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    I love making the most amazing bone broths and soups to help support and nourish my digestive and immune system. I have always been making my own broths and stocks using my usual 10 litre stainless steel stock pot – but now it’s so easy I just set and forget. Making your bone broth is as easy as making a bowl of porridge – it’s that simple.




Unlike regular chicken or beef stock, bone broth is usually simmered for 24 – 48 hours, giving the stock enough time to extract all the nutrients from the bones to create a magical elixir that does wonders for your health. As a young chef, I remember the saucier at our restaurant used to start his stocks beginning of the week and he would simmer over a gentle heat for around about 2 – 3 days, making sure to extract all the goodness from the bones, meat and vegetables used.

Bone broth is not only a winter staple meal, it’s also a key ingredient in gut health. It can be enjoyed as a healing elixir, soup, or a welcome addition to casseroles. I love adding seasonal vegetables of the moment, which makes it into a complete meal and purely delicious.




Incorporating grass-fed beef in your diet can help you build a stronger immune system due to its high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. Grass-fed beef contains significantly more antioxidants and healthy fats compared to grain-fed beef, and helps support healthy cell membranes and function.





Bone broth contains high amounts of collagen that forms the structural building blocks of strong skin, giving you a youthful glow. Collagen also supports hair growth, skin regeneration and assists in keeping your nails strong. 


Vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in bone broth are important to help create and maintain strong and healthy bones.


Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in gelatine. Gelatine is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or leaky gut syndrome.


The long cooking time for bone broth breaks down cartilage and tendons releasing anti-inflammatory compounds, chondroitin and glucosamine sulphates, that are found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. These compounds keep your joints young and flexible.

Bones, cartilage, connective tissue, and marrow are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Bone and connective tissue broths/stocks are a staple in almost every cuisine around the globe, forming the basis of traditional terrines, sauces, gravies, soups, and stews. Bone broth is a rich source of proteins and amino acids such as collagen, glutamine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine; and broth provides these nutrients in a form that is easily utilised by the body. Bone broth is part of a nose-to-tail, ancestral diet and every culture on earth has had a bone broth somewhere in its history. But how exactly can bone broth help our health? Here are our top 10 reasons why everyone should be drinking bone broth.



It is often said that chicken soup will fix a cold; and there is some truth to that because the amino acids found in bone broth have been shown to support an immune response. Research on chicken broth has found that these effects may support the body cope with upper respiratory tract infections. Other research shows that the 40-50% saturated animal fats in broth support the immune system in responding to infection.




Gut health is dependent on the gut microbiome and the healthy functioning of the mucosal layer and the cells of the gut lining. If these are compromised, undigested food particles may move into the blood stream. This leads to an immune system response causing food sensitivities and digestive complaints. Bone broth contains essential amino acids, particularly glutamic acid, collagen, and trace minerals. These nutrients support healthy gut function, feed the cells of the gut wall and the microbiota, and support the regeneration of the protective mucosal layer. This supports those with common complaints such as bloating and wind, and alleviating sensitivities. A study in mice with damage to their gut lining found that the ad libitum intake of beef bone broth decreased colon tissue damage and corresponding blood markers.




Around 50% of our bones are made of collagen. Collagen peptides (proteins) are thought to hold potential for maintaining bone mineral density and guarding against bone weakening. Research has shown that collagen peptides support osteoblasts, which synthesise new bone. Collagen intake may support bone mass as we age.



Many skincare companies add collagen to their products for aging benefits. One of the most abundant proteins found within the human body, collagen helps form tissue that gives our skin smoothness, elasticity, and a youthful appearance. Collagen, naturally occurring in bone broth, is rich in proline, a well-researched amino acid which supports skin renewal. The amino acids in collagen are the building blocks of collagen production, collagen peptides bind to the cells that help make collagen, supporting collagen production, and they also function as antioxidants. Several randomized controlled trials found that giving standard care in combination with a collagen hydrolysate supplement resulted in significantly faster recovery than giving only standard care. Paring vitamin C with your bone broth can have a lasting impact to the health and appearance of your skin. Collagen also contains hyaluronic acid, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and supports firmer skin.



Traditional Chinese modalities use broth to build blood, qi, and essence. Adding a hunk of red meat to your broth and/or making sure your bones and joints have meat on them, provides additional nutrients that support energy production in the body. The amino acid, glycine, that is found in gelatin-rich broth has been shown to support sugar levels in the blood, helping to stabilise energy. Glycine can also support energy availability. Even though there is not quite the amount of minerals and electrolytes in broth that it is heralded for, there is still enough to supplement mineral intake, which help to keep the body well hydrated, maintain energy, and is essential for muscle, nerve, and a healthy brain.


The gelatin in bone broth absorbs water, allowing for more fluid in the digestive tract so that food may move through the stomach and intestines properly. This aids in proper digestion and absorption and supports healthy bowel movements. Gelatin has also been shown to support healthy stomach acid levels.




This is where bone broth really shines…As we get older, we naturally experience wear and tear in our joints, and cartilage becomes damaged. The gelatin (cooked form of collagen) in bone broth is traditionally utilised to maintain cartilage and connective tissue, reduce stiffness in tendons and ligaments, and reduce friction. Some digested gelatin is denatured (broken down) enough to be absorbed in the small intestine, which is then used as building blocks in the maintenance of proteins and connective tissue. The collagen that is left undenatured supports immune cells to restore damaged cartilage.

Bone broth also contains proteoglycans, chiefly hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate, which provide cushioning and lubrication to our joint cartilage, skin, muscles, and bones, supporting regeneration and hydration.




Because a meaty bone broth is an excellent source of nutrients, it is encouraged to drink during periods of fasting and recovery from illness. It fits in well with a high fat, low carb diet and may help to reduce signs of the ‘keto-flu.’ As mentioned, it has been shown to support blood sugar balance, supporting healthy body weight and lean mass. The collagen in bone broth can also reduce the appearance of cellulite, which develops due to a lack of collagen-formed connective tissues.



Bone broth is rich in glycine, an amino acid and neurotransmitter which supports the central nervous system. Glycine has been found to support sleep, reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and improving morning fatigue.



Bone broth contains nutrients needed to support cellular and liver detoxification. The nutrients in bone broth help detoxify the body by flushing out toxins, excess hormones, and other waste. The minerals in long-cooked bone broth also work as chelating agents, helping to eliminate heavy metals such as mercury and lead.

Contrary to popular belief, a broth made solely with bones does not necessarily contain an abundance of minerals, like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. This is because bones are very hard compounds and they do not give up their stash of minerals, easily. Adding vegetables and herbs/spices can enhance the taste and increase the mineral content but it can also increase the amount of anti-nutrients, such as oxalic acid, in the broth, so be sparing. The mineral content of a bone broth without vegetables can be improved by adding an acid medium, like apple cider vinegar, to the cooking water. The type of animal, the type of bone, and the cooking time can influence the amount of minerals in your finished broth. The upshot is that you cannot rely on bone broth, alone, to provide you with your daily calcium requirements. If you really want to get a good hit of bone and teeth-building minerals, gnaw on some chicken bones after cooking!

If you suffer from histamine intolerance, a shorter cooking time is recommended. A shorter cooked, meatier broth is the centre of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet, and this may be more appropriate for children who have gut/brain axis issues.

One thing that is mentioned when talking about bone broth is heavy metal toxicity. Research has shown that there is very little in the way of toxic metals extracted through the long, slow cooking of bone broth, even with added vinegar; however, it may pay to get bones from quality sources: preferably organic, but definitely pasture-fed and finished, and free-range.




While generally made from organic chicken or beef bones, my fool-proof version uses grass-fed oxtail that provides loads of nutritional benefits that come from its gelatin and mineral rich properties. I remember my grandparents and mum constantly making oxtail or chicken soup for us when we were young – especially when we were unwell. The tradition has been carried on by yours truly and it’s a staple in my kitchen all year round.


When slow cooked as in this recipe, this succulent and rich protein source creates a potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting dish that’s brimming with essential minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.


Discover my simple bone broth recipe 



  • 1.8 kg grass fed oxtail, chopped
  • 6 litres water
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 bunch parsley stalks
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F
  2. Place oxtail into a baking dish and brown in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.
  3. Remove oxtail from the oven and carefully place them into the stockpot.
  4. Add onion, carrot, celery, leek and water to the pot.
  5. Fill the pot with water and place over a medium heat.
  6. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  7. Add parsley stalks, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme.
  8. Cover the pot partially and allow the slow simmering to begin.
  9. Simmer partially covered over a low heat for a minimum of 6 hours (the more the better) If you have a slow cooker simmer for 24 – 48 hours, skimming the broth regularly to remove any surface fat and scum. Add more water if necessary.
  10. Remove the oxtail and strain the bone broth through a sieve or muslin.
  11. Discard the solids.
  12. Refrigerate the bone broth overnight and remove all the excess fat that solidifies over the top. Your cold broth should look like a jelly at this stage and be full of goodness.
  13. Heat the broth over a stove and enjoy “au naturel” or as a base for soups or sauces.


  • Add 3 star anise, 3 cloves, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves garlic and 2 sticks of cinnamon and a little tamari to your bone broth when simmering and use as a base for a delicious Pho soup. All you need to do is add oxtail meat from the bone, spring onion, noodles and coriander.
  • Use as a base for the most delicious French Onion Soup.
  • I don’t add vinegar as it will make the stock cloudy.
  • Stock will keep for for 4 days in the fridge.


And that’s it! This bone broth is ready to heal your gut, flavour your favourite risotto or sauté your veggies!


Sources: Healthy Chef/GoodHealth

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