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Chicken broth

my n° 1 Superfood!

Homemade chicken broth nutritional value

A few days ago, my 8-year-old son asked me what my favorite food was. He laughed out loud when I told him it was chicken broth. From fall to spring through winter (and sometimes even summer, because when you've tasted it, you can't live without it), this soup is simmering in my kitchen. It is a staple in my daily diet and I use it regularly in my patients' therapeutic diet plans.

Chicken broth is not a new food trend, its medicinal properties were described in antiquity, and therefore it is used around the world for all kinds of weaknesses. It exists in every culinary culture, from French-style “bottoms” to very fragrant Asian broths, including Jewish cuisine, of which chicken soup is the undisputed symbol. As for the King of France, Henri IV, he had instituted and democratized the  « Poule au Pot »  in the 17th century as a “French national dish” with his famous phrase: “I want every plowman in my kingdom to be able to put the chicken in the pot on Sundays”.

Unfortunately, over time, this wonderful therapeutic broth has been replaced by the industrial « bouillon cube » or powder which has only the name. Because these industrial broths can be harmful to our health due to the presence of sugar, trans fats, flavors, glutamate and many other additives.

So what are the mysterious therapeutic virtues of homemade chicken broth?

Here are just a few:

Prevention of intestinal porosity ("leaky gut syndrome")

If, when cooling down, the broth jellifies, it is because it contains this famous gelatin! This gelatinous substance that some of you may have used in the preparation of desserts, for example panna cotta.

Gelatin is extracted from cartilages, ligaments and bones, and contains valuable nutrients and amino acids, including glycine, proline and arginine, precursors of collagen that provide, among other things, healing and tissue growth.

Gelatin prevents intestinal porosity and restores the integrity of the digestive mucosa: it reduces inflammation of the mucous membrane, helps in healing and tight junctions of the intestinal wall remain impermeable. It acts as a real dressing for our intestinal mucosa, often put to the test by our modern lifestyle (stress, drugs, industrial food, pollution etc.).

Best of all, bone is also rich in glutamine, another amino acid that will help repair intestinal permeability and prevent degradation. 

Reduction of inflammations of the digestive system

By preventing intestinal porosity, chicken broth therefore inevitably relieves pathologies induced by "leaky gut" such as colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea and constipation, but also allergies and food intolerances, asthma, eczema, autoimmune diseases etc.

Indeed, when the tight junctions of the small intestine are damaged, they allow unwanted molecules such as food incompletely broken down into amino acids and other toxins to pass into the blood stream, which will stimulate the immune system and generate inflammation that can contribute to a number of health problems.

Detoxification and immunity

Glycine is also a precursor amino acid for glutathione, the body's most important intracellular antioxidant that plays a central role in the detoxification process and in the proper functioning of the immune system.

In addition, the intestine plays an important role in digestion, but also in the body's immunity, so having an intact intestinal lining is the key to good immunity.

You likely now understand that the broth is a great ally when it comes to viral infections!

Sleep and cognitive functions

With its high glycine content, the gelatin contained in the broth can improve the quality of sleep.

Glycine is also an “inhibitory” (as opposed to “excitatory”) neurotransmitter, which means it can decrease anxiety and promote the mental calm needed for restful sleep.

According to some studies, glycine is also thought to have positive effects on memory and attention.

Beneficial for the joints

Derived from cartilages, the broth is also rich in glucosamine, chondroitin and silica which, like collagen, are essential elements for the health of our joints.

Prevention of osteoporosis

In addition to the collagen protein which is naturally present in the broth, many minerals are contained in the bones: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. All of these will help keep your bones strong and help fight osteoporosis, among other things.

Digestion

The precious glycine will help the regulation and production of bile acids by the liver, thus facilitating the digestion and assimilation of fats.

Pregnancy and breast feeding

During pregnancy, a pregnant woman has a considerably increased need for energy, vitamins and minerals. As malnutrition in pregnant women can affect the growth of the fetus, good nutrition is essential during this period, but also a strong gut health which goes hand in hand with good digestion and good assimilation of all the nutrients necessary for the good course of the pregnancy. The broth is beneficial for its nutritional benefits but also for its positive effects on the health of the intestines as we have already mentioned above.

In addition, the broth will naturally improve the quality of breast milk which will be richer in nutrients beneficial to the growth of the infant.

Beauty supplement

Collagen is a key ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams because it slows down the natural aging process, contributes to the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, hydration and elasticity of the skin. More natural, less expensive and more effective than the more expensive care cream, the broth is also good for your hair and nails. What if beauty comes from within?

In conclusion

The benefits of the broth are well established. It can be consumed without moderation, by young and old people, sick people, convalescents, chronically exhausted people, pregnant women, during the postpartum period, but especially by all healthy people. Because health begins with prevention!

It can be consumed in all forms: in sauce, in soup (with vegetables, vermicelli, tapioca or just plain), you can use it as a base to cook your pasta, your rice, your potatoes, your poached eggs, to prepare your risotto, to make your Chinese fondue, your aspics etc.

It is also very easy to make and its cost-benefit ratio is absolutely unbeatable because all you need to do is collect leftovers such as a chicken carcass, a few bones, cartilage, legs, wings, etc. , but also some vegetables, spices and herbs, a little salt and an acid base (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) to allow maximum extraction of the many minerals contained in the bones. But this elixir of life must imperatively be made with quality products if you want to obtain the maximum benefits of it and preserve yourself from residues of antibiotics, toxins and pollutants such as pesticides, fungicides, herbicides etc. (you should use a free range chicken - organic farming, no battery chicken).

The more gelatinous your broth is, the more beneficial it will be!

Now that you know all the benefits of this famous brew, I'm sure you can't wait to make your old-fashioned broth yourself. Here is a simple and easy recipe to get started. 

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