By: Kurt Stradtman, CFNC, CPT
Between the rise in popularity of Kombucha and bone broth, these miracle tonics can treat and prevent a number of ailments. Most notable of Bone Broth’s benefits is its ability to repair and treat Leaky Gut Syndrome. If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of bone broth, or what it does, here’s a quick lesson:
Bone broth is the love child of slowly simmering bones with aromatic herbs and vegetables like onion, carrot, and celery for nearly 48 hours to create a rich and nutritious broth. Bone Broth is rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Most notable of these nutrients is collagen. This collagen is the what makes this magical elixir so magical.
As we age, we begin to lose collagen. You see this most prominently as sagging or wrinkled skin. But this is just an outside cosmetic appearance. But what a lot of people don’t realize is this decrease is collagen can cause stiff, painful joints and degenerating tendons. Diving even further into this collagen subject is digestive health. Your stomach lining is also made up of collagen.
Age isn’t the only thing that decreases collagen in the body. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and certain diseases can cause collagen to decrease. When you have conditions such as Leaky Gut Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac disease, among other conditions need collagen to help rebuild, repair and improve the stomach and intestinal lining.
From the first sip of bone broth, health and vitality begins to restore in the body. Remember hearing them say chicken soup can cure a cold? Well, with all the nutrients present, there is some truth to this old wives’ tale, but there is a huge difference in homemade, slow-simmered bone broth and the broth you buy from the store. Even the brands that say slow simmered, are filled with other additives like sugar, bullion, and salt that aren’t good for you, not to mention they probably weren’t simmered long enough (24+ hours). Adding apple cider vinegar helps pull these minerals out of the bones, and the big boxed brands just don’t cut it.
Lately there have been a rise in true bone broth. Brand’s like Kettle & Fire have revolutionized the way slowly simmered bone broth can be packaged where it can increase shelf life and still maintain it’s high nutrient content.
Broth vs. Bone Broth:
Regular broth is made from simmering meat with aromatic vegetables and herbs. Bone Broth (aka Stock) is made from slowly simmering (24-48 hours) aromatic herbs, vegetables and bones. This process of slowly simmering the bones allow the broth to absorb the collagen.
Those following a plant based diet can make vegetable broth which still creates a nutrient rich beverage that can help with healing Leaky Gut Syndrome and relieving digestive discomfort as well.
How is Bone Broth Made?
Well, the recipe is simple. Take a coupe pounds of bones, add chopped vegetables (garlic, onion, carrot, celery, etc.), and your favorite herbs (parsley, thyme, etc.), cover with water and add a dash of vinegar. Slowly simmer this mixture for nearly 48 hours, skim off the top, strain the broth (discard the vegetables), and sip. Cheers to good health! It’s crucial for the full health benefit of the bone broth is to buy only organic grass-fed bones, and use organic vegetables and herbs, and filtered or distilled water. It’s not cheap to make, although the benefits are worth every penny. (Remember my motto: healthy living and eating can be expensive but will never be as expensive as medical bills from being unhealthy!)
Of course you can freeze the left overs, but to drink your 3-5 mugs of hot broth each week, that’s a lot of time and money spent on making bone broth. I’ve told clients for years they only need to make their own, and never buy the boxed kind. Until now.
Now, there’s a boxed broth you can buy, it’s shelf stable (so you can stock up), and it’s from a company out of San Francisco called Kettle & Fire.
I heard about Kettle & Fire after reading an article online about these two brothers revolutionizing boxed bone broth. Using only grass-fed organic beef bones (check), slow simmers 24+ hours (check, check), and used vinegar to bring out the minerals (check, check, sold!). So, I ordered a couple boxes to try and it was amazing! I was eating my words – there is a boxed broth out there, that provides all the health benefits of homemade without the hassle of making it yourself.
I had a chance to chat with Justin, one of the founders of Kettle & Fire, because I still had several questions (like how you can pack so much nutrition and health in a tiny box and still be shelf stable)? Because I want to offer my clients the best advice and products, I had to be sure this was legit. I asked Justin what exactly they put in their broth, and how do they package it to be shelf stable. Here’s his response:
“We first make our broth from all organic ingredients and use marrow bones from 100% certified grass-fed, grass-finished cattle. Then, once the broth has been simmered for 24+ hours, we package it. It’s the way we pack it that’s so revolutionary. We package it while it’s hot (so no bacteria are present in the broth), and in what’s known as an “aseptic” vacuum environment. This means that, when our bone broth goes into the packaging, there are zero pathogens in the box or in the packaging area. Really, there's not even air! Because there’s no air or anything present when we package and seal each container, there’s nothing that can react with the broth and cause it to spoil. That’s why we don’t need to add any preservatives, additives, hormones or other gunk to the product, because it's all in our packaging process!”
If you can make your own bone broth, do it. There's something so wholesome about the smell of broth simmering in your kitchen. But when time doesn't permit, reach for Kettle & Fire.