As we age, the body’s production of collagen slows down – which is why making sure you get plenty of collagen in your diet is the best anti-aging strategy you can have. You can take expensive supplements for this, but the cheapest and the best way to get collagen is to enjoy soups made with homemade bone broth. The new book, Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Kaayla Daniel explains the why and the how in easy to understand language and simple recipes!
Fascinating History of the Development of Commercial Broth
The book reveals the interesting history behind the evolution of broth – of a deeply nourishing slow cooked food to a toxic fast food. In 1897 an MIT trained biochemist by the name of John Dorrance joined the Campbell soup company. Campbell’s condensed soups arose with the intention of bringing
…the taste, texture, aroma and healing benefits of gourmet soups to the masses in a convenient ready-made form. (p. 6)
Although Dorrance meant to manufacture the soup from healthy whole foods, by the time the company went public in the 1950’s,
Dorrance would never have guessed that a decision based on his taste would be replaced by committee decisions from home economics departments and product development teams, or that real ingredients would give way to cheap imitation flavors and MSG, aritficial flavors, and other dubious ingredients… to the point where they were literally taking the chicken out of the chicken soup. (p. 7)
I remember my mother (in the 1960’s – there I’ve dated myself) making chicken soup with a freshly slaughtered chicken from the local butcher with all the organs and the chicken feet. The feet are essential for a broth that will have a lot of collagen and gelatin. Homemade broth is full of the amino acids necessary for collagen production; proline, glycine and hydroxyproline.
As the years passed, she found chicken feet difficult to source and slowly forgot her traditional method.
Bone Broth is a Traditional Food
Traditional cultures the world over have included bone broth in their daily diets. Perhaps your grandmother knew that “good broth will resurrect the dead,” (a South American proverb). But in our fast paced society today the art of making good bone broth has been largely forgotten and the numerous health benefits sacrificed.
Boullion is Made With The Neurotoxin MSG
According to the authors, homemade broth has been replaced with boullion — perhaps the worst item in the market as it is full of sodium and MSG. After WW 11, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, and condiments were introduced when the food industry figured out how to hydrolyze proteins to a base containing free glutamic acid (MSG) a neurotoxin.
More recently available are tetra pak containers of organic broth but these also have added MSG and “natural flavorings” which are a negative. Additionally, they are certainly not cooked in the traditional way to gently extract the minerals, collagen and gelatin from real bones. These store bought stocks and mixes have very little nutritional value.
There are very few commercial replacements for authentic home cooked broth. Store bought stocks and broths are not the real deal.
Collagen is Made From Amino Acids in Bone and Cartiledge
Collagen is the single most abundant protein in the animal kingdom. Made from proline, glycine and hydroxyproline these amino acids are abundant in the cartilage, bone and the skin of animals and fish. Biochemically, there are several different types of collagen which appear in different types of tissue from bone, tendon and ligament to mucous membranes throughout the body including the intestinal tract and the cornea of the eye.
In order for the body to make collagen from these basic building blocks, the amino acids have to be hydroxylated– simply put, water is added. With one exception, all types of collagen are triple helixes, which makes them very strong fibers. Type IV can be a flatter shape depending upon the sequence of amino acids in it’s formation.
All of these processes require vitamin C as an enzyme cofactor. That is why the disease scurvy — a deficiency of vitamin C will affect all collagen tissue whether it is in the skin, bones, joints or gums. The wrinkled skin of people who are long time smokers reflects the deficiency of vitamin C and it’s effect on collagen as smoking breaks vitamin C down.
Gelatin is Made From Collagen
Gelatin is derived from collagen. It is the protein portion of collagen. Commercially it is used for a variety of ways in the food, pharmaceutical and even the paper industry. Gelatin may be obtained as a processed food item for use in home cooking.
The most obvious place to get collagen and gelatin — so necessary for human bone, joint and membrane health — is from the bones, joint and skin tissue of animals. Learning how to make homemade stock is critical for good health. It can be included at least once a day as a small bowl or cup of broth or it can be made in to a more complex soup or gravy. Once you get over the learning curve it is simple.
According to the principle of “like feeds like,” broth can give our bones strength and fexibility, our joints cushion and resilience, and our skin a youthful plumpness. What’s more, the abundance of collagen in all types of bone broth supports heart health through strong and supple arteries, our vision with healthy corneas, digestion through gut healing, and overall disease prevention via immune system modulation. (p.9)
Anti-Aging Effects of Broth
According to the authors, the anti-aging effects of broth reported most frequently involve the skin, nails and hair. This is clearly due to the deeply nourishing effects of the collagen, gelatin and minerals in broth to all the layers of the skin, hair and nails. People report improvements in arthritic joints, leaky gut, allergies and improved appearance after consuming bone broth daily.
The first part of Nourishing Broth is full of interesting historical data about traditional cultures and the food supply. I really love reading about all the history and traditions! The second part of the book goes over the application of broth to various ailments such as arthritis, scleroderma, psoriasis, wound healing, digestive disorders and cancer. The third part contains all the wonderful recipes for soups, sauces, stews and more.
I’m so glad to have Nourishing Broth on my bookshelf!
Here is a wonderful recipe for Cold Weather Root Soup.
Cold Weather Root Soup
- 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
- 3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, washed well., and sliced
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 small turnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 3 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 6 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth (how to make chicken stock) – Of course there is a recipe for this in the book
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (where to buy)
- Pinch of ground cayenne
- Freshly grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
- Add the onions, leeks carrots, garlic and bay leaf, tossing to coat them in the butter
- Cover the apn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are wilted, about 15 minutes
- Add the turnips, parsnips, potatoes, broth and nutmeg
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour
- Remove the bay leaf
- Use a hand blender to puree the soup
- Add the cream and return to simmer
- Season with salt and pepper and the cayenne
- If soup is too thick, thin it with a little water
- Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of cheese
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: One hour
I loved this recipe and so did my family! We do not usually eat turnips and /or parsnips and so this was a great way to introduce these vegetables. If you are on an elimination diet, you would just use everything you could and perhaps one new vegetable to try.