Many of us do our best to eat healthy and avoid getting sick, but with our busy lives it’s not always easy. Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, integrative neurologist and author of The Prime, recommends a simple addition to your diet to help with both: Bone broth. Bone broth is part of The Prime program and is an important step to healing your gut and body for spontaneous weight loss. Read on to get the recipe and learn more about the benefits of adding bone broth to your diet.
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Bone broth is an old remedy for the common cold, but it is also a highly mineralizing, nourishing, and anti-inflammatory food. It is basically just broth made by boiling bones and other parts of the animal that are also rich in nutrients, with or without meat on them. In general, especially for weight loss, Ayurvedic medicine does not recommend eating meat except in the form of a broth, since bone broth is digestible and nutrient-rich. Bone broth contains dissolved minerals that can replenish a malnourished body. The amino acids in it help rebuild muscle and connective tissue. Glycine, in particular, helps heal the gut lining when it is damaged and leaky, and there is even some evidence that glycine calms the brain and increases alertness. It is also a detoxifier, specifically in the liver. The amino acid proline, also in bone broth, may help clear the arteries of deposits and clean the blood. Finally, the marrow from the bones is easy to absorb and is a dense source of nutrition.
A lot of people who are overweight are also malnourished. We have to fix that, or the body won’t have the nutrients necessary to heal properly in Stage Three of The Prime. Prime Broth is one of the best ways to reverse malnourishment.
I prefer to use poultry bones because bones from larger animals tend to have more concentrated toxins and larger animals tend to be more frequently mistreated. As long as you find bones from a healthy animal, preferably organic and grass-fed or free range, your Prime Broth will be therapeutic. Also use organic vegetables, if you can.
I suggest you make this broth in a slow cooker because cooking it slowly at a low temperature is important for extracting the bone marrow. However, you could do this in a stockpot on the stove. You would need to keep it there for eight to ten hours at a low temperature, however, and most people don’t have time to keep an eye on the stove for that long. I find a slow cooker to be much more convenient.
Here is my recipe:
- 1 chicken or small turkey carcass, or 3 to 6 pounds (depending on how big your slow cooker is) of any meaty bones, with marrow
- 2 onions, quartered
- 4 celery stalks, cut into large chunks (you may include the leaves)
- 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
- ¼ cup (for 3 pounds of bones) to ½ cup (for 6 pounds of bones) apple cider vinegar (I prefer raw versions, such as Bragg’s)
- Enough water to fill the slow cooker up to about 2 inches from the top
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan or other pure sea salt
- Optional: A few chicken feet, for extra gelatin in the broth (these are often available from the meat counter at the grocery store—try it if you aren’t squeamish)
Put the bones and vegetables in a slow cooker. Drizzle the vinegar over the bones, then add the water and sea salt. Cook on low for 24 to 48 hours. Strain out the bones and vegetables and store the broth in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in individual portions in the freezer for up to six months. Note: when the Prime Broth is chilled, it will turn into a thick gelatin, but it will liquefy again when you heat it up. Also, you can remove the fat that coagulates on top of the Prime Broth when chilled, if you like a leaner broth; leave it in if you like a richer broth. You can also freeze Prime Broth for future use. Make a big batch every few weeks and you will always have it handy for when you need it.
You can sip Prime Broth on its own, but the way I prefer to use it is as a base for soup. I’ll eat it as a starter course to my main meal of the day, lunch, or alone as a light dinner.
A Special Note to Vegetarians
I get a lot of pushback about Prime Broth from my vegetarian and vegan patients. The concept can be tough for them, and I totally understand this. It was certainly tough for me at first, too. I had been a vegetarian and I didn’t like the idea of eating animal products. Because of my digestive issues, however, my own Ayurvedic physician recommended that I start bone broth to help me heal my gut. I protested for almost two years until I realized I really did need the extra support. Finally, I relented at the constant insistence of my Ayurvedic physician, and the effects were profound.
Today, I would say I am 90 percent vegan. The only exceptions are lassi and ghee (you’ll learn more about those in The Prime), and Prime Broth when I am feeling depleted. I especially use Prime Broth as medicine when I travel because it takes a lot out of me. I only make broth from humanely treated animals, raised organically, and before I drink it, I say a little prayer of gratitude, acknowledging the exchange of energy. I have tremendous gratitude and bless the sacrifice made on my behalf.
In Western culture, we don’t tend to look at meat as medicine. We see it as an everyday food. This leads to our culture eating way too much of it on a regular basis, and not for the right purposes. In Ayurvedic medicine, bone marrow is one of the last tissues to be formed, so it’s extremely nutrient-rich in an accessible way. Muscle meat is hard to break down and it requires a strong digestion. If you don’t have strong digestion, your body will have a difficult time extracting nutrients from muscle meat. On the other hand, Prime Broth is easy to absorb. It also promotes the type of gut flora that increases health.
Although I still don’t like the idea of eating animals, Prime Broth is so healing and mineralizing that I believe it is worth making an exception. If you are willing to try it, it can make a big difference in the speed of your digestive healing. Once you are finished with The Prime and you are nourished, you don’t have to continue the Prime Broth. If you like the effects, I suggest you continue to use it in place of meat in your diet.
If you are morally opposed to bone broth, however, I certainly won’t tell you to go against your feelings. It took me two years to agree to it, and I don’t believe that anyone should take any action they believe to be wrong. If this is you, just go with the Prime Juice and the other elements detailed in The Prime.
Excerpted from The Prime. Click here to learn more about The Prime: Prepare and Repair Your Body for Spontaneous Weight Loss (on sale now) and how it can help you reach your health and weight-loss goals.
Illustration: Marie Guillard