Bone broth has been around for ages but it has recently exploded in popularity and has even been dubbed as a food trend for 2017. For those who are not familiar with bone broth, it is as simple as the name suggests: a broth that has been made from the bones of animals, usually chicken or beef. It has been traditionally used as a remedy for colds and flus due to it’s high mineral and amino acid (the building blocks of protein) content. More recently, it has gained attention for it’s benefits to the digestive system, the joints, the skin, the lungs, the muscles and the blood.
Because of the resurgence in popularity, one question I get asked often is “does bone broth help IBS?”. The answer is yes but it should be prepared in a particular way.
Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, which is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues. It is greatly beneficial in those who have damaged mucosa of the gastrointestinal wall, commonly referred to as leaky gut. Leaky gut is a common issue in those with IBS.
Some people with IBS have an impaired ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. The high mineral content of bone broth is an easy way to boost their mineral intake.
For those with IBS who struggle with weight loss, bone broth has been found to improve body weight as well as bone mineral density in states of protein undernutrition.
Though it has many benefits to those with IBS, bone broth can aggravate IBS symptoms in some people when fermentable foods are used when making the broth: cartilage bones, onion and garlic. Marrow bones can be used in place of cartilage bones. If you like onion and garlic for flavour, you can simmer chopped onion and garlic in oil for about 10 minutes, discard the solids and add the infused oil to the broth when cooking.
Making bone broth is simple and is best done in a slow cooker. Here is an easy recipe. Shoutout to my mother-in-law for the recipe who makes amaaaazing soups.
Gut Nourishing Bone Broth
- 2 marrow bones (roasting them beforehand will make them more flavourful)
- 5 cups of water, or enough to cover the bones and vegetables
- 2 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 sticks of celery, leaves and tops, chopped
- 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
- handful of parsley stalks, chopped
- 6 black peppercorns
- 3-4 whole allspice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. salt
Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low for 12 – 72 hours. If you are using chicken bones, the cook time is 6 – 48 hours.
Once the broth has finished cooking, drain the spices and vegetables and let it cool.
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits and research behind bone broth, I highly recommend this article by Dr. Alison Siebecker: