For both men and women, outward signs of health – such as clear, dewy skin and shiny, thick hair – can be important for feelings of self-confidence.
But what can you do if such outward traits are looking a bit worse for wear? Fortunately, there are a number of superfoods you can consume to bring your body back into balance.
From nuts and seeds to spinach and fish, you have an array of healthy and delicious foods to choose from. Some foods, however, provide a bit more pep than others which is why the focus for today is bone broth.
Bone Broth and Its Benefits
It is typically confused with stock and broth, but bone broth is actually in a class all its own.
The main difference lies in preparation and cooking times. Broth – typically containing meat and vegetables – is only cooked for upwards of 2 hours, while stock can cook for up to 4 hours. Bone broth, on the other hand, contains bones and is cooked for anywhere from 8 – 24 hours. So, the key difference is cooking time, but it actually has a lot more to do with nutritional value, as well.
As bones simmer, they slowly break down. This enables them to release the gelatin found in the bones, as well as provide maximum mineral extraction. Broth and stock certainly have nutrients of their own, but nowhere near the level that bone broth provides.
These nutrients offer a myriad of benefits to consumers. So, whether you’re struggling to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, or you just want to add a natural shine to your hair, it provides a variety of benefits which can help.
Collagen for Skin and Hair Elasticity
Elasticity is a quality seen in youthful skin and hair, and collagen – found in abundance within broth – is just what you need to promote it.
Collagen is the main nutrient bound in it, and it’s also the main contributor to skin elasticity.
Similarly, collagen production can contribute significantly to the stimulation of new hair. After all, a popular technique for hair growth is known as microneedling, and it stimulates the growth of new cells and hair follicles through the increased production of collagen.
There is also new evidence that collagen can help to block DHT, one of the hormones responsible for hair loss, making it less likely you’ll lose your hair in the first place.
Protein for Strong Hair
Proteins contribute significantly to the make up of hair. So, it seems obvious that protein should be an essential part of your diet.
Bone broth is chockful of proteins, of which collagen is just one type.
Magnesium for Anti-Aging
Unfortunately, magnesium deficiencies are all too common in certain populations, including those with gastrointestinal conditions, alcohol dependence, and Type II Diabetes.
Glutamine for Gut Health
Believe it or not, the health of your intestines play a key role in the health and quality of your skin and hair.
The healthier your intestines are, the more food-based nutrients your body can absorb. These nutrients, once absorbed, are then transported throughout the body. With less absorption and, therefore, fewer nutrients, though, only your body’s vital organs will receive the little nutrients available. This means your skin and hair can soon find themselves in weak, dull states.
Glutamine, however, has been shown to heal gut issues, including leaky gut syndrome. This enables an increased absorption of nutrients to be delivered throughout the body.
How to Prepare Bone Broth
There are many bone broth recipes and methods available. And, while the base is the same for each, you can always feel free to add your own spin to this classic recipe.
Easy Homemade Broth
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste.
- Place the bones in a large stock pot (about 5 gallons), adding in filtered water and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, as this will bring more of the bones’ nutrients out.
- Chop the vegetables, adding them to the pot with any additional herbs or spices for taste.
- Bring the broth to a boil. Once there, reduce to simmer and simmer for 8 hours.
- During the first 2 hours or so, check the broth every 20 minutes. Then, skim the foamy layer at the top and discard. These are impurities which provide no additional nutrients.
- Once done, remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out the bones and vegetables, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How to Incorporate Bone Broth Into Your Diet
Fortunately for those looking to add more broth to their diets, incorporation of such a delicious and versatile food is simple.
Sip It Throughout the Day
With a bit of salt and pepper, you can enjoy a warm, delicious mug of broth throughout the day.
Add It To Your Favorite Recipes
It isn’t difficult to add it to your favorite recipes.
For an obvious start, add some broth to your soups, stews, and chowders. This will give them a richer flavor, while also boosting the nutrient level of the meal.
If you’re feeling a bit more creative, use the prepared broth to braise meats and vegetables, or use it in place of water when cooking rice or similar dishes.
Use It As A Meal Replacement
When you’re on the go, it can be difficult to find good, high-quality meals that won’t break the bank. Bone broth, however, is not only high in nutrients and easy to make, but it’s also super easy to store and bring with you anywhere. Add it to a thermos and sip it at your desk for lunch, or bring it with you to the gym and have as an after-workout snack.
While there are a variety of foods which can contribute to the health and overall quality of your skin and hair, bone broth is one food which you should not be missing out on. This nutrient-rich food can do wonders for your health and, as a result of its positive effects on your skin and hair, wonders for your self-confidence.
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