I don’t get the whole juice fasting fad. I believe that fruit is a snack or a nice accompaniment to a meal, not a meal itself. My belly and body think that if you don’t chew it, it won’t satisfy you…proven by the fact that I can drink the apparent equivalent of an orange grove and still want to chew my arm off. Same goes for soup. It seems to me to be more of a hot beverage than an actual meal.
So I was kind of skeptical (and admittedly a bit curious) when I heard that brothing (drinking the liquid part of soup) was the “new juicing.” Clearly juice has vitamins and minerals and other stuff that’s super-dee-duper good, but what the heck could the juice of chicken noodle soup do for me? Apparently, a whole lot.
Broths (or brodo, in Italian) have been around for centuries, dating back to prehistoric times when our ancestors probably made their soups by dropping fire-heated rocks into the stomachs of whatever animals they managed to kill. They knew it was good for them and so it evolved into a staple in virtually every corner of the world.
Broth is made by boiling the bones of chickens, turkeys, cows (or the animal of your choice) with veggies and herbs, then straining the solid parts and consuming the liquid. This “juice” contains all of the benefits of the veggies, plus the collagen, gelatin, and amino acids of the bones. Broths contain healing compounds that can do incredible things for the human body like:
- Soothe your belly. The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the lining of your digestive tract and helps aid in the absorption of nutrients. It also promotes the growth of probiotics (the good bacteria in your stomach).
- Soothe your mind. The amino acid glycine (found in bone broth) has been found to calm nerves and anxiety.
- Improve bone density. The calcium that leaches out of the bones into the stock is in the perfect form to be readily absorbed into your body to help fight osteoporosis and strengthen bones.
- Reduce joint pain and inflammation. The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints, and reduce pain and inflammation. The gelatin in bones also contains glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and joints.
- Fight colds and flu. Studies show that the yellow fat from chickens holds immune-boosting powers and that eating chicken soup when you have a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which contribute to flu and cold symptoms.
- Keep you in optimal health. Bone broth contains minerals from the bones that are not only abundant but easy for your body to assimilate.
- Help you look younger. The collagen and gelatin in bone broth support hair growth, help to keep your nails strong, and smooth out wrinkles, keeping you looking healthy and youthful.
- Help you lose weight. Bone broth is low in calories and low in sugar (unlike juices), which keeps your blood sugar stable, a key to weight loss and feeling full.
If you’re interested in “brodo-ing,” or experimenting with brothing, you can visit some of the cool new brodo places popping up in major cities, or you can make broth yourself. It’s cheap and super easy to make. You can use the carcass of a chicken or beef bones leftover from dinner along with some veggies, or buy meat on sale and strain it. Here’s a fast and easy recipe for chicken broth.
(Recipe from www.tasteofhome.com)
EASY CHICKEN BROTH
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 2-1/2 hours + chilling
MAKES: 6 servings
- 2-1/2 pounds bony chicken pieces
- 2 celery ribs with leaves, cut into chunks
- 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
- 2 quarts cold water
1. Place all ingredients in a soup kettle. Slowly bring to a boil; reduce heat. Skim foam. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
2. Set chicken aside until it is cool enough to handle. Remove meat from the bones. Discard bones; save the meat for another use. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and seasonings. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Skim fat from the surface. Yield: about 6 cups.
1 serving (1 cup) equals 245 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 61 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 21 g protein.