What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a popular trend in the health and fitness world. People are turning to it as a solution to improve skin and add nutrients to diets. So, what exactly is it?
Bone broth is a nutritious stock that results from the simmering of animal bones, typically chicken, beef, lamb, pig, turkey and fish. You can save bones from your own meals and recipes to use or buy them from a local butcher. You can store bones in your freezer until you are ready to cook with them. However, once the bone broth is cooked, it’s recommended to use it within 5 days.
It is important to note that not all bones are the same. The actual nutrition content of the bone broth will depend on the bones and the quality of their ingredients. Bone broth typically consists of bones, bone marrow and connective tissue.
What Nutrients Does Bone Broth Provide?
The nutrients in bones will vary based on the animal, how much bone you’re using and how long the broth cooks for. Calcium and phosphorus are the main minerals found in bones. While you may think consuming bone broth is a good way to up your calcium intake, keep in mind that there’s generally very little in comparison to your daily calcium needs. It is important to get calcium from other major food sources too.
There are also smaller amounts of sodium, potassium, sulfur and other micronutrients found in the broth. The bone marrow is also full of many nutrients, like Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, omega 3’s, omega 6’s, iron, zinc, selenium, boron and manganese. Lastly, the connective tissue provides glucosamine and chondroitin, typically known for their role in arthritis and joint pain. Bones, marrow and connective tissue all provide collagen.
What Are The Health Benefits of Bone Broth?
We don’t really have any evidenced-based studies to date that confirm the health benefits of bone broth. However, there are many suggested benefits based on some of the nutrients found in bone broth. For example, bone broth may provide anti-inflammatory benefits, help with bone and joint health and may impact sleep. There is a good amount of research on glucosamine and chondroitin reducing pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis, so it’s reasonable to expect that bone broth could improve joint health. One small study of 60 older adults with rheumatoid arthritis found that symptoms improved after consuming chicken collagen for three months.
Gycine, an amino acid found in bone broth, also acts an antioxidant and may improve sleep, while glutamine, another amino acid, helps maintain the function of our intestines. Therefore, bone broth is also believed to help with digestion and chronic diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease.
How to Make It
The process of making bone broth is actually quite easy and just requires bones, water and vinegar. Adding an acid, such as lemon or vinegar, can help break down the collagen and connective tissue. As the ingredients simmer, the nutrients are released into the liquid in a form that your body can easily absorb. You can also add flavorings, such as onions, garlic cloves, salt and pepper and other herbs. People typically drink bone broth on its own or add it to soups and stews to boost the nutritional content.
While we don’t have a lot of scientific evidence about bone broth, there seems to be no risk in consuming it. It can be a flavorful way to add small amounts of nutrients to your diet and also decrease food waste.