Want Healthier Bones…Try Bone Soup

“Half of all Caucasian women over 65 and at least 1 in 5 men in the U.S. will have osteoporotic breaks in their lifetime due to eating food that cause calcium loss.”

Did you ever wonder why non-western cultures consume less calcium than we do yet  they have stronger bones and fewer cases of Osteoporosis? In the United States, half of all Caucasian women over 65 and at least 1 in 5 men will have one or more osteoporotic breaks during their lifetime. One reason is that people in our society eat foods that cause us to lose calcium in our urine.

When food is used for fuel by the body, an ash or residue is left. This residue has an effect on the rest of the body. Let’s cover a little basic chemistry; just a little, don’t worry. There is a scale called pH where the concentration of hydrogen ions is measured. The scale goes from 0-14. 7 is distilled water and neutral. As the number goes below 7, the solution is considered acidic; and when the number goes above 7, it is considered alkaline.

The body is very sensitive and works hard to make sure the pH stays in the correct range. Very small changes can result in huge metabolic changes; and although still technically “alkaline,” these changes can produce a state of relative acidity. When the body is in a state of relative acidity, enzymes, cell membranes and even the hemoglobin’s ability to release oxygen is compromised.

Some of the other effects of relative acidity are reduced bone formation, accelerated bone breakdown, suppression of growth hormone and pituitary hormones, increased free radical production and fluid retention. Dr. Godo has a comprehensive osteoporosis program including prevention, but here’s a practical culinary way that can help regulate pH and maintain healthy bones, “bone broth.”

You heard me right, and here’s why. If you have an acidic chemistry, calcium and other key minerals are pulled out of your bones to buffer or neutralize metabolic acids. What happens if we create an acid based medium in a soup pot and use healthy soup bones and organic vegetables as a base? Exactly, the minerals will be pulled out of the soup bones just as they are pulled out of our bones.

Dr. Francis Pottenger, author of the famous cat studies, taught that the stock pot or soup pot was the most important piece of equipment to have in our kitchen. Not only do we get the minerals from bones, but we also get cartilage factors, collagen, gelatin, amino acids, and glycoaminoglycans. Actually, some of these factors may be more important than the minerals.

Gelatin, for example, has been hailed as an aid for its ability to improve digestion in both infants and adults. Gelatin appears to improve the digestibility of milk and beans as well as the utilization of grains and meats. Cartilage factors in bone broth are known to heal cartilage and stimulate connective tissue repair. Let me emphasize, it is important to use bones from “healthy” animals. So let’s think soup. In traditional cookbooks when we talk about bone broths, we are really talking about making soup stocks. So the term broth and stock are really similar for what we are trying to accomplish. You can consult cookbooks for recipes or simply click below for a sample recipe.

The easiest method is to use a crock pot. At night before you go to bed, add bones from beef, fish, chicken or lamb and enough water to cover the bones. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar per 1 quart water or per 2 pounds of bones. Turn it on low, and go to sleep. In the morning skim off surface impurities, add your choice of root vegetables like carrots, turnips, etc. and cook on low all day. When you come home from work add fresh vegetables, beans, rice or other favorites until they are tender. Throw away the bones and enjoy an awesome meal.

Coming home to a house filled with the aroma of fresh soup is a wonderful thing. Broth may be also frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for 5 days until you are ready to add veggies and make more soup. Perhaps you never knew that bone broth was so good for you, but give it a try for numerous health benefits plus a natural way to regulate pH and help you maintain healthy bones. Enjoy the soup.