One healing food that’s trending amongst health junkies currently is bone broth. Bronwyn Forbes-Hardinge chats to Gina Neilsen, founder of Dr Broth, and owner of Durban’s acclaimed 9th Avenue Bistro about the remarkable health benefits of this delicious nutrient-rich superfood.
Looking to lose weight before her 40th birthday, Gina began researching various weight loss options and finally settled on bone broth. She admits that she got a lot more than she bargained for.
With the help of her award-winning chef husband, Graham, she created a delicious bone broth recipe and replaced one meal a day with the broth. The result … she lost 8kgs over 12 weeks and, what’s more, has maintained that weight but, she says, the benefits far exceeded her expectations.
“It’s like drinking from the fountain of youth. The first thing I noticed before the weight loss was that my joints felt better and I felt less stiff after gym. I then noticed the weight coming off and that I had more energy. After three months my skin started to glow and I even noticed a reduction in pigmentation.”
Bone broth is normally prepared by boiling the bones and connective tissues of various animals in water and vinegar. Full of natural collagen, amino acids and other important minerals, its numerous health benefits, aside from promoting weight loss, include relieving joint pain and inflammation, maintaining bone density, strengthening teeth and the gut lining and boosting general immunity.
Realising they were onto something, Gina and Graham consulted nutritionist, Kerryn Wurth, from the Sharks Medical Centre to make their broth even more potent.
“Kerryn’s advice was to make it specifically to help reduce inflammation by adding extra antioxidants. She gave us a list of herbs, spices and aromatics and we got to work on making some super healthy elixir. Unknowingly we eat so many chemicals and hidden sugars, so our aim was to improve people’s overall health by concocting a quick and convenient way to get important micro-nutrients into your diet, with the added benefit of the collagen to heal your gut and joints. As a result, Dr Broth was born.”
There are many different kinds of bone broths (chicken, beef, fish, both made from bone broth powder and more) that you can make, all bringing their own health benefits to the table. With that in mind, Gina shares some powerful herbs, spices and aromatics that can be used in your own DIY bone broth to promote weight loss or gain, as well as joint health and to revitalise your skin. She also shares three of her favourite recipes to get you started on your journey to a healthier life.
“If you really want to lose lots of weight, bone broth drunk straight as a cup of soup for dinner with intermittent fasting is the quickest way, as its low in calories and super healthy. Having grapefruit every day is also great as it is loaded with vitamin C, which is essential for the formation of collagen.”
Apple Cider Vinegar helps break down the bones in broth faster so you can get to the good stuff.
Turmeric and cayenne pepper increases body heat which boosts metabolism.
Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and curbs cravings.
Ginger increases thermogenesis i.e. metabolism.
Black pepper blocks formation of new fat cells.
Dandelion helps reduce bloating.
Ginseng helps your body adapt to physical stress through supporting muscle protein synthesis.
Flaxseed contains protein, improves oxygen utilisation, enhances energy levels and helps recovery, as well as being high in Omega 3 for anti-inflammatory purposes.
Rhodiola has an anabolic effect on muscle growth. Takealot sell a rhodiola tea which might be a nice touch to add to a pot.
Black pepper relieves muscle and joint pain.
Ginger helps sooth aching muscles.
Cloves have antimicrobial properties.
Ginger evens out skin and soothes inflammation from breakouts.
Paprika evens out your skin.
Cinnamon balances oily skin.
Turmeric fights inflammation.
Sesame promotes skin renewal.
Saffron offers anti-bacterial qualities and brightens skin complexion.
Aloe Vera/ Eucalyptus alleviate joint pain.
Ginger reduces inflammation.
Turmeric reduces inflammation.
Green tea reduces inflammation.
Cayenne reduces inflammation.
Sage increases the activity of superoxide dismutase, which is responsible for metabolizing and eliminating superoxide from the body. Superoxide is a free radical that is known to cause considerable inflammation in the human body.
Olive oil contains omega 3 which serves as an anti-inflammatory agent
Fresh Tuna and Vegetable Broth
This recipe is very easy and great to use with a weight loss programme.
You will need
1 fresh tuna loin +/- 400g split lengthways
1 750ml tub of Dr Broth Ginger Chilli bone broth
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
8 tender stem broccoli, sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed
4 bok choy – quartered
Handful sliced radishes
In a medium saucepan bring the broth to a simmer, turn the heat down and add the fish sauce and lemon juice. Stir in the vegetables and turn off the heat. In the meantime, carefully slice the tuna loin into thin slices. Divide the veg and broth into bowls and drape the fresh tuna over the top and submerge into warm broth. You can garnish with anything you like: spring onions, sesame seeds, fresh basil or coriander.
Sesame Chicken and Aromatic Rice
This recipe is made with ingredients to revitalise the skin
You will need
4 organic skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and marinated overnight in: 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1½ tbsp sesame oil
1 750ml tub of Dr Broth Ginger Chilli bone broth
2 cups Basmati rice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 pinch saffron
Spring onion chopped
Fresh Coriander leaves
For the Rice: Preheat the oven to 180˚C. In a small saucepan, warm the bone broth with the cinnamon, cloves and saffron. In a deep sided baking dish or pot, stir the rice and the infused bone broth together. Cover and bake for 30 min, then remove from the oven.
In the meantime, get a grill hot on the stove top and grill the butterflied chicken. Serve the chicken sliced with the rice and garnish with sesame seeds, spring onion and coriander leaves.
Tomato and Fennel Soup
This recipe is made with ingredients to reduce inflammation in your joints.
You will need:
1 750ml tub of Dr Broth Ginger Chilli Chicken bone broth
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stick celery chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
2 400g tins of whole peeled Italian tomatoes
2 teaspoons fennels seeds
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil
20 sage leaves
In a medium saucepan on the stove top add 1 tbsp olive oil and the chopped garlic, fry until golden brown and stir in the onion, carrot, celery and fennel seeds. Add a pinch of salt and stir through. After 4/5 minutes stir in the whole peeled tomatoes and the Dr Broth bone broth. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Blend with a stick blender, being very careful with the hot liquid. In a frying pan, gently fry the sage leave in 2 tbsp olive oil until crisp. Serve the soup with fried leaves and an extra splash of olive oil.
Dr Broth is available at Spar outlets such as Glenore, Holdens, uMhlanga. Other stockists include the Juice Kitchen in Kloof and Ballito, Sprigs in Kloof and a variety of health shops.