Broth made from bones of chicken, fish, pork and beef play a role in all traditional cuisines. Today we buy individual fillets and boneless chicken breasts, or grab fast food on the run, and broth has disappeared from the Western tradition.
Broth contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily, not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin and the use of gelatin as a therapy goes back to ancient Chinese medicine…it was the vitamin supplement of the time.
The American researcher Francis Pottenger observed that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, meaning that it attracts and holds onto liquids helping digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut.
With a slow cooker or Crockpot, (which uses roughly the same amount of electricity as a conventional light bulb) some good quality bones, some pieces of meat and fat, vegetables and water with slow heating to bring out the flavours and a splash of vinegar to help extract calcium you have a tasty and nourishing meal.
There may be additional benefits to bone broth that research has yet to uncover. But what is certain, bone broth is a highly nutritious drink that may support the body and many of its functions.