Earlier this week one of my little ones came home from school with a cold, coughing and stuffed up and needing lots of extra mom hugs. Between cuddling (and working and giving my millionth lecture on the importance of hand washing throughout the day in elementary school), I whipped up a quick batch of this nourishing chicken soup, a simple change from the chicken zoodle soup I often make when the temperature starts dropping and the noses start running. This can be made from scratch (for the most health benefits) or using a quality purchased bone broth and the meat from a rotisserie chicken (make sure there are no hidden ingredients you’re avoiding) if you’re in a pinch as I was this week. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 8 cups chicken bone broth
- 4 cups diced cooked chicken
- 3 cups parsnips, peeled and diced (can sub in potatoes)
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serves 4-6.
So, why all the hype lately about bone broth? There are even broth bars popping up around the country offering cups of broth instead of coffee. Is this just the latest health trend, or is there substance to the hype? Well, turning to broth to boost health is definitely nothing new. We’ve probably all grown up turning to chicken soup for a cold or the flu, and there are plenty of cans of soup on supermarket shelves for the consumer to try out. But making a batch of homemade broth is actually very simple, and the health benefits it boasts should make it a staple in your diet, not just something to warm up when sickness hits.
Roughly 70-80 percent of the immune system is in the digestive tract. The modern diets of most people today, consisting of refined foods eaten on the go, high sugar consumption, too little healthy fat, and an improper balance of beneficial bacteria create fundamental issues with our digestion and greatly impact our health. When our digestion is compromised, our intestinal lining is compromised as well, leading to immune abnormalities and setting the stage for virtually any degenerative disease. Through proper nutrition and lifestyle factors, we can improve digestion and thereby strengthen the immune system to be better equipped to handle the attacks of modern life.
Bone broth, or stock, is easily digestible and helps heal and seal the lining of the intestines. The gelatin in the broth is a hydrophilic colloid that attracts and holds digestive juices and other liquids, aiding proper digestion. The gelatin also promotes healthy hair and nail growth. In addition to the benefits to the digestive system, bone broth fights inflammation courtesy of the amino acid content, reduces joint pain thanks to the chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine it contains, and promotes strong bones with its high amounts of calcium and magnesium.
It’s easy to get this nutritional powerhouse into your diet regularly. Aside from soups and stews, add a cup of homemade broth to just about any dish you’re making for added flavor and a nutritional boost, or simply enjoy a warming cup of it any time of day with a pinch of sea salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee for an even greater health benefit. Your body will thank you!
For more information, check out Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Traditions and Nourishing Broth, Butter Your Broth by Kiersten Peterson, NTP, Mercola.com, and Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose or treat a medical condition.