Health Benefits of Bone Broth Backed by Science
Bone broth has been trending for quite some time now. It is one of the most popular trends in health and fitness.
Many people drink the bone broth as a weight loss remedy, to improve their skin tone, and provide nourishment to their joints.
In this article, we will examine bone broth and its health benefits in detail.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is a kind of stock made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals. It is very nutritious.
Simmering with lemon juice or vinegar causes a breakdown of the connective tissue and collagen.
What you have at the end of the day is a liquid-filled with nutrients and with a great taste. Bone broth is a very common ingredient in sauces and soups.
Bone broth has been trending among the health-conscious. Many people can’t do without a cup of bone broth each day.
You can use any marrow or connective tissue, like beaks, feet, legs, spines, fins, whole carcasses, hocks, or hooves.
What kind of nutrients can I find in bone broth?
The kind of nutrients in bone broth depends on the ingredients. The quality of the ingredients also plays an important role:
- Bone: It is rich in phosphorus and calcium. It also contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, silicon, and sulfur.
- Connective tissue: It is a rich source of chondroitin and glucosamine, which are important supplements for joint pain and arthritis.
- Marrow: Bone marrow is fortified with omega-3s, vitamin A, and vitamin K2, omega-6s, selenium, iron, zinc, manganese, and boron.
It is also important to note that connective tissues, marrow, and bones contain are primarily made up of collagen, which converts to gelatin when cooked.
Gelatin contains a ton of amino acids and is very rich in glycine.
How to prepare bone broth
Preparing bone broth isn’t such a big deal. It is so easy that many people don’t bother using a recipe.
You don’t need a ton of ingredients – just bones, a pot, water, and vinegar.
The recipe below will help you as a starter:
- A gallon of water
- 2-3 pounds of chicken bones
- One onion (optional)
- Apple cider vinegar – 2 tablespoons
- A teaspoon of salt and pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic.
- Put the vegetables and the bones in a large pot.
- Cover the contents of the pot with water. Add the vinegar, and increase the temperature to bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat, add the pepper and salt and simmer for 4-24 hours. Simmering it for a longer time makes it tastier and more nutrient-dense.
- Set the broth down to cool, and then strain. You’re good to go!
You can spice your vegetables with veggies and other meat. Interesting options include liver, lemon rinds, ginger, celery, carrots, leaves, and parsley.
The broth can be refrigerated for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
You can prepare your bone broth with a Crock-pot, a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker.
Evidence-based health benefits of bone broth
Bone broth is rich in many different nutrients. Most of these nutrients have immense health benefits.
For instance, it is rich in protein collagen, minerals, and glycine, an amino acid. It also contains chondroitin and glucosamine.
It is important to note that no studies have done direct investigations on the health benefits of bone broth, but then, one can make informed guesses based on its nutrient profile.
The following are potential health benefits of bone broth:
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Bone broth contains glycine. Glycine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (1, 2).
- Weight loss: The calorie content of bone broth is on the low side. But then, you will still feel full after eating it. This is because it contains gelatin. Gelatin promotes satiety (3, 4).
- Joint health: The chondroitin and glucosamine in bone broth improve bone health, and also eases the symptoms of osteoarthritis (5, 6, 7).
- Bone health: The nutrients in bone broth promotes the health of your bones. These nutrients include phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
- Brain and sleep function: Studies have shown that intake of glycine before bed improves brain and sleep function (8, 9, 10).
Is bone broth worth taking?
There’s no doubt that bone broth is enriched in many nutrients. Some of these nutrients have immense health benefits and are generally deficient in the diet.
But then, very little direct researches have been done on the benefits of broth. Considering the increasing popularity of broth, there are chances that direct researches may be done in the future. But whatever the case, it is worth noting that bone broth is tasty, nutritious, and very satisfying. You should have it on your diet.
Ifiokobong Ene is a Medical Physiologist, and a freelance medical writer. Ifiok brings his years of medical research experience to help consistently create high-quality, and engaging articles and products that uphold the highest medical standards. He is dedicated to making health and wellness information available, actionable, and understandable so that readers can make the best decisions about their health.