Bone broth has immense benefits, and we are going to tell you some ancient secrets about what makes them so incredible.
Benefits from Bone Broth
Bone broth is considered to be the best thing to eat in:
- Overcoming allergies and food intolerances;
- Treatment of leaky gut syndrome;
- Improving joint health;
- Improving the immune system;
- Reducing cellulite.
Bone broths are loaded with nutrients, possess rich flavor, are easily digestible, and speed up the healing, so there’s a reason why doctors and mothers recommend it when you feel under the weather. They are the basis of all good cuisine.
Our ancestors tried to use every part of animals, including bones, skin, marrow, feet, ligaments, and tendons by boiling and simmering them over a couple of days. During their simmering, ligaments, and bones release healing compounds such as proline, collagen, glutamine, and glycine which improve our health.
Kaayla Daniel and Sally Fallon are nutritional researchers of the Weston A. Price Foundation, who tell that bone broths possess such forms of minerals that can be easily absorbed by our body, like magnesium, calcium, sulfur, silicon, and others, which in turn contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate- compounds which decrease joint pain, arthritis, and inflammation, and which are sold as expensive supplements (1).
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center wanted to discover what was in the bone broth that made it so beneficial in cases of flu and colds Broth and Co. They discovered that during the making of chicken stock, there’s a production of amino acids which improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the respiratory system. Further research showed that it can also heal asthma, allergies, arthritis as well as boost the immune system.
However, as Fallon explains, the majority of nowadays store-bought broth and stock aren’t “real”, since producers add lab-produced meat flavors in soups, bouillon cubes, and sauce mixes. Moreover, they even started using MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is a neurotoxin known as a meat flavor.
The best and only way to get the healing benefits from bone broth is to prepare your own at home, as we presented at the end of this post. Bone broth contains all of the beneficial amino acids, gelatin, collagen, and trace minerals, as well as some nutrients which can’t be easily obtained from other foods. If you consume bone broth on a regular basis, you will promote a healthy gut, and lower inflammation and permeability.
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6 Major Benefits from Bone Broth
1. Protects Joints
Human joints naturally tear and wear as we get older, and therefore become less flexible. But, bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, as it is located in the bones, cartilage, skin, tendons, and ligaments of vertebrae animals, which helps restore the damaged cartilage in our body.
Gelatin is one of the most beneficial components of bone broth, as it functions as a soft cushion between bones, preventing friction. This compound removes the pressure from aging joints, and encourages healthy bone mineral density, meaning it’s beneficial for the formation and maintenance of strong bones.
Research at Penn State University also proved that collagen supplementation for a period of 24 weeks improves the joint comfort of athletes, and reduces the factors which have adverse effects on their athletic performance.
2. Good for the Gut
The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology has published a report which says that gelatin supports intestinal integrity and health. Various studies have proved that gelatin is beneficial for fighting wheat, dairy, and other food sensitivities, restoring the gut lining health, supporting healthy levels of inflammation within the digestive tract, and helping the growth of good bacteria in the gut (probiotics).
People with digestive imbalances have been proved to have decreased serum concentrations of collagen. Since the collagen’s amino acids build the tissue that lines not only the colon but the whole gastrointestinal tract, collagen supplements can encourage healthy digestion.
3. Maintains Healthy Skin
The production of the compounds responsible for keeping the youthful appearance, texture, and tone of the skin, such as elastin, is significantly helped by collagen. Collagen decreases the visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and puffiness. Some people even say that they have noticed a reduction of their cellulite when consuming supplements and foods which contain collagen.
According to placebo-controlled, double-blind studies, women at the age between 35 and 55 who took 2.5 to 5 gr of CH (collagen hydrolysate) on a daily basis, for an eight week period, showed improved skin moisture, elasticity, transepidermal water loss, and roughness of the skin, as opposed to those who took a placebo (3).
4. Supports the Function of the Immune System
As we already mentioned, bone broth is extremely beneficial for the gut, and the function of the immune system.
When some undigested particles from the consumed food leak into the bloodstream through small openings in the intestinal lining, we talk about leaky gut. In such cases, the immune system becomes hyperactive, which raises the levels of inflammation. The immune system then releases antibodies in high levels, which provokes autoimmune-like reactions and attacks on the healthy tissue, ultimately leading to dysfunctions all over.
In such instances, bone broth is the ideal food for improving gut health, supporting the normal function of the immune system, and proper inflammation response. The gelatin/collagen and the amino acids glutamine, proline, and arginine contribute to the healing of those small gut lining openings and support the integrity of the gut. Moreover, it is believed that bone broth is an energy booster, improves mood throughout the day, and promotes sound sleep.
5. Improves Detoxification
Although our body has its own ways of detoxifying itself from various toxic exposures, like heavy metals, sometimes has a hard time doing this with a massive amount of chemicals. In such cases, bone broth can significantly help the detoxification process, by helping the digestive system to eliminate the waste, supporting the ability of the liver to eliminate toxins, improving the organism’s use of antioxidants, and keeping the tissue integrity.
Moreover, bone broth has glycine and potassium in its content, which supports the liver and cellular detoxification (4).
6. Promotes Anabolism and Helps Metabolism
Glutathione is important for nutrient metabolism, antioxidant defense, and cellular events regulation, and it can be found in bone broth. As proved by a 2004 study, glutathione regulates DNA, gene expressions, and protein synthesis, apoptosis and cell proliferation, cytokine production, signal transduction, and immune responses (5).
Moreover, amino acids contained in the bone broth have numerous benefits, including repairing and building muscle tissue, improving nutrient absorption and synthesis, supporting bone mineral density, and keeping the health of connective and muscle tissue. According to studies, glycine contained within collagen protects loss of skeletal muscle and ends the expression of genes connected to the breakdown of age-related muscle proteins.
Another amino acid beneficial for our metabolism is glutamine. It sends nutrients such as nitrogen to the cells in our body, thus helping us to keep our energy levels. Moreover, arginine is responsible for nitric oxide decomposing which leads to improved circulation and sends nutrients and blood to our cells, promoting proper healing of wounds, and improving the tissue and muscle integrity.
Bone Broth Nutrition
Bone broth contains:
- Gelatin/collagen, which helps in the formation of connective tissue;
- More than 19 essential and non-essential, easy-to-absorb amino acids;
- Nutrients that support immunity, digestive functions, and brain health.
As you can see, bone broth is beneficial for almost every part of the human body, starting from your muscles and ligaments, to your gut and brain. Furthermore, it is rich in minerals and low in calories. The following list contains 6 of the main bone broth’s nutritional compounds which are responsible for all of its incredible benefits.
1. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG). They are responsible for supporting and maintaining the elastin and collagen between the bones and restoring the intestinal lining. Bone broth contains several crucial GAGs, like chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine.
2. Glucosamine. It appears naturally in two types: sulfate and hydrochloride. They are beneficial for cartilage integrity, which is the substance located in joints that function as a “soft cushion”. According to studies, we might have glucosamine deficiency as we get older, so we need to support our joint health by taking glucosamine supplements (6). But the easiest, natural, and cheapest way to provide your body with glucosamine is to consume bone broth.
3. Hyaluronic Acid. It supports cell proliferation, mitigation, and differentiation, thus allowing the body’s cells to perform the needed functions. It promotes skin firmness, cell rejuvenation, and healthy aging (7).
4. Chondroitin Sulfate. The cartilage in the joints of animals contains this beneficial glycosaminoglycan. It supports the comfort and health of joints, especially when combined with glucosamine. As proved by studies, chondroitin supplements support cardiovascular health, healthy cholesterol levels, skin health, and healthy inflammation response (8).
5. Electrolytes and Minerals. Bone broth contains important minerals, including electrolytes in a form that is easily digestible. Some of them are magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. They are beneficial for bone density, digestive and heart health, circulation, and nerve signaling functions.
6. Collagen. It is the body’s main structural protein that helps the formation of connective tissue and seals the GI tract’s protective lining. Moreover, it covers and keeps our bones together, thus allowing us to move freely. It is exceptionally beneficial in cases of leaky gut, as it protects and seals the GI tract’s mucosal lining.
The Magic of Collagen and Gelatin
The jiggling top layer in bone broth is the good stuff that provides a lot of its benefits.
The protein collagen is located in the vertebrate animals’ connective tissues. Ligaments, tendons, cartilage, marrow, and bone contain abundant amounts of it, and its breakdown in bone broths is how gelatin is produced.
Ancient Chinese medicine has used gelatin in medical treatments. According to Dr. Francis Pottenger and other researchers, collagen and gelatin have the following benefits:
- Gelatin helps in food allergies and intolerance, including gluten, and cow’s milk, promotes probiotic growth and balance, helps in leaky gut syndrome, provides bone-building minerals thus reducing joint pain and preventing bone loss;
- Collagen soothes and protects the digestive tract lining and can help in healing ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, IBS, and acid reflux symptoms. Moreover, it decreases cellulite and appearance wrinkles.
The author of “Body Ecology,” Donna Gates, explains that the collagen in bone broth makes our skin supple and reduces cellulite, thus making us look younger.
Healing Amino Acids
The conditional amino acids (those regarded as essential only under specific conditions) contained in the bone broth’s gelatin possess healing properties, and they are glycine, arginine, proline, and glutamine.
Our body doesn’t produce these conditional amino acids when we are stressed or ill, and as Kaayla Daniel explains, we actually need them more than it’s considered.
What is their function?
- Used to make glutathione and bile salts;
- Prevents breakdown of protein tissue such as muscle;
- Aids in the body’s detoxification of chemicals and functions as an antioxidant (9);
- It is a neurotransmitter so it improves memory, performance, and sleep.
- Required for the growth hormone’s production and release;
- Necessary for wound healing and immune system function;
- Required for the sperm production;
- Helps in the regeneration of damaged liver cells.
- Makes skin more supple and reduces cellulite;
- Heals joints and helps regenerate cartilage;
- Helps with the leaky gut syndrome.
- Metabolic fuel for small intestine cells;
- Protects gut lining;
- Improves muscle building and metabolism.
How to Make Bone Broth
Bone broth can be prepared only with animal components, or combined with vegetables which is actually a suggestion of Dr. Rennard who believes that this combination provides even more benefits.
According to Fallon, we should use animal body parts that aren’t usually found in meat departments of grocery stores, such as chicken neck or feet.
Make sure the animal products you choose are pasture-fed and free of hormones and antibiotics. He continues to explain that the essential ingredients are water, bones, meat, fat, and vegetables.
Those who decide to go with a lamb or beef broth should brown the meat prior to placing it into a stockpot.
On the other hand, you don’t have to brown fish and poultry. A little apple cider vinegar will help draw the bone’s minerals.
Add bones in a big stockpot with water, making sure the water covers them.
Before cooking them, add 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. On slow heat, let the water boil.
Then, let it simmer for at least 6 hours on reduced heat. Continuously remove the scum.
You can cook chicken bones for 24 hours, and beef bones for 48 hours.
The slow and low cook time is essential for the complete extraction of the bones’ nutrients.
After the broth is cooked, a layer of fat will appear on the top. Remove it only before eating since it protects the bone broth beneath.