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If ever there was a nutritional fad that had some substance behind it, it would be bone broth. The idea behind bone broth is to simmer animal bones (like beef or chicken) for a really long time—up to 24 hours—for maximum flavor. What distinguishes the bone broths of today from say, ordinary chicken soup, is that the animal bones are from grass-fed or free-range animals that have never been subjected to steroids, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
The benefits of bone broth, most notably skin, bone, and joint health, come from its rich assortment of nutrients—minerals, amino acids, and particularly collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body. We make less collagen with age, one reason why skin sags, wrinkles, and folds in on itself. Although you can’t really eat “collagen” raw, you can eat gelatin, which is simply cooked collagen. Cooking collagen makes it easier to absorb, either by producing gelatin or a substance called collagen hydrolysate, which is used in most collagen protein powders.
Now let’s move on to this terrific collagen-rich recipe from Chef Jeannette. Not only do you get all the dense nutrition from the bone broth itself, but you also get the health benefits of garlic, beans, vegetables, and spices. It’s a high-fiber one-pot-meal that’s warming and filling. —Dr. Jonny