Bone broth has been around for decades but it has exploded in popularity over the past few years as a gut-healing superstar. 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 its benefits to the digestive system.
Because of the resurgence in popularity, one question I get asked often is “does bone broth help IBS?”. The answer is: it can be soothing to the gut, yes but most recipes need to be modified to be IBS-friendly.
What are the benefits of bone broth?
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 malnutrition.
Why can bone broth aggravate IBS?
Though it has many benefits to those with IBS, traditional bone broth recipes can aggravate gut symptoms in some people if high FODMAP foods are used; notably onion and garlic. To get the flavour of onion and garlic without the FODMAPs, simmer roughly chopped onion and garlic in oil for about 10 minutes, discard the solids and add the infused oil to the broth when cooking.
Gut Nourishing Bone Broth
Making bone broth is simple and is best done in a slow cooker. This simple recipe is from my mother-in-law who makes delicious soups.
- 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, modify cook time to 6 – 24 hours.
Once the broth has finished cooking, drain the spices and vegetables and let it cool.
To freeze: pour into empty ice cubes trays and freeze overnight. Store in an airtight container.