If you’re thinking bone broth is just like all the other broths you know, you may be right, ingredients-wise. But when it comes to health benefits, bone broth trumps them all.
Broths made from beef bones, chicken bones, and even fish bones are rich in nutrients, which make them perfect additions to a healthy diet. They can help clear nasal passages, improve the complexion, manage weight, soothe digestive issues, and ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is made like your typical broth: Meaty bones with a lot of collagenous connective tissue attached to it, seasoned with herbs, and boiled in water. Bone broth requires a significantly longer time to cook than other broths. Depending on the recipe, bone broth can be simmered for up to 24 hours. Letting it simmer for a long time allows all of the nutrients to be extracted from the bones. It also breaks down the connective tissues to release collagen, making the broth as nutritiously dense as possible. Adding apple cider vinegar is a good and healthy way of helping the extraction process along.
The 5 benefits of bone broth
If you’re still uncertain about giving it a try, here are five health benefits that may entice you to start making bone broth in your kitchen. (Related: Soup’s on!: Study reveals drinking broth made from dry-cured ham bones has cardioprotective effects.)
Bone broth relieves common cold.
Everyone’s go-to remedy for a stuffed nose and sniffling is a bowl of chicken soup. And while some people might think this is nothing but an old tradition, the healing abilities of chicken soup is actually backed by science. According to a study published in Chest, chicken soup contains a number of substances that gives it an anti-inflammatory effect. Traditional chicken soups made with bone broth and loaded with vegetables can stop the migration of neutrophils — white blood cells that heal damaged tissues and defend against infections. This stops inflammation and soothes common cold symptoms.
Bone broth supports weight loss.
It’s true that very few studies regarding bone broth’s ability to promote weight loss exist, but people have written testimonies about how bone broth helped them shed their weight. This may be attributed to bone broth’s high protein content, which enhances the feeling of fullness and curbs the appetite. Bone broth can also supply the body with the amino acid glycine that stabilizes blood sugar. Having normal blood sugar levels activates the region of the brain that controls impulses, decreasing food cravings and the desire to eat.
Bone broth soothes digestive problems.
Low levels of collagen may be what’s causing you to have a leaky gut or suffer from inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS). If that’s the case, then consuming a collagen-rich bone broth can help. The collagen in bone broth, once digested, produces two amino acids: glycine and glutamine. Both of these amino acids play a role in rebuilding the tissue lining of the digestive tract. In addition, glycine is a potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agent that helps manage inflammation, which is at the root of IBS.
Bone broth improves workout recovery.
Besides helping rebuild the epithelial lining of the digestive tract, glycine also helps the body produce creatinine. Creatinine contributes to the formation of muscle mass and improves exercise performance. Minerals found plenty in bone broth, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, are also important for people who work out. These minerals don’t just come from the bones in your broth, they can also be sourced from different herbs and vegetables, so be sure to add a variety of these to your broth or choose a recipe that includes many of these ingredients.
Bone broth promotes healthy skin and nails.
The collagen in bone broth can also benefit the nails and skin. Research shows that bioactive collagen peptides promote nail growth and reduce chipping or cracking of the nails. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that collagen, taken orally, can enrich the skin. Ingestion of collagen increases the amount of functional collagen peptides in the blood, which are then transferred to the skin. Collagen keeps the skin firm and elastic and makes it glow.
If taking collagen supplements is not an option for you, then make a simple bone broth at home to enjoy its outstanding benefits.