CareNow® - October 23, 2020

Bone broth has been deemed the cure-all in recent years. It’s nearly impossible to search for natural ways to treat common illnesses without bone broth popping up.

Many people claim that bone broth acts as a booster for the immune system that can also serve as a remedy whenever you’re feeling under the weather.

But is bone broth as beneficial as people say it is? Here’s a look at the benefits of bone broth and if it can actually help cure the common cold.

Does bone broth really help cure the common cold?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold, despite what you may have heard about the healing powers of bone broth.

Because a cold is viral, the only way for it to completely heal is to allow your body enough time to ward off the infection. In most cases, this takes around 10 days.

Even though it may not cure the common cold, bone broth and other hot soups can still offer some therapeutic benefit, so it’s a good idea to start sipping some as soon as you notice symptoms appear.

And while there isn’t much research on the effectiveness of bone broth, it does appear that bone broth made with chicken may actually help reduce the severity of a cold.

What are the health benefits of bone broth?

Because dehydration is so common with illness, it’s crucial that you hydrate as much as possible (usually more than you think you need). This is especially important if you find yourself sweating more than normal or if you’re running a fever.

Bone broth serves as a great way to replenish the fluids that you’re losing, while also providing your body with valuable electrolytes from the sodium in the broth. These electrolytes will also help you absorb the water more easily.

Since chicken soup is a known inflammation reducer, it may help you relieve symptoms of a respiratory tract infection.

If you’d rather use your bone broth to cook with instead of drink by itself, you can use it to make mashed potatoes or the classic chicken noodle soup instead.

What are the nutritional benefits of bone broth?

There’s a reason bone broth has become the kitchen celebrity it has the past several years — the hot soup is teeming with nutrients.

The health benefits of bone broth depend entirely on the types of bones you use. You can use anything from turkey to chicken to lamb to beef.

Perhaps the biggest nutritional benefit of bone broth is the gelatin, which is a broken-down version of collagen. This is a critical nutrient as collagen makes up an estimated 25 percent of our body.

You’ve likely heard all the benefits of collagen, including better sleep, less achy joints, improved skin and protection of the gut lining.

Another nutritional benefit of bone broth is how easy it is to digest, unlike other health foods (think leafy greens).

Because of its easy digestion, this superfood is a great meal or snack option if you’re feeling under the weather.

How do you make bone broth?

While bone broth can take some time to make, it’s also a fairly simple process, especially if you have a pressure cooker.

The first step in making homemade bone broth is to roast or cook the animal bones you’re planning to put in your broth.

Once the bones have been cooked to your liking, you can add apple cider, water and aromatics (many people like vegetable scraps for even more nutrition) to a large bowl with the bones.

The final (and most time-consuming) step in making bone broth is cooking the broth. This can take anywhere from three to 48 hours, depending on the type of cooking tool you’re using. Most people prefer to use a pressure cooker if they have one.

After your broth is fully cooked, you will want to store your broth in a glass jar that can be frozen. Be sure to straight it first using a fine-mesh sieve.

Don’t be alarmed if a layer of fat immediately makes its way to the top of the broth as it’s being chilled. You can scrap this top layer off before drinking the broth and use it as a cooking oil.

You can find a step-by-step guide to cooking bone broth here.

Where to get ingredients for bone broth

You may be wondering where in the world you can find bones to make bone broth. This part of the recipe is actually pretty easy.

Your local farmer’s market or meat vendors are typically a great option for finding bone broth.

If you’re planning to make bone broth on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to start purchasing whole chickens at the grocery store and cutting out the bones for your broth. You can use the chicken meal for a separate meal so it’s not a waste.

Because meat without bones is more popular, you may actually receive a discount asking for meat with the bones still in it.

If possible, try to use the bones full of connective tissue (like the beck, feet, knuckles and joints) as those contain the most collagen.

How much bone broth should you drink?

There isn’t a limit to the amount of bone broth you should drink to improve your health.

If you’re fairly new to consuming bone broth, it’s a good idea to start with one to two cups per day, then assess how you feel.

Since many illnesses cause you to lose your appetite, bone broth is a great way to feel full without making your stomach even more upset.

If you’re suffering from a common cold that lasts for more than 10 days (or you notice your symptoms are beginning to worsen), you should see a provider.

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Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.