Diet and Nutrition

Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Health Benefits of Bone Broth

What is Bone Broth?

People nowadays are quite concerned about maintaining their health. They are getting more conscious about what is served on their plate, which exercises to do, etc. With its numerous health benefits, bone broth is an easy-to-make recipe at home with maximum components found in one food itself.

Bone broth is good for our overall well-being. Bone broth is also called as the miracle multivitamin since it is packed with all the essential and non-essential amino acids. Bone broth can be made of chicken, beef, fish, lamb and more. Bone broth is easily digestible, has a rich flavour, and boosts immunity.

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Bones of the animal are boiled and then simmered. This simmering causes the release of compounds which are rich in healing power. Bone broth is rich in protein. Compounds such as collagen, glycin, proline and glutamine have the power to keep you energized and heal your body. Since bone broth contains certain minerals which are easy to digest and the body readily absorbs them, an individual has never had any problems by consuming bone broth. Certain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur and phosphorus are found in this broth.

The amino acids present in the chicken soup reduce inflammation in the respiratory system, thus improving digestion. It also heals allergies such as asthma, arthritis and certain other allergies. Regular intake of bone broth can promote healthy gut and also reduce inflammation.

Proline along with vitamin C is good for the health of the skin. Broth is also rich in gelatin, which is again good for skin. It promotes and support the skin health. Along with skin, gelatin also aids digestive health.

Major Nutritional Compounds in Bone Broth

Below mentioned are the key nutritional compounds which are found in bone broth that improve the overall health of the individual:

  • Glycosaminoglycans – Their main role is to support the collagen and elastin, which are usually located between the bones and various fibres. They help restore the intestinal lining and support digestive health. If there is any deficiency in this component, it leads to digestive problems. Bone broth contains several important glycosaminoglycans like glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate.
    • Glucosamine – Hydrochloride and sulfate are the two main types of glucosamine, which are naturally available. Both these glucosamine help to keep up the cartilage, which is a rubbery substance that acts like a cushion within the joints. However, the level of glucosamine reduces as a person ages, hence we usually need supplements to maintain its levels in the body. 
      One of the easy and non-expensive ways to get glucosamine is by drinking bone broth. Bone broth is way better than taking expensive medications as supplements. Regular consumption would provide healthy joints, flexibility and more comfort.
    • Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid is very important, since it is one of the key contributors to cell proliferation, mitigation and differentiation. It allows the cell to perform multiple functions as needed by the body.  It is also an agent for gradual aging as it rejuvenates the skin and keeps it tight and firm.
    • Chondroitin sulfate – Chondroitin is one of the glycosaminoglycans found in the cartilage within the joints of the animals. Chondroitin is often helpful to support the joints and provide more comfort.
  • Collagen – Collagen is one of the essential proteins which is found in the human body. It helps to seal the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract and also forms the connective tissue.  The connective tissue is very important when it comes to covering and holding the bones together and allows smooth glide and free movement. Bone broth being rich in gelatin protects and seals the mucosal linings of the gastrointestinal tract, thereby improving the absorption of nutrients.
  • Minerals & Electrolytes – Various electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, potassium are obtained through bone broth. These act as a support system for various functions in the body like maintaining bone density, healthy circulation and keeping your heart and digestive tract healthy. When the level of added sodium is low, bone broth helps in maintaining the ideal balance of potassium and sodium which supports cellular health and efficiency.

Benefits of Bone broth

Bone broth has been found to have numerous health benefits some of which are as follows:

  • Improved health of joints – Bone broth is a rich source of collagen. This collagen is found in the animal’s bones, skin, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we grow older, our body goes through its natural process of wear and tear, thus leaving less room for flexibility in the joints.
    Use of antibiotics for various reasons reduces cartilage in the body. The collagen found in bone broth readily gets absorbed in the body and helps to restore the cartilage. Another important component found in bone broth is gelatin. It acts like a soft cushion between the bones, thus helping them glide smoothly causing less friction. Gelatin also helps to maintain strong bones as the individual ages and supports bone mineral density.
  • Improved health of skin – Elastin and other compounds formed from collagen are responsible for maintaining the skin’s youthful texture, tone and appearance. Collagen helps reduce the visible signs of wrinkles and fights the other signs of aging. When an individual has foods or supplements containing collagen, it reduces the cellulite in the body. Cellulite are formed due to lack of connective tissue and it also allows the skin to lose it firm tone and texture.
  • Better functioning of immune system – Bone broth provides a holistic effect on the body along with supporting a healthy immune system. When undigested food particles seep through the tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining, it enters the bloodstream of the person. The immune system identifies them and turns hyperactive which causes increase in inflammation leading to dysfunctioning in the overall working of the body. In this case, bone broth is highly beneficial as the amino acids such as proline, glutamine and arginine along with collagen and gelatin present in the bone broth help to seal the gut lining. Bone broth also promotes healthy sleep and keeps the individual energized and in a good mood.
  • Improved detoxification of the body – In today’s changing environment, an individual to exposed to so many toxins in food in the form of artificial preservatives, processed foods, pesticides and different sorts of chemicals. Bone broth helps to detoxify the body from all these harmful chemicals and aids the digestive system in eliminating all the waste material from the body. It also promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins and improves the use of antioxidants. The components potassium and glycine, contained in bone broth help in liver and cellular detoxification.
  • Improved metabolism and anabolism – The amino acids found in bone broth help to repair muscle tissue, support the mineral density of the bone, increase nutrient absorption and maintain muscle and tissue health. Another important component glycine found in collagen helps to form the muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy. Glycine also protects skeletal muscle loss and stops the expression of genes associated with the breakdown of muscle protein as the individual ages.
  • Effective treatment for cold and bronchitis – Bone broth helps in alleviating the symptoms caused due to common cold. It helps to clear the mucus and opens up the respiratory passage. An amino acid called cysteine present in the bone broth is similar to the drug called acetylcysteine, used during bronchitis .
  • Promotes healthier bones and teeth – The bone formation process requires constant supply of nutrients which should include calcium, protein, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin B. Bone broth made from meat, fish or vegetables sources contains all of these vitamins and minerals which are hard to find in any other food.
  • Helps lose weight – Studies reveal that consuming a soup before meal has promoted weight loss. This is due to the lower amount of caloric intake during meal since one already feels full after consuming the soup.
  • Keeps one hydrated – Bone broth made from vegetables is very good, since it contains electrolytes and carbohydrates which keep the body hydrated throughout the day. Broth has shown to have better rehydration capacity than water alone due to the electrolytes.
  • Positive effect on the mood – What we intake has a great influence on our gut and this has an influence on the brain. There is always a connection between the brain and the gut bacteria.
    When the gut bacteria are healthy, happy signals go out to the brain and when the gut bacteria are unhealthy for whatever reasons, signals of anxiety or depression are sent out to the brain.
    Due to the numerous inflammatory diseases around us, there are issues of anxiety attacks and panic attacks occurring everyday. This can be corrected by including gelatin rich foods in the diet. The foods rich in gelatin have amino acids including alanine, proline and glycine which would send out happy signals to the brain.
  • Muscle building capacity – Broth contains amino acids which help to stimulate the muscle protein synthesis. This is essential for continuous growth and maintenance of the skeletal muscles.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, Bone broth also has additional positive effects on the body, such as:

  • Effect on diabetes - Lowers blood sugar and maintains the insulin level in the body.
  • Protects the cells in the body.
  • Promotes healthy sleep for the individual
  • Normalizes the acid present in the stomach.
  • Maintains stronger and healthy looking nails.

Difference between Broth, Stock and Bone broth

Broth, stock and bone broth are all traditional food items and the names are typically used interchangeably. The main foundation of how these are made lies the same. Common materials such as meat, water, bones, vegetables and any additional seasonings are used. Once all these materials are kept in a pot for cooking, the liquid is skimmed. Eventually, the liquid is strained and the solids are removed. At times, people have it with the solids as well.

  • Broth – This is made with meat containing a small amount of bones. It is simmered for a little time, typically between 45 minutes to two hours. Broth is typically light, but packed with lots of flavour and rich in proteins.
  • Stock – Stock is mainly made up of bones and contains a small amount of meat. Before simmering, the bones are roasted well to bring out the flavour. If the bones are not roasted, it gives out an acrid flavour. Stock is simmered for three to four hours. Stock usually is thick and has a gelatinous texture. 
  • Bone broth – Like stocks, this is mainly made up of bones and small quantity of meat. Similar to stocks, bones are first roasted well to add flavour to the bone broth. Bone broth takes longer time for simmering and is simmered for 8 hours or more to produce more gelatin from the collagen rich joints. Also, it releases small amounts of minerals from the bones during the simmering process. You know the bone broth is ready when the bones crumble when pressed lightly between the fingers. Ensure that bone broth is stored in refrigerator for not more than one week.

Key Takeaways

  • Bone Broth is packed with various minerals, vitamins and amino acids, which are essential for our health.
  • Bone broth aids digestion, improves joint health and provides healthy looking skin and nails.
  • Bone broth contains many nutritional compounds such as glycosaminoglycans, collagen, minerals and electrolytes, which help keep the body healthy.