Oh my modern life! My modern life teaches me so much, making available to me every piece of information I could be looking for… But sometimes, the more I discover, the more confused I get. So, I have been doing some KonMari cleaning in my headspace lately, trying to get rid of a lot of BS I have been “learning” online about nutrition.
Along that wise path, I met a brilliant health professional called Valérie Monseur, whose thorough knowledge, including in Micro Nutrition, always shuts all my doubts out and put me on the right track to a more sustainable health.
Valérie’s approach to Nutrition involves looking at food, wholly: minding each aliment’s intrinsic nutritional values, as well as how it is going to be integrated in one’s diet, and why.
She advised me to incorporate home-made bone broth in my daily nutrition (at least for now) as we are working together on improving my health and gut flora. With a bit of initial resistance (I wasn’t thrilled about eating more animal-based products nor spending more time in the kitchen), I listened and learnt why home-made bone broth is one of the most nutritionally dense food that exists, and why it is good for me.
Bone broth: The quintessence of whole food
Weston A Price’s research on traditional diets studies the degenerative “diseases of civilization” produced by the simplified diets that are characteristic of the highly industrialized societies.
I can personally recognize myself in this! When I choose to eat meat or fish, It is mostly the muscle, the flesh, considering it as the lean part, thus, the “right one” for me.
Our modern civilization has almost totally forgotten about the rest: the liver, the brain, the cartilages, the bone marrow, the skin, etc.
As a non-vegan but as someone who every other day, considers turning to a whole plant-based diet, I have to admit that just thinking about all these animal parts, puts me off.
And well, that is another topic, but isn’t it hypocritical from me…?
Thanks to Valérie, and by considering the animal as a whole, I became a more mindful omnivore. How? By consuming less meat but in a better way, and avoiding wastage.
Home-made bone broth is to me an intelligent, sustainable and healthy beverage / ingredient / habit. Its “original” recipe includes several parts of the animal, parts that would otherwise end up in the trash.
I started to type this while back home in Paris, and it was perfect timing as I have in my street a butcher selling whole farmer’s roasted chicken, which carcasse I make sure to save each time for my next nutritious broth. But in Bangkok too, these healthy, hormone-free, pasture-raised chickens are available.
My first choices to buy poultry are: fresh with Khlong Phai Farm, frozen from Paleo Robbie, and deliciously cooked from Cocotte Farm Roast & Winery and Victoria by Cocotte.
A natural supplement to the “skinny” food we are often opting for
We are keeping the topic of lab-produced supplements for another article 😉 So that aside, let’s look at how bone broth is in a way, a natural and holistic approach to food supplement.
As Valérie would remind me, each food contains hundreds, or even thousands of different molecules. Each of which can have hundreds of physiological functions.
Sometimes, trying to list them down leads to omitting many of a food’s benefits, and that goes against the holistic approach we initially aimed for, doesn’t it?!
So let’s keep this in mind, while highlighting one of the many benefits of bone broth below.
The parts of the animal we mentioned in the previous paragraph are rich in collagen, a protein that contains a high concentration of glycine.
Collagen has multiple health benefits on our digestion. It nourishes and protects our intestinal lining. By supporting tissue repair and growth, collagen is a precious protein for our skin, muscles, bones, joints and well, our overall health.
Bone broth can be considered as a remedy from its specific amino acids content, particularly high in glycine and proline, from its high content in minerals, and in glucosamin and chondroitin sulfates (these are sold as supplements for arthritis and joint pain).
These precious nutrients, are released in the broth, as it is cooking, from the bones, cartilages, ligaments and skin.
We don’t really need to remember all of that, but that is to illustrate that our modern diet focussing on “premium” meat parts (beef steak, chicken breast, etc), don’t offer the same nutritional profile, so beneficial though, to preserve and even repair our metabolism.
I see many collagen supplements in tablets and even in pouches and drinks sold at the convenient store but none of them really appealed to me! Especially now that I know that I can incorporate a much more natural version of it, in my diet, via tasty and nutritious recipes using bone broth as a base.
The nutrient-rich ancient bone broth recipe explained
Here are some important facts to consider and certain guidelines to follow to obtain your best results:
> What bones to use?
Going for organic meat is a first recommendation. While evidences are debatable on the higher amount of nutrients contains in organic meat, for me, it is the idea of choosing meat raised respectfully that prevails.
For poultry, we can either use the carcasse of the entire animal, or just specific parts like the thighs or wings.
For beef, it is recommended to use the bones, the cartilages and a bit of meat.
For fish, the carcasse of the entire fish, with a bit of flesh.
> A must-use ingredient
So as to extract most of the numerous minerals contained in the bones such as calcium, magnesium, silicium, etc., it is crucial to add an acidic element to the broth. The recipe Valérie has shared with me uses white wine, but other recipes use lemon juice or cider vinegar. What do minerals do? Among other things, they help you have stronger nails (which I clearly need as a Gelish fan!).
> Good things take time
Preparing a nutrient-rich bone broth takes a few hours, but rest assured, most of it is “passive” time, so once your pot is on your stove, you don’t need to do much! Just making sure it remains on medium heat, for at least 4 hours or even more.
Here are some guidelines on cooking time. For chicken: 6-24 hours, for beef: 12-50 hours, for fish: about 4 hours.
> A tasty potion you can use everyday!
And isn’t taste a very important criteria, for us?!
By using herbs and spices (cloves, bay leaves, etc.) as well as garlic, onion and/or leek, we get a tasty broth to be enjoyed as a drink or as a base for cooking vs. store-bought bouillon cubes that – if they might compare in taste – don’t offer similar nutritional benefits (at all!)
This home-made broth can be used for instance to cook rice, to mix in your vegetables purees (for the kids and yourself). Adding herbs and spices boosts the action of the collagen contained in the broth, plus each has its own health properties, all combined in that one recipe!
Having all of that in mind now, I understand better why Valérie recommended me to drink this almost magic potion, on a daily basis.
To understand more about the benefits of traditional and quality bone-broth, I invite you to learn from a Nutrition specialist.
To taste legit bone-broth in Bangkok, get yourself a cup at Genius bar, the first bone-broth bar in this part of the world!
💡 Expert advice shared by Valérie Monseur
✍ Article written by Joelle Smaniotto