If you’ve looked at any natural living or mom blog in the past few years, you’re most likely familiar with bone broth and it’s claimed healing powers.
Many people believe it serves as an immune booster as well as a remedy when you’re feeling under the weather.
But is there any validity to this claim that bone broth is a cure-all for any illness you get? Here’s what you need to know about the flavorful liquid.
Can Bone Broth Cure the Common Cold?
The truth is, there is no remedy for the common cold—bone broth or otherwise.
Because a cold is viral, the only cure is giving your body enough time to ward off the infection, which can take about 10 days.
With that being said, there can still be some benefits to both broth and other hot soups. Most hot liquids are known to have some therapeutic benefit.
And, despite the fact that not much research has been done on the topic, it does seem that bone broth with chicken can help minimize the severity of a cold.
Other Health Benefits of Bone Broth
Any time you’re feeling under the weather, it’s easy to get dehydrated. If you are sweating more than usual or running a fever, you are especially at risk of dehydration.
Bone broth can help you replenish the fluids you’re losing and provide your body with valuable electrolytes (through the sodium in the broth) that will help you to absorb the water more easily.
Chicken soup is also known to reduce inflammation, which, in turn, may relieve some symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
For all its health benefits, there’s no reason not to use bone broth to make chicken noodle soup, make mashed potatoes or simply drink directly from a mug.
Nutritional Benefits of Bone Broth
Although it is dependent on the type of bones you use—you can use anything from turkey to fish bones—as well as how long you cook the broth and how the animals were raised, there are a number of nutrients that make bone broth a homerun no matter what kind you use.
First and foremost, the hot broth is stock full of gelatin, which lives in the connective tissues and bones used for the dish.
Gelatin, which is a broken-down version of collagen, is crucial since collagen makes up an estimated 25 percent of our body.
Eating or drinking collagen is also known to result in better sleep, improved skin, protection of the gut lining and less achy joints.
Bone broth is also extremely easy to digest as opposed to other health foods like leafy greens.
Whenever you’re feeling under the weather, it’s especially important that you stick with foods that are easily digestible, yet a nutritional powerhouse.
How to Make Bone Broth
It’s true that bone broth can take a while to make—especially if you don’t have a nifty tool like a pressure cooker; however, it’s also very simple.
If you’re planning to make bone broth, you will need to roast or cook the animal bones first.
Once you’ve cooked your bones to your liking, aromatics (vegetable scraps work great!), apple cider and water should be added to a bowl alongside the bones.
The next and final step is to cook the broth. This step can take anywhere from three hours to 48 hours, depending on the cooking tool you use.
To store your broth, you will first want to strain it using a fine-mesh sieve and the empty it all into a jar to freeze.
You may notice that a layer of fat will most likely appear at the top of the broth once it’s been chilled. This can be scooped off and used as a cooking oil if you’d like.
You can see a step-by-step guide to cooking bone broth here.
Where Should You Buy Bones for Bone Broth?
If you are planning to make your own bone broth, the first question you may have is, “Where do I find bones to make this?”
Believe it or not, hunting down bones to make broth is actually easier than you may think.
Your local farmer’s market should be your first stop, followed by some local meat vendors.
A few other great options for finding animal bones are health food stores and food co-ops.
If you believe you’ll be making bone broth regularly, you may want to start buying whole chickens at the grocery store each week and cutting out the bones. You will be able to use the chicken meat for a meal too!
Most people look for meat that does not have bones in it, so there’s a good chance you’ll receive a lower price for requesting meat with the bones still in it.
It’s important to note that bones full of connective tissues (i.e. necks, feet, knuckles and joints) contain the most collage, so you may want to find a way to utilize those bones in your broth.
How Much Bone Broth Do You Need to Drink?
There is really no limit to the amount of bone broth you can drink to improve your health.
If you are just starting to consume bone broth regularly, you may want to begin with one to two cups each day and asses how you feel at that point.
Many illnesses may cause you to lose your appetite, especially if you’re dealing with nausea, so bone broth can help you feel full without contributing to your upset stomach.
CareNow® Can Help
If your illness lasts for more than 10 days or if you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, it’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Instead of waiting at the doctor’s office or emergency room, consider visiting your local CareNow® where you can find quality medical care that’s convenient for you.
With more 100 urgent care clinics throughout the United States, CareNow® is open after hours and on the weekends.
To avoid waiting for an appointment, be sure to use the Web Check-In® feature from the convenience of your home.
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.