The ultimate guide to bone broth
While its fabled powers to revive the dead are greatly exaggerated, animal stock is having a revival of its own. MHseparates the benefits from the bone-headed buzzwords.
Three ways bone broth can make you fitter, happier and healthier
1. Flask and you'll receive
Broth, do you even lift? Why, yes, actually. The gelatin in broth acts as a ‘protein-sparer,’ which means it increases the bioavailability of protein you consume with it. Pack somein your gym bagand sip it on the way home from training after chugging your shake.
2. Soup up your defences
When a cold descends, most Brits turn to tea, maybe with some immune-aiding ginger plopped in. Opt for a cup of broth instead: you can keep the ginger, while adding new flu-busters like garlic and thyme, which you’d never dare stir into your cuppa.
(Related: the ultimate guide to brewing the perfect tea)
3. Go with your gut
One of the reasons why people go on juice cleanses is to give their digestive system a break. But you don’t have to limit yourself to lemon water. Broth is low in fibre, making it equally gentle, and its gelatin helps to repair your system.
In the same way that green juice is the distillate of vaunted veg, bone broth claims to be the nutritional concentrate of animal products in a more digestible form. But just like any successful (or unsuccessful) beer hall brawler will attest, knowing which bones to pick is key. Scavenge accordingly.
Building muscle forces your joints to work harder to support the extra weight. Simmering cow bones as you beef up extracts glucosamine and chondroitin, which German research showed can help increase joint strength and mobility.
(Related: Beginner's guide to increasing your mobility)
The closest you’ll get to cheating your cheat day. Amino acids in the gelatin from pork knuckles and feet protect your liver from potent toxins (like Jaegerbombs) and help you absorb any healthy nutrients encountered while pigging out.
Yes, we get it: chicken broth is ‘nourishing’. It’s not that we don’t give a cluck, but we’d rather cosy up to words that actually mean something. Like carnosine – the anti-inflammatory compound that keeps your immunity up to scratch.
Loaded with brain-boosting DHA and EPA, fish broth is arguably the most nutrient-dense of the lot. It’s also the cheapest and quickest to prep; flat fish like sole or flounder require only 40 minutes, while cod and bass are good after five hours.
Lock your stock in these smokin' barrels
The only thing you really need to make bone broth is a pot with a lid on it. That said, a heavy meat cleaver (£110 selfridges.com) will come in handy when chopping Flintstone bones down to size, while a stainless steel strainer will benefit anyone looking for a silkier stew. Fortunately, broth’s benefits needn’t be reserved for weekends and rainy days: with a programmable slow cooker, you can leave your kitchen without fear of your creation evaporating away because you opted to visit the gym after work. Alternatively, suggest Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, authors ofGood + Simple, a pressure cooker (£100 lakeland.co.uk) can cut your prep time to just three hours – cooking the stew at a higher pressure extracts nutrients faster. Leaving you very few bones to pick with stocking up on the vegetables.
Broth’s bare-bones appeal makes it a winning formula for gains on the go (and on a budget).
Video: Bone Broths and Stocks: Everything You Need to Know
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