Bone broth has been gathering alot of attention in the media recently, but why has it become so popular?
For some reason people have only recently become aware of the health benefits bone broth has when it comes to gut health, and as we know gut health plays an important role in our general health and wellbeing.
So What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a homemade stock that is made by slowly simmering animal bones (such as chicken, beef, turkey or fish) for 24-48 hours in water. This allows all the nutrients to be extracted from the bones, creating a highly nutritious elixir that is packed with nutrients that will do wonders for your health.
Bone broth is known as a healing superfood, helping heal skin, gut, GI tract and improve digestion, not to mention it can help get rid of the cold/flu that you’ve been suffering from. It’s a rich protein source that is packed with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits.
Bone broth vs. broth vs. stock?
Bone broth is not the same as stock or broth. Lets take a closer look and see what the differences are…
Stock is made using bones that might still have a small amount of meat on them, the bones are usually roasted and then simmered for 3-4 hours. Stock usually gets added to soups and stews for added flavor and are a good source of gelatin.
Broth is made using only a few bones and more meat. It is normally simmered for about 45 minutes to a couple of hours, it is rich in protein and light in flavor.
Bone broth is made using bones with very little to no meat on them. The bones are usually roasted and then simmered for 24 to 48 hours. Cooking the bones for this long produces gelatin, and releases all minerals from the bones.
Health Benefits in Bone Broth
Bone broth contains a wealth on health benefits, it has shown to significantly improve the following:
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Overall joint health
- Food intolerances and allergies
- Reduced cellulite
- Boost immune system
Bone broth goes back along way, even our ancestors boiled up animal bones, feet, tendons and ligaments to make use of every part of the animal they caught. Today it’s much easier to throw some animal bones into a slow cooker and simmer bones for a day or two. Simmering bones for this long releases healing compounds such as collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine all which have shown to transform our health.
Bone broth also contains a wealth of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and many others. These minerals are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory powers and improve arthritus and joint pain.
To get the most from bone broth be sure that you make it yourself and if possible use grass fed bones from your local farmers market. Don’t buy store brought “stock” or “broth” as it is most likely fake. Most store brought options are packed with fake meat flavorings and nasty chemicals which are not good for you.
Bone broth is packed with many nutrients and including amino acids, gelatin, collagen and many minerals. Many of these nutrients cannot be easily obtained from other food sources. Here are 6 of the main health benefits discussed in more detail.
As we age our joints naturally deteriorate due to wear and tear, this causes our bodies to become less flexible. Bone broth is a great source of collagen, which is the main structural protein found in animal bones and connective tissues. During the cooking process collagen is broken down into another protein called gelatin (gelatin is what makes broth congeal when it is in the fridge). These proteins help the body rebuild connective tisssue such as tendons and ligaments, making stronger joints and providing a cushion between bones to allow them to move more freely with less friction.
Studies show that the proteins in bone broth have significant benefits for those who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes painful damage to tendons and ligaments. This study improved the symptoms of 60 patients and actually help stop the autoimmune response completely in 4 patients leaving them in full remission.
Good For The Gut
Gelatin has shown to provide amazing health benefits for the lining of the gut. Studies have shown that it helps protect the body from food sensitivities (such as dairy or wheat), promotes the growth of good bacterias in the gut, and reduce inflammation within the digestive tract.
Many foods we eat can irritate the lining of the gut because they can be tough to break down. Bone broth helps soothe the digestive system and improve absorbtion of nutrients.
The collagen found in bone broth contains amino acids that help rebuild and repair the lining of the entire digestive tract.
Maintains Healthy Skin
Collagen is great for helping improve the appearance of the skin. Consuming colllagen on a regular basis develops an abundance of connective tissue that make your skin smoother and more supple. This helps reduce any visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and puffiness. Collagen has also shown to help decrease cellulite and improve the tone of the skin and make it firmer.
A recent study from the University of Kiel (Germany) showed that supplementing with collagen over an eight week period increased the elasticity and moisture of the skin.
Supports Immune System Function
One of the key benefits of bone broth is the gut healing benefits, as we discussed above have a huge impact on the body and support healthy immune system function.
Leaky gut happens when undigested food particles leak through small holes in a weakend intestinal lining and enters the bloodstream. This causes the immune system to release loads of antibodies which lead to a sort of autoimmune response, causing the body to attack healthy tissue and cause inflammation.
Bone broth is amazing at restoring gut health and therefore supports immune system function. The collagen, gelatin and amino acids (proline, glutamine and arginine) help seal these holes in the gut lining and support a healthy inflammatory response.
Detoxifies The Body
Everyday the average person gets exposed to host of nasty toxins, pesticides, chemicals and artificial ingredients that can cause many health issues. While our liver does its job at detoxifiying our body, it certainly wasn’t designed to stand up to todays toxic nature. Bone broth is great to detox the body, it helps the digestve system get rid of excess waste and helps improves the livers ability to remove toxins.
Bone broth contains potassium and glycine, both of which support cellular and liver detoxification.
Bone broth is known to boost detoxification as it helps supply sulfur and glutathione, these detoxification agents help lower oxidative stress. Glutathione has shown to help eliminate fat-soluble compounds, such as heavy metals (including mercury and lead). Glutathione also helps the body absorb more nutrients and make use of antioxidants to cleanse the liver.
The amino acids found within bone broth have several important metabolic roles, this includes repairing and building muscle tissue, supporting bone mineral density, boosts nutrient absorption and synthesis, and help to maintain muscle and connective tissue health. Glycine is also found in collagen, this helps covert glucose into useable energy, decrease cartilage, tissue and muscle loss that is associated with ageing by making better use of antioxidants.
Bone broth also contains glutamine which plays a major role in supporting a healthy metabolism, as it helps maintain energy by providing nutrients, including nitrogen to the cells in our body. Arginine is another important amino acid that breaks down nitric oxide, helping improve circulation and supplying blood and nutrients to cells throughout the entire body. This helps improve muscle and tissue integrity, and help wounds heal fatser.
A Quick and Easy Bone Broth Recipe
Now that we know about the health benefits bone broth has to offer, how about making some of your own. It’s super simple and doesn’t require any special skills to make it. Making your own broth is much healthier than store brought options as most of these products contain fake ingredients and chemicals that don’t do your health any favors, plus making your own is much cheaper.
- 2 -3 lbs chicken bones
- Gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- 2-4 chicken feet (optional)
- 4 quarts water
- 2 tbsp. vinegar
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
Place all the ingredients (except the parsley) into a crockpot. Bring it to a boil and then remove any excess scum that rises to the top. Turn the heat down to a low heat and let simmer for 24 hours. Only add the parsley about 10 minutes before you finish cooking.
Once it has finished cooking remove the bones and strain the stock into a bowl. It’s important to remember to add the vinegar at the start of cooking as this leaches the nutrients from the bones.
If you want to improve your health I recommend consuming eight ounces once to twice a day. You can drink it as a soup, or use to do a bone broth fast to get all the amazing benefits. I typically drink eight ounces most mornings.
Have you ever tried bone broth? Would you give it a try?