The Restorative Benefits of Broth

Bone broth is trending right now, and that’s a good thing. Our ancestors knew the value and healing properties of a good broth, and it was part of their everyday diet in the form of soups, stews and elixirs. They may not have known the science behind it, but they certainly wrote about the healing results. What’s old is new again, and now we understand why food works.

When we are dealing with a cancer diagnosis or any disease, whether or not we choose to treat it with conventional therapies, alternative therapies or a combination of both, our body needs ammunition to stay strong and fight. We get that ammunition from the food we eat and the supplements we take. There are many ways to get the nutrients, and broth is one of the easiest and most soothing, because it packs a punch of vital nutrients in every mug and is easily digestible.

The elements of a good broth include key nutrients needed by the body to heal, such as trace minerals, antioxidants, proteins, good fats and amino acids to help build collagen. Building a broth to fortify the body can include all these ingredients.

Using beef bones from grass-fed beef and pastured poultry helps provide essential amino acids glycine and proline that can help improve insulin insensitivity, reduce inflammation, improve liver function and digestive health, protect the mucosal barrier and help with collagen production to heal the gut and boost digestibility.

Seaweed like kombu and kelp provide a full range of alkalizing trace minerals iodine, potassium, magnesium and sodium to help the body renew and rejuvenate.

Organic vegetables like dark leafy greens, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, squashes and cabbage add important vitamins and minerals to help rehydrate and restore the body, especially after treatments that can pull vital nutrients from the system, destroy strength and cause dehydration.

Roots like turmeric and ginger have key anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components, as well as anti-carcinogens in the way of curcumin in turmeric that can help to build the immune system and make treatment more effective.

Mushrooms like shiitake, cordyceps and maitakes have long-chain polysacccharides that modulate immune function and activate certain cells and proteins to attack pathogens in the body.

A good broth protocol does not have to wait until the body is weak or sick. It’s best to start as a prevention food that can easily deliver needed nutrients so the body can stay strong. Create a favorite personal recipe or find a source that uses clean ingredients.

Michelle Wohlfarth, a holistic health educator and certied integrative nutrition coach, is the creator of The Healthy Living Kitchen, 16 S. Rosanna St., in Hummelstown. For more information, call 717-512-0077, email or visit

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