Remove any vegetables and debris with a strainer and discard.
- Let soup cool and either refrigerate for a week or put in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
You can use your vegetable leftovers in your bone broth. For example, celery tops and carrot bottoms. Instead of throwing these pieces away, simply collect them in a container and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them in your broth. The effect is the same and there is no food waste!
How to Use Bone Broth:
One of the best ways to consume bone both for immunity is by heating some up and sipping on it in a mug. You can also use your broth as a base liquid for soups and stir fry for an added nutrient boost.
Hippocrates Once Said…
The father of modern medicine himself, Hippocrates once said, “all disease begins in the gut.” His words ring true today and modern day science is just now starting to put together the pieces of what this means for our overall health and wellness. What we do know is that our gut health deserves our full attention and care. For the sake of your health and the support of your immune system, bone broth is an essential food to keep stocked in your fridge.
We can’t wait to hear about how you’ve brought bone broth for immunity into your life!
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