Athletes swear by it and doctors praise it for its health benefits. But the question is what is bone broth? Simply put, it is boiled animal bones, herbs and vegetables. The animal bones (poultry, beef, pork, or fish bones) are typically roasted first and then simmered with different herbs and vegetables for at least 24 hours. During this time the bones are broken down and release various nutrients.
Bone broth has long been prized by traditional cultures for its remarkable healing ability. It has immense health benefits, from speeding up healing and recuperation from illness to improving athletic performance. Bone broth contains five key amino acids. These amino acids are considered nonessential amino acids because the body can manufacture these amino acids on its own. However, the body does not always produce the proper levels of these amino acids, especially if your diet is not ideal. Below are five key amino acids that bone broth supplies your body with.
Five Key Amino Acids
- Proline. Proline plays a key role in making both collagen and cartilage. It helps maintain joint, skin, and heart health.
- Glycine. Glycine plays a vital role in the creating and maintaining healthy blood, digestive health, DNA and RNA synthesis, and blood sugar regulation through glucose manufacturing.
- Glutamine. Glutamine plays an important role in gut health, immunity support and recovery, detoxification, muscle building and repairing, and brain health.
- Alanine. Alanine is important for liver function, glucose production and the citric acid cycle. It is commonly used to help increase energy and endurance as well as anti-aging.
- Arginine. Arginine in beneficial for healing various injuries, cuts, scrapes, incisions and other various wounds. It is also helpful for proper kidney function and heart health (arteries).
Bone broth is loaded with beneficial nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and trace minerals that your body can easily absorb. Below are some of the top reasons you should consider bone broth in your diet.
10 Reasons to Eat Bone Broth
1. Heal and seal your gut
The gelatin found in bone broth helps heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract (basically it works to seal holes you might have in your digestive tract). It also attracts and holds liquids, such as digestive juices, to help support the digestion of nutrients for proper, healthy digestion.
2. Joint health
Gelatin, cartilage, glycine, chondroitin sulphate, and glucosamine are all found in bone broth and all of these supplements help protect your joints and relieve joint pain. The gelatin and glycine work to help reduce stiffness in joints. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are the compounds typically sold as supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain.
3. Detoxifies your liver
Our liver is designed to help rid the body of toxins; however, in today’s society that task has become a challenge for the liver. With so many toxins, not only just our food, but our air and water too, our liver can become overworked. The livers ability to detoxify our bodies of these toxins efficiently is limited by the amount of glycine available. Bone broth is rich in glycine. By providing the liver with ample amount of glycine, bone broth helps the liver detoxify our bodies.
4. Sleep better
Research has shown that consuming gelatin before bed helps induce sleep because of the amino acid glycine. Glycine has a calming effect, which should allow you to fall asleep and sleep better. Glycine also plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain. So not only will ingesting bone broth improve sleep quality, but it will also help reduce daytime sleepiness and help improve your memory during waking hours.
5. Immune support
Bone broth provides a rich source of minerals and amino acids that supply the body with raw materials to rebuild stronger and healthier cells. Bone broth also boosts antioxidant activity in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine bone broth is used to boost the immune system and fight infections
6. Bone Health
Bone broth contains high amounts of nutrients, specifically calcium and magnesium, that play an important role in both bone formation and repair. Also, the collagen helps aid in the formation and strengthening of bones. Collagen fibrils provide the latticework for mineral deposition and are the keys to the building of strong and flexible bones. Additionally, the chondroitin sulfate contained in bone broth has been proven to help prevent osteoarthritis.
7. Better than supplements
Bone broth contains just as many, and in most cases, more nutrients and minerals found in most supplements. The process for extracting the nutrients (by simmering over low heat), is a better, more effective way in preserving nutrients than how supplements are made. Additionally, bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in the bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills.
8. Healthy Skin
Collagen is important in keeping your skin healthy, smooth and young. As we age, our collagen production decreases, this causes our skin to become less smooth and dryer. Bone broth contains high amounts of collagen, the proteins found in our flesh and connective tissues. Skin becomes healthier and smoother when there’s an abundance of connective tissue. In addition to collagen, gelatin plays an important role in not only keeping your skin healthy, but helps promote healthy hair and nail growth!
9. Fights Inflammation
Bone broth contains large amounts of the amino acids glycine and proline. Both of these amino acids have anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, chondroitin sulphates, which is extracted from the cartilage of the bones, helps fight inflammation and joint pain.
10. It’s cheap!
This might just be the icing on the cake. Bone broth is cheap, it is made from materials you typically have been throwing away!
How to make it
- Free-range bony chicken parts (necks, backs, breastbones and wings), beef bones, lamb bones, oxtail, or fish bones
- Cold filtered water (enough to cover bones)
- 2 TB apple cider vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 bunch parsley
Put the bones into a crock pot or a slow cooker. Cover with filtered, cold water, enough to cover the bones by about an inch. Add in the apple cider vinegar.
Turn heat on medium and slowly bring to a low boil, avoiding a hard boil. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down and maintain a very slow simmer. Remove any scum that has risen to the top. After skimming, you can add vegetables and fresh or dry herbs. Simmer 6-48 hours for chicken and 12-72 hours for beef. The longer it simmers, the better the resulting broth. However, it is important to make sure it is on low heat to ensure that all the nutrients are drawn out of the bones.
Allow the soup to cool. Remove the large bones with tongs. Strain the soup in a fine strainer. For added bonus you can scoop any of the remaining bone marrow out of the bones and stir it back into the broth.
Homemade bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days, or in the freezer for several months.