Why Sipping on Healing Broth Is the Cure to Your Winter Woes
Ah, January. Somewhere between the buzz of New Year’s Eve wearing off and the resolutions kicking in, we often find we’re feeling less than our best selves. Whether you’re fighting that first dreaded tickle at the back of your throat or are in the throes of full blown flu, don’t panic. We delved deep into the bottom of our soup bowls to discover the benefits of healing broth, and (spoiler alert) it turns out, Grandma was right: A bowl of broth can help bring you back to health.
The Benefits of Healing Broth
Many of us know broth, or the liquid base of soup, as a go-to remedy our grandmothers insisted cured all ailments (think chicken or matzo ball soups). As adults, we’re finally figuring out that there’s a reason broth was said to be a healing elixir: because it is. From a dense list of nutrients to skin-loving collagen, healing broth can help boost our health in myriad ways. Bonus? It also tastes delicious.
“Each nutrient-rich cup strengthens your gut, joints and immunity,” says Leah Durkee, Director of Marketing at Brodo Broth Co. in New York City, which has partnered with NYU Langone Medical Center to provide free nourishing broth daily to expectant mothers since 2016. “It’s loaded with collagen-rich protein that does wonders for your hair, nails and skin. The gelatin [in Brodo] aids with digestion and helps to heal damage to the digestive tract. Our broth is made from cartilage-rich bones that help to rebuild connective tissue, ease joint pain, and fight inflammation.”
To create Brodo’s healing broth, the company is committed to a “slow food” mentality to ensure each batch is full of healing ingredients that also meet their high standards for flavor. “Our bones are shimmered for 18-24 hours in an open kettle, so we can continuously skim it to remove impurities,” Leah shares. “The end result is a clean and super tasty broth… We also use 100 percent grass-fed beef, organic poultry and fresh organic vegetables. We never use concentrates, preservatives or short-cuts.”
The result is healing broth that can address a wide range of health concerns. “Broth made from cartilage-rich bones helps to rebuild connective tissue, ease joint pain and fight inflammation,” says Leah. “The glycine helps your body produce antioxidants that help to rebuild muscle, fight disease and detoxify the liver.”
For AHA Pure Foods, a plant-based soup company based in Gainesville, Fla., nourishing the body is the impetus for every batch of healing broth they cook. Each preservative-free, low sodium recipe has been created by a naturopathic practitioner who spent more than 30 years studying the link between foods and combatting disease.
Their plant-based broth is no exception—and, says CEO, Samantha Bove, it’s also no ordinary vegetable broth. “It contains high-grade ingredients rich in medicinal plant properties. One such ingredient is the mineral-rich sea vegetable dulse. In addition to iron and potassium, dulse is an excellent natural source of iodine— a mineral essential for healthy thyroid function.”
And, many may be surprised to discover, AHA’s plant-based “Lucky Bones” broth is chock-full of collagen—something often associated only with animal bone-based broth. “Luckily, the body produces collagen itself, and our soup contains the nutrients it needs to improve production,” Samantha says. “Lipoic acid, taurine and sulfur from the garlic are vital to the production process and work to repair damaged collagen. Antioxidants from the bok choy and other vegetables protect collagen from free-radical breakdown.”
The Best Ways to Enjoy Healing Broth
Enjoying healing broth is a matter of personal preference, but Leah does have some suggestions. She recommends consuming 10 to 16 ounces a day for optimal health results. “You can heat it up and sip as is, recreate one of the drinks we serve in our NYC broth shops, or use it to take quinoa, rice or any recipe that calls for broth to the next level,” Leah suggests.
For Samantha, two ingredients stand out as a way to enjoy healing broth, especially during the winter months. “Turmeric and ginger are our go-tos for this time of year; colds are often due to toxins and bad-bugs overloading your body to the point that regular systems of elimination and detoxification are not enough,” she explains. “The body starts to utilize alternate methods, the results of which are the symptoms we associate with a cold.”
That sore throat, congested nose and foggy head? They’re all inflammation in various forms in response to a bug in your system, Samantha says. “We love turmeric and ginger for immunity as both are powerfully anti-inflammatory and have bad-bacteria blocking abilities. These properties can support the efforts of the immune system and hopefully stop colds before they get a chance to progress.”
Choose Your Broth to Suit Your Health Needs
The particular spices, vegetables and nutrients in healing broth can help target health concerns, and help get you back on your feet.
If You’re Fighting the Flu:
Try “‘Marco’s Flu Fighter,’” Leah suggests. Here’s the quick recipe:
- Add an inch nub of fresh ginger, a 1/2 inch nub of fresh turmeric, 5 whole peppercorns and a large pinch of fresh oregano leaves to a mortar and pestle.
- Pound until a smooth paste forms.
- Add the paste to the bottom of a cup and pour 16 ounces of broth (Leah recommend Brodo’s chicken or hearth broth) over it.
- Stir with a spoon or incorporate with the buzzer–finishing with a hefty squeeze of lemon is never a bad idea.
Why does this recipe work to combat flu? “The peppercorn enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent that makes turmeric so sought after,” says Leah. “Spicy heat, from the ginger and black pepper, clears your nasal passages, soothes your throat and settles your stomach. We add oregano for its antimicrobial properties.”
If You’re Battling Fatigue:
If you’re dragging, Samantha says, AHA Pure Food’s Lion’s Mane soup “would be perfect to sip on, as a jar delivers a daily supply of adaptogenic medicinal mushrooms to support your nervous system.”
If You’ve Got a Cold:
“If you have come down with more of a common cold or a seasonal sore throat,” says Samantha, “Fire-Proof, with its powerful turmeric and ginger spices, will sooth your symptoms while also aiding in fighting the root cause of the cold.”
If You’re Trying to Remedy a Heavy Sugar Intake:
Balancing a post-sugar rush means caring for the pancreas, Samantha shares. Enter AHA’s Sweet Chi butternut squash bisque, which is revered for “restoring pancreatic health, thanks to the potent blood-sugar balancing activity of bitter melon, and satisfying your sweet tooth naturally,” says Samantha. “It also contains a subtle thai-green curry spice that is the perfect compliment to the naturally sweet butternut squash.”
Want other ways to heal from the inside out? Here’s how to utilize chakras for your healing path, and five herbs to start taking to boost your immunity now.