Bone Broth!

Bone broth! This latest health trend has caught my attention for several reasons. First of all, trends – in diet and otherwise – are fascinating in their life cycles, rising in recognition and then petering out of popularity as a new idea takes the stage. (Or, in some cases, suffering a sea change of opinion and decried as baseless or even harmful).

Secondly, because there is nothing revolutionary about bone broth. Broth is an ancient staple in cuisines around the world, well known for its soothing, healing qualities when made from scratch and not from a pre-packaged bouillon cube. Indeed, the slogan of Brodo, a bone broth takeaway counter attached to Marco Canora’s NYC restaurant and one of the most famous players in this trend, is “the world’s first comfort food.”

Finally, because I have recently been reading a lot about the gut and its critical foundational role in our overall health, both physical and psychological. For example, the GAPS diet (see, developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, is an extreme approach that has evidently helped many to overcome or manage a wide range of diseases from asthma to autism by balancing and healing gut flora. In her protocol, Dr. Campbell-McBride asserts the incredible value of bone broths in healing the gut – not only are they anti-inflammatory and strengthen the immune system, but they also provide essential building blocks for our gut lining.

Making bone broth is simple, if you have the time. Oven roast chicken or beef bones for an hour or two, then simmer in water for (optimally) 24 hours. At a minimum, the broth should be simmered for eight hours, though the longer the bones can break down and release their gelatin and nutrients, the more beneficial the broth. Adding herbs, garlic and ginger will enhance both flavor and nutritional benefits.

And for those of us living in Vietnam, where bone broth has never gone out of style, getting a daily dose is as convenient as visiting your local pho vendor.