Bone broth

Bone Broth – Good or Bad?

I’ve never been an a big fan of the cold.  I’ve always been a warm weather girl, but there are a few things about winter that I do love–boots and skinny jeans, getting cozy under a warm, fuzzy blanket while drinking hot chocolate and bingeing on Outlander, and my all time favorite cold numbing food – hot soup.    There is nothing better than a steaming mug of chicken soup when you’ve got the sniffles.  Bone broth is another soup with a myriad of purported health benefits.

What’s bone broth? Will it cure cancer, the common cold, and any disease in between?   Is there a basis for all the hype out there? How do you make it? These are just a few questions this post will attempt to shed  a little pinpoint of light on, and help you decide if you want to jump in the ole bone broth Instapot.

What Is Bone Broth

Bone broth is made by slowly cooking animal bones over low heat for about 24-48 hours with the addition of your favorite nutrient rich vegetables, herbs, and spices plus an acid such as apple cider vinegar — it helps release all the nutrients from the bones. Pretty simple, huh? It’s a great source of amino acids, collagen, gelatin, trace minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous) and nutrients such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, proline, glutamine, arginine.

Top 4 Benefits of Bone Broth

1   Supports gut health. The gelatin in the bones helps restore the gut lining and support the growth of “good” bacteria.  Most of us have way too little of the good stuff.

2    Protects your joints.  Bone broth is an easily digestible source of collagen. As the broth simmers slowly, collagen from the bones leaches into the broth in a readily available form, just waiting to be absorbed by the body to help restore cartilage. The gelatin acts as a cushion between bones so the joints can glide without friction. Collagen provides the building blocks to help maintain strong bones, ease the pressure on aging joints, and support healthy bone mineral density.

3    Improves immune function.  You may already be familiar with leaky gut syndrome. If not, this occurs when undigested food particles enter the bloodstream through tiny openings in a weak intestinal lining. The immune system senses this and, of course, overreacts which leads to inflammation.  As the antibody levels increase, there is an autoimmune like reaction, causing the body to attack healthy tissues.  Collagen, gelatin, and amino acids in bone broth help seal the small openings in the gut lining and improve gut integrity.

4    Detox Booster. While the body has its own detox mechanism for getting rid of heavy metals and toxic exposure, it sometimes has a hard time keeping up with the overwhelming burden of noxious chemicals we’re exposed to everyday.  Bone broth helps the digestive system get rid of waste and remove toxins, maintain tissue integrity, and improve antioxidant absorption by the body.

So What Kind of Bones Are Best?

You can use any kind of bones you have left over from cooking — cow, turkey, venison, fish, chicken, bison, duck, or goose are popular.  However, I would recommend going organic and using bones from grass-fed or pasture raised animals, as they don’t contain hormones or toxins that conventionally raised animals may be exposed to.  Good sources for bones are your butcher, farmers markets, local healthy grocery stores such as Whole Foods, or even online.

Conclusion

While bone broth may not be a cure all for every disease known to man, it definitely benefits your gut, immune system, and  bones.  It’s easy to make (a recipe is on the way) and an even easier way to improve your health.  So fire up the soup pot and make some bone broth!

About the author

Susan Taylor, RDN LD is a registered dietitian / nutritionist with 20+ years experience in the nutrition field.  Susan has worked in a variety of clinical settings including hospitals, longterm care, rehab, and private practice. She currently enjoys life in the Charleston, SC area and is always looking for ways to fit in a little more beach time.