The health benefits of bone broth
The history of bone broth is vast: dating back thousands of years! In Chinese Medicine, bone broth was used for digestive and kidney health. Hippocrates, the father of medicine in Ancient Greek, also recommended it for digestive health. In 12th Century Egypt, chicken soup was used for asthma and colds. It was also given the nickname “Jewish Penicillin” for its anti-inflammatory properties. Looking at its history, you can see how profoundly it has affected many cultures worldwide.
Bone broth is essentially liquid gold. It’s made by simmering various bones and cuts like marrow, knuckles, and feet in water for anywhere between 12-48 hours. You can also add fresh herbs, onion, carrots, and celery. Adding a splash of an acid, like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, has been said to help break down the proteins and connective tissue, which gives the broth a higher protein and collagen count. When it cools, it should be incredibly gelatinous. You can drink it as is or add it to your favorite recipes.
What makes it different from a regular broth? Broth is cooked in a shorter time period (45 minutes to 2 hours), and it’s usually made with meat, ie. a whole chicken. If there are bones, it’s not cooked long enough to obtain the same nutritional value as a bone broth.
Bone broth is nutrient and mineral dense. Bones are abundant in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, iron, and manganese, and also have 17 types of amino acids! The nutritional content of bone broth varies due to the type of bones used, the cooking time, and the method, but all bone broth includes:
- Collagen: makes up 30% of the protein found in our bodies. It’s found in our bones, skin, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.
- Gelatin: It is collagen simmered. This is why bone broth is gelatinous when it comes to room temperature. It’s beneficial to our digestive system and gut health.
- Glycosaminoglycans: a complex carb that’s important to connective tissue and synovial fluid.
- Glycine: an amino acid that makes up about ⅓ of collagen. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
- Proline: another amino acid found in collagen. It helps with wound healing as well as how the immune system responds.
- Glutamine: an amino acid mostly found in the blood. One of the amino acids that can cross the blood–brain barrier. It helps remove excess ammonia and helps with the immune system, brain, and digestive system functions.
- Bone marrow: also filled with collagen. It helps reduce inflammation in the joints.
With all these amazing nutrients, you probably now understand why our ancestors included bone broth in their diets.
So what exactly do these nutrients in this medicinal broth do for our health? It can help with everything from brain to heart to joint health!
- Brain: the fatty acids found in bone broth have been shown to improve brain function. Glycine also helps with memory, stress, and mental clarity.
- Skin: bone broth is filled with collagen, and this has been proven to help with skin elasticity. It can help increase collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Liver: glutathione, an antioxidant that is made from amino acids, one of which is glycine. This antioxidant helps flush out toxins and excess hormones from the liver.
- Bones & Joints: calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium help strengthen bones. Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which helps decrease joint pain and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. Getting these minerals from bone broth makes it easier to absorb.
- Gut & Digestion: that wonderful amino acid, glycine, is at it again! Studies have shown that it decreases inflammation in your gut and improves the health of the tissues that line the gut. Studies have also shown that gelatin can protect and heal the digestive tract.
When friends and family come to me for advice on how to eat better, I tell them to start with bone broth. It’s so easy to add to your diet. I like to incorporate bone broth into many of my meals. Obviously, using it as a base for soups, but I also replace the water with it when making rice, and I’ll replace/reduce the milk/cream in my mashed potatoes with it too. This way, I am sneaking in the health benefits no matter what I am cooking!
Keep in mind the health benefits are most likely greater from pasture-raised animals. Simply Grassfed sells bones so that you can make your own. If you’re not up for the task of making broth at home, check out our chicken, beef, and turkey bone broths.
Drinking a cup a day may very well keep the doctor away!
All of our broths are made with:
- Wholesome Ingredients
- Pasture Raised
- Fed a chemical-free & GMO-free feed
- No Hormones or Antibiotics
- USDA Processing
- The History of Bone Broth – Ossa Organic
- A history on bone broth and its uses for millennia
- Bone Broth: How to Make It and 6 Reasons Why You Should
- 10 Reasons Bone Broth Is More Than Just a Passing Trend