Meat Stock or Bone Broth...Which is Best for Healing?


Bone broth has been getting a lot of attention lately as the perfect food for gut healing, and whilst it is definitely beneficial, little known is that meat stocks are actually the most healing food for a damaged gut lining. Dr Natasha Campbell McBride (founder of the GAPS nutritional protocol) credits meat stocks with actually healing ulcerations in the gut lining, which is the root cause of many health issues. Meat stocks contain two very important amino acids, glycine and proline, which are like the glue that holds our bodies together, and is a part of all the connective tissue in our bodies. Bone broths are generally cooked much longer, and this process cooks out many of the healing benefits. Bone broths are also high in histamine (read more about histamines here) and glutamates due to the long cooking time. Meat stocks are still the only stock that I consume because I know they will have the most benefit.

To make a meat stock, you will need uncooked bones with meat on them, such as lamb shanks, a whole chicken, or chicken thigh cutlets, ox tail, or even whole fish. It is very important to use meat that is close to a joint as this meat is very gelatinous, which is the most healing part. Bones that contain bone marrow, cartilage, and connective tissues are best. You can also add things like chicken feet for the cooking process to produce an even more nourishing stock (you can remove them afterwards if you don't want to eat them!) Becky Plotner (Nourishing Plot) suggests "Optimally, keep the meat on the bone no further than about an inch from the bone. If you are using back bones be sure to have the bones frozen for a solid 4 days prior to cooking and be sure to bring to an ample boil before returning to simmer. Viruses live on the spine. A solid freeze and thorough cooking will prevent any potential virus from surviving."

Once you have your joint meat with the joint bones in, place them in a stock pot or slow cooker, and cover with filtered water. You can add salt and apple cider vinegar to help draw the nutrients from the bone. It is also a good idea to use a knife to cut into the joints and expose them. Bring this to the boil on the stove, or set the slow cooker to high. Cook chicken for around 2 hours, lamb and beef for around 3-3.5, and fish for 1.5 hours. You can add any vegetables you like in the last half an hour of cooking, or add the vegetables later when you reheat the stock. Once ready you can remove all of the meat from the bones, don't forget the marrow and all of the connective tissue! This can be eaten as it is, a meat and vegetable soup, or it can be blended to make a creamy soup. You can also store some of the stock in jars and then add it to your cooking in recipes that call for stock. Meat stock can be stored in the fridge safely for around 7 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Jars like this are great for storing in the freezer, and they don't break! Always store your stock in glass, not plastic. Never use a microwave for reheating the stock as it destroys some of the healing properties. During the first stages of the GAPS protocol, meat stocks are consumed throughout the day to begin that very important process of gut healing.