Bone broth is an ancient food that many cultures and trained chefs have been serving for many generations. And recently, it is rapidly gaining popularity due to studies and claims that they are advantageous to health.
What is Bone Broth
Bone broth is prepared by boiling or brewing bones and connective tissues of various animals (like chicken, beef, turkey) in water with the addition of vegetables, herbs, and spices. It is commonly used either as a base for soups or stews. Different kinds of broths are cooked for flavor and are typically served warm.
Little did many people know is the fact that bone broth can provide wide-ranging and ever-growing health benefits. In this article, we will take a look at the seven best advantages people get from consuming adequate amounts of bone broth.
How Do You Make Bone Broth
Bone broth is not difficult to prepare. First, you can choose any animal bones you prefer, such as chicken or turkey. Then, you will need to roast and then brew or simmer it with spices, herbs, or vegetables for hours.
The cooking time, ranging from few hours to more than a day, draws certain compounds such as vitamins and minerals out of the bones and into the broth.
Other may prefer to add apple cider vinegar or red wine in the broth to help extract nutrients. Most of the time, however, bone broth include certain amounts of vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, bok-choy, and celery. Once cooked, the solid parts are discarded using a filter, and the remaining broth is seasoned.
What are the Benefits of Bone Broth
You may have heard that bone broth is good for the health and yet you forget about it somehow. Anyway, here's what many experts have to say about the health benefits of bone broth:
1. Bone Broth Reduces Inflammation and Heals the Gut
In a 2017 study published in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, experts learned that a specific amino acid plays a significant role in maintaining the health of the intestinal barrier. This amino acid, called “Glutamine,” is present in bone broth. Glutamine aids in healing the gut and improves the process of digestion. It also prevents a leaky gut in which toxins and bacteria leak through the intestinal wall. People with conditions like leaky gut syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease can also benefit from consuming bone broth to take advantage of its glutamine contents.
Aside from the amino acid Glutamine, bone broth also contains Cysteine, Glycine, and Histidine. These amino acids work together to reduce inflammation. That is why taking in adequate amounts of bone broth helps avoid further irritation of the mucosal lining of the intestines. Because if irritation in the gastrointestinal system persists, it will interfere with the body’s ability to digest food properly.
2. It Improves Hydration and Restores Exercise Capacity
Recent studies show that foods or soups that are rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes, like a bone broth cooked with vegetables, can rehydrate cells better than water alone.
3. Bone Broth is Highly Nutritious
Bone broth soup is rich in vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Aside from that, when you brew connective tissues into the broth, it provides natural compounds such as collagen and elastin. The compound collagen is the component of connective tissue that cements and holds everything together. Furthermore, all of our tissues and bones contain collagen. The elastin, on the other hand, has the capability to stretch and bounce back, giving elasticity to skin and ligaments. The bone marrow in the broth also contains trace amounts of iron, vitamins A and K, zinc, and manganese, among others. These nutrients are necessary for healthy bone formation.
4. It Aids in Sleep
The amino acids present in bone broth may improve sleep in some people. In the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, a study reports that the amino acid called glycine in bone broth is a safe therapeutic option to promote better sleep and decrease fatigue.
5. Bone Broth may Support Weight Loss
Research shows that overweight individuals have more Firmicutes and fewer Bacteroidetes (different types of gut bacteria) in the gastrointestinal tract. It is believed that a higher proportion of Firmicutes results in more calories pulled out from food.
Bone broth may also aid individuals to lose weight. Because it has high protein content, you will feel full and more satisfied after consuming a certain amount of broth. This means that without consuming too many calories, you can quickly satisfy your hunger.
6. Bone Broth Helps Build Muscles
The molecular components of bone broth aid in stimulating protein synthesis of the muscles. Muscle protein synthesis is a process essential for growth, recovery, and maintenance of various muscle groups—skeletal muscles in particular.
7. It Improves the Mood
Whatever food we take in affects the bacteria in the gut. Likewise, whatever happens in the gut bacteria affects brain function. According to researchers and neuroscientists, our intestinal bacterias continuously communicate with our brain. The process of communication between the two consequently influences how the brain works, such as the way we handle stress and deal with different emotions. When the gut bacteria experience normal conditions, the brain becomes happy; and when the balance between gut bacteria and the brain is unhealthy, the process provokes signals of disrupted mood.
And we know now that the contents of bone broth help in regulating the gut bacteria. So, it is safe to say that we can take advantage of bone broth’s ability to maintain a healthy gut environment, which, in turn, can improve our mood.
Factors to Consider Regarding Bone Broth
It is important to note that there is limited research available regarding all of the benefits of bone broth. Most studies are still on-going, and some clinical trials are using animals for testing. Further research is necessary to get thorough information of all the pros and cons of consuming bone broth. And while we are waiting for more scientific proof to support the claims pertaining to the benefits of bone broth, it is probably safe to say that for now, we can choose to enjoy the taste of flavorful bone broth!
About the Author:
Mike Zhang is the founder of the MZF Group. He graduated from the University of Toronto on the dean's list with a Masters Degree in science. Mike was a two time National Muay Thai Champion, and a strength and conditioning coach to several learned athletes. He has over 14 years of experience as a Muay Thai Coach.