We're jumping on the bone broth train and for good reason.
Bone broth can be a great addition to your daily routine.
Nutritious, flavorful, and soothing - perfect for those cold winter nights.
If you're unfamiliar with bone broth, you don't have to make it, there are a lot of great options at your local market, but you may be wondering how to use it.
If you're a pro, you're probably already experimenting with and perfecting your own recipe.
Either way, let's see if bone broth is all it's cracked up to be.
We'll break it down and discuss everything you need to know about bone broth, including its benefits and how to drink it.
Let’s get into it...
- Bone broth is a clear soup made by slowly boiling animal bones and connective tissue.
- It is an excellent source of collagen, gelatin, and glycine, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Incorporating bone broth into your daily routine can help support a healthy immune system, improve digestion, enhance skin appearance, and support bone and joint health.
HOW TO DRINK BONE BROTH
The easiest way to reap the benefits of bone broth is just to drink it. Pour yourself a cup of chicken or beef bone broth, heat it, and sip it slowly.
You can drink warm bone broth as a meal, snack, afternoon pick-me-up, or purely habitual for its benefits. You can also use it in place of broth or stock in soup recipes.
If you are new to drinking bone broth and have a picky palate, consider starting with chicken bone broth, as it has a lighter flavor and tastes similar to chicken soup.
Bone broth is generally low in calories, so if you plan to consume bone broth as a meal and aren’t following a bone broth fast, consider adding some healthy fats, leafy greens, or other ingredients to make it a bit more filling.
Additionally, if you plan to purchase powdered bone broth, it's essential to carefully read the product label and avoid bone broth with unnecessary fillers, additives, and preservatives.
For those who aren't on board with drinking it straight, there are several other ways to add bone broth to your diet.
You can increase the nutritional value of your meals by adding bone broth to:
- Mashed potatoes or Cauliflower Rice
- Sautéed Vegetables
- Meat Dishes
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DRINK BONE BROTH?
The guidelines aren't black and white, but a daily bone broth routine of 1-2 cups a day should do the trick.
Whether you like to sip it in the morning or wind down with a cup at night, it's an easy way to add more nutrients to your daily routine.
The caveat is that bone broth can be a bit pricey, but some is better than none.
If your budget is tight and daily bone broth isn't on the list, start by drinking it a few times a week.
Once inflation eases and we can all get back to normal, add it as a staple.
THE BASICS: BONES, SKIN, AND CONNECTIVE TISSUES
You may already be familiar with bone broth, but if you aren't, here's a quick explanation of what it is.
Bone broth is a clear soup made by slow-boiling animal bones and connective tissue in a large pot. Though it can be made using the bones, skin, and connective tissue from most animals, it's typically made from beef bones, chicken bones, or fish bones.
Many people also add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the broth to help break down the connective tissue and draw minerals out of the bones.
It is nearly impossible to know the exact nutrient content of bone broth because it varies depending on how it's made.
However, we do know that bone broth is highly nutritious. It provides essential nutrients, including protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, all in a form that is easily absorbed by your body.
Some of the beneficial nutrients found in bone broth include:
- B Vitamins
While bone broth is not a complete protein because it typically does not contain sufficient amounts of the nine essential amino acids to be considered complete, it is still a good dietary source of protein.
Bone broth contains 19 easy-to-absorb amino acids, which help repair and build muscles, tissues, and bones.
Bone broth is also one of the best dietary sources of the protein collagen, which is found in the bones, skin, and connective tissues of animals.
While the amount of collagen varies depending on how the bone broth was made, one cup typically contains around 5-10 grams of collagen protein.
One of the key components of bone broth is gelatin, which consists of several amino acids known to support joint health. When bones break down during the cooking process, gelatin is released into the broth. This is why it thickens and gels when it cools.
Two of the most important amino acids we get from gelatin are glycine and proline, which are important for giving connective tissue durability and strength.
One study found that drinking 300mL of bone broth can increase plasma levels of precursor amino acids glycine and proline, which are needed to form collagen.
One of the primary amino acids in bone broth is glycine, which is considered a conditionally essential amino acid. This means some individuals may not produce enough of it during times of illness or stress.
Glycine is necessary for producing collagen and glutathione, a potent antioxidant that helps protect your cells against oxidative damage.
Bone broth is one of the best sources of glycine.
Bone broth is an excellent source of naturally-occurring electrolytes, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
The connective tissue of animals also contains the joint-supporting nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin.
B VITAMINS AND OTHER NUTRIENTS
Additionally, bone marrow contains vitamins A and E. Vitamin A is for normal vision, growth, cell division, and immunity. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant important for cellular signaling in the body and immune system health.
THE BENEFITS: WHY YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING BONE BROTH
Consuming bone broth on a regular basis can help improve sleep, aid in weight loss, improve bone and joint health, and support a healthy digestive system, among many other health benefits.
Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of the nutrients found in bone broth.
Collagen plays a vital role in the structure and function of our skin, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. Studies suggest that collagen supplementation provides several health benefits.
One 2016 study looked at the efficacy of type 2 collagen from the connective tissue of chickens for symptoms of osteoarthritis. Researchers found that consuming collagen can improve knee joint symptoms, such as poor physical function, pain, and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients.
Another 2021 review of studies found that collagen might help ease joint pain and improve joint functionality, especially when paired with rehabilitative exercise.
Researchers also concluded that consuming five to 15 grams of collagen one hour before exercise for at least three months can help reduce functional joint pain and support muscle recovery.
Furthermore, studies have also shown that collagen can significantly improve skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density.
Lastly, some studies suggest that collagen may improve gut health. For example, one 2022 study found that consuming 20 grams of collagen peptides every day may reduce bloating and improve mild digestive symptoms in otherwise healthy females.
It's important to note that the amount of collagen in bone broth varies, and most studies have been conducted using collagen supplements. As such, we recommend incorporating whole food sources of collagen and a high-quality collagen supplement into your daily routine to ensure your bases are covered.
Gelatin is a jelly-like substance that binds to water in your digestive tract, allowing food to pass through easily. It may promote a healthy mucosal lining in the gut, which may benefit individuals with certain intestinal diseases.
Gelatin also contains the amino acid glutamine, which is considered one of the most critical nutrients for "healing leaky gut syndrome" because it plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier.
Lysine, another amino acid found in gelatin, helps maintain bone and muscle health and enhances the body's ability to absorb calcium, which can help protect against bone loss.
Consuming bone broth before bed may also help you fall asleep. This is because glycine can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality in individuals experiencing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
According to studies, glycine may also help boost immunity, prevent tissue injury, aid in wound healing, and treat metabolic disorders in diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and several inflammatory conditions.
Collagen and gelatin are among the richest dietary sources of glycine.
While research on the health benefits of bone broth itself is limited, the nutrients found in bone broth have a large body of evidence to support their health benefits.
Key nutrients in bone broth include collagen, gelatin, glycine, and several vitamins and minerals that many diets lack.
Incorporating bone broth into your daily routine may fight inflammation, allow muscles and joints to heal faster, improve hydration, and support your digestion, among many other benefits.