Before superfoods, there was just real food. In a faraway land, all food was real, long ago and was consumed because it was good for body, mind and spirit.
Back when life was lived with less rush, our thrifty ancestors used every part of the animal by preparing stock, broth or bouillon from the bony portions. These portions contained valuable gelatin, marrow and collagen, which are all powerhouses of nutrition. Sadly, many in modern society are unfamiliar with these delicacies and believe soups and broths come in a box, can or powder. However, slow-cooked broths are used worldwide in traditional cuisines, and our modern chefs understand that the depth of flavour created during the simmering process cannot be matched.
The health benefits of bone broth are vast and numerous. Almost every culture throughout history has used bone broth to make easily digested, healing soups and stews. It has been used in ancient medicinal practices to boost the immune system, support the digestive system and build and strengthen the blood. In addition, our ancestors made bone broth soups and stews often to keep sickness at bay.
NUTRIENTS GALORE. The unique spectrum of nutrients in bone broth is proven to heal our bodies, rejuvenate our systems, and boost our overall health in amazing ways, including improving sleep quality, lessening fatigue, stimulating cartilage production, and inhibiting cartilage degradation. In addition, the slow-simmering cooking process releases vital minerals from the bones that our bodies can easily absorb, meaning maximum benefits. Looking for bone broth recipes? Look no further! Bone Broth has you covered.
GLOWY SKIN. Bone broth is full of collagen, gelatin and hyaluronic acid, all of which contribute to skin elasticity and help plump out creases and fine lines. Healthy fats found in bone broth are also proven to bring brightness to dull skin.
HAPPY JOINTS. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate are compounds that are often sold on their own as joint health supplements. Anti-inflammatory amino acids help reduce a key issue that causes joint pain. The collagen found in bone broth also helps strengthen the cartilage between our joints and the muscles and connective tissue that supports them.
AMPED UP IMMUNITY. Remember all those times mom made soup when you were sick? It’s because this stuff heals. Bone broth is essentially made up of the same stuff we are, meaning drinking bone broth is like giving our bodies a super boost of what it might be lacking when our immunity is low.
GUT HEALTH HERO. Ever heard of leaky gut? It’s not fun and can cause various issues, including allergies, inflammation and even chronic stress. However, bone broth has an amazing ability to replenish our gut lining and heal this issue and its symptoms. Learn all about it here.
DELICIOUS VERSATILITY. Bone broth can be eaten on its own but can also be mixed into unexpected places. We love these bone broth waffles from Sharon Brown’s Healing Bone Broth Recipes, full of other fun ways to get in on bone broth benefits.
IT’S EASY TO ACE. Toss a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker, and voila! Bone broth for the week. This easy recipe is a perfect place to start. Once you get your bearings, check out these simple tips for making that good bone broth amazing. If you’re lazy or just short on time, there are plenty of restaurants popping up across the country that specialize in this ancient superfood. So grab a cup to go here, here, or here – we won’t tell.
8 Impressive Bone Broth Benefits
There’s a laundry list of health benefits of bone broth. For one, it’s a great source of protein (about 6 grams per cup) and minerals like calcium, phosphorous (good for bones and teeth), and potassium, which helps move nutrients into cells and waste out of cells. That’s not all. Keep reading for more of the benefits of bone broth.
Heal and seal your gut.
One of the main bone broth benefits is for your gut. A cup of bone broth a day can help with the leaky gut syndrome, but it’s also good for protecting non-leaky guts, according to Jill Grunewald, a holistic nutrition coach and founder of Healthful Elements. The gelatin in the bones typically used for broth (such as knuckles, feet, and other joints) is said to help seal up holes in the intestines. (People who have leaky gut syndrome have a porous intestinal lining.) This “patching” can help ease chronic diarrhea, constipation, and even some food intolerances. Not to mention, it goes down easy; that’s why dietitians recommend broth as one of the best hangover foods or for patients with food sensitivities.
Protect your joints.
Taking glucosamine supplements has long been used as the first line of treatment for people with joint pain, but it turns out that bone broth has glucosamine, too. In addition, unlike pills, the broth offers other nutritional and health benefits that can help reduce pain. For example, chondroitin sulphate, which is found in the cartilage that protects joints, has been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.
Keep your collagen strong.
According to Daniel Auer, a holistic medicine doctor based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the real benefit of bone broth is the low-and-slow cooking process, which breaks down the bones and connective tissues of the meat. Then, as you sip the broth, you take in collagen (a building block of cells found everywhere from your skin and bones to your brain), and gelatin (a form of collagen that aids digestion) – both of which he says is incredibly healing.
Experts are torn on whether you can gain the skin-firming, joint-strengthening benefits of collagen by ingesting it. Still, studies have shown an improvement in skin’s elasticity and fine lines from collagen supplements. (Learn more about whether you should be adding collagen to your diet.)
Another (somewhat unexpected) bone broth benefit: Research has shown that glycine, found in bone broth, may help improve sleep and ward off fatigue. (Here are more tips on what to eat for better sleep.)
Support a healthy immune system.
Because of bone broth’s high concentration of minerals, Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, goes as far as to call bone broth a “superfood” that can strengthen your immune system. (Stock up on these other immune system-boosting foods too.)
Increase bone strength.
The phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the bones seep out into the broth, leaving you to sip all those essential nutrients for your healthy bones.
Get some bone broth protein.
We’re not suggesting an entire bone broth diet. It cannot (and should not) be your only means for getting essential nutrients like amino acids. However, if you don’t regularly eat meat, one of the benefits of bone broth is that it can help supply amino acids from animal protein via bones. Amino acids are important for muscle recovery and energy – two key factors in your fitness performance. Looking for bone broth benefits? Look no further! Bone Broth has you covered.
While no one food is a magic ticket to weight loss or good health (instead, look to these five indisputable guidelines for healthy eating), bone broth is low in calories and high in nutrients, making it a great choice if you’re looking to lose weight or consume a more nutritious diet. Of course, all bone broths’ exact nutrition facts and benefits will be slightly different, but in general, one cup of bone broth has just 30-50 calories.
Mistakes For The Very Best Bone Broth
Bone broth is one of the latest superfoods everybody is talking about. However, it’s not new at all, as your grandparents likely used to make their stock from bones (aka bone broth) all the time! Drinking bone broth has many health benefits that warrant you whipping up some regularly. The magic of bone broth comes from the gelatin and minerals extracted from the bones during the cooking process.
Gelatin is a key component of connective tissue and is a great matrix for all kinds of healing in the body. It is formed from the collagen in the bones’ tendons and ligaments when heat is applied. In addition to gelatin, you’ll find a wide range of minerals that are leached from the bones and marrow, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
There are so many great articles being shared about making bone broth that I thought it would be refreshing to share what NOT to do when cooking this health elixir. So, here are seven common traps to avoid to ensure your broth packs a medicinal punch every time.
Although you can make bone broth in a pot on the stove, you’re best off using a slow cooker. Using a slow cooker means you’ll avoid high temperatures that can destroy some of the nutrients.
Buy the biggest one you can, and you won’t have to make it as often!
To get as much goodness into your bone broth as possible, you’ll need to cook it in a slow cooker on low for about 48 hours. You may need a little top up of water at this time.
After this amount of time, the bones should be quite chalky, and in the case of chicken, very soft and brittle.
You want to include some veggies for flavour and added nutrition but use them sparingly. You’ll need quite a lot of water to draw out most of the gelatin and minerals, and overpacking the pot will prevent this from being possible.
Try adding just one onion, some garlic, half a carrot and a stick of celery (with the leaves).
This one is contentious because roasting your bones will give you a richer broth with a more roasted flavour. But roasting in the oven can destroy some of the minerals, so you will get at least some nutrient loss doing it this way.
If you have trouble with the taste of the bone broth, then perhaps roasting might help you consume more. Otherwise, it’s an unnecessary step. Check out our Melbourne beef bone broth here.
Adding vinegar to the mix helps draw minerals out of the bones. Add a generous splash of apple cider vinegar to help with the process. You can also use organic red wine vinegar in beef or lamb bone broths that give it a great flavour.
Neither of these on hand? Any vinegar will do the trick, but the ones I’ve mentioned are more healthful.
The goodness of the broth comes from the bone marrow and joints. So the more cartilage and joint pieces, the better. Chicken feet make great broth for this reason!
Avoid bones that have a lot of meat on them. It’s also important to source your bones organically to avoid any toxic residues.
Once your broth is made, you’ll want to strain it and divvy it up to be frozen. Don’t make the mistake of pouring it into plastic containers. The liquid will interact with the plastic, and you’ll get a dose of plastic chemicals like bisphenol A or other bisphenols in your healthy broth.
Instead, save all your jars and reuse them to freeze your bone broth. Once the broth is cooled enough to touch, strain it and decant it into jars. Leave an inch or so of room at the top before putting the lid on and freezing it to prevent it from exploding.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most delicious and healthful bone broth possible. You can drink 1-2 cups a day and use it in any recipe that you’d like normal stock, like soups, casseroles, risotto, sauces, and much more.
What makes bone broth good for you?
The nutritional profile of bone broth depends widely on the kind of bones you use (you can use chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish—anything!), your cooking time, and the way the animals were raised (grass-fed and pasture-raised animals will give you more nutrient density). But there are a few common things about bone broth that make it so awesome:
- It’s loaded with gelatin. The slow and low cooking helps to release the gelatin—a broken-down version of collagen—in the connective tissues and bones you use. Why is this a good thing? Well, major important areas of our body (like the lining of our gut and our connective tissues and joints) are made from collagen—in fact, about 25% of our body is made of collagen! Some folks use gelatin or collagen supplements, but bone broth is another effective (and affordable) way to get your gelatin and collagen. Making sure you get an adequate supply of collagen has many health benefits like helping you sleep better, making your skin more supple, protecting your gut lining, and making your joints less achy.
- It’s easy to digest. Sometimes the roughage of a huge salad is good for you, but sometimes—especially if you are fighting digestive disorders or your immune system isn’t up to snuff—easy-to-digest foods are the way to go. Bone broth is a wonderful marriage of easy-to-digest but still nutritionally powerful.