For several years, we have been told about foods like fermented vegetables and cultured dairy because of their praised health benefits. A common healing food that has recently gained recognition is bone broth. A staple of the Paleo diet, bone broth benefits are numerous and can be made many different ways. So, what are the benefits?
Sipping on bone broth or adding it your recipes can treat leaky gut syndrome, overcome food intolerances and allergies, improve joint health, reduce cellulite, and boost your immune system.
The chicken soup prescription wasn’t a myth! There’s a reason why doctors and mothers alike encourage soup when you’re feeling under the weather. All bone broths, chicken, beef, fish, lamb etc., are nutrient dense, easy to digest, rich in flavour, and boost healing.
Traditionally, bone broth or stock was a way our Palaeolithic ancestors made use of every part of the animal. Simmering these fruitful bones releases compounds and amino acids like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine as well as minerals that our bodies can easily absorb such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. These minerals contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds used to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
Bone broth is a great source to get nutrients that cannot be obtained easily from other commonly eaten foods. By regularly consuming bone broth, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation. Here are the 6 major bone broth benefits explained in detail…
1. Protects Joints
Bone broth is one of the best sources of natural collagen, the protein found in vertebrae animals. As we age, our joints naturally experience wear and tear and our cartilage diminishes. Collagen derived from simmering bone broth becomes readily absorbable to help restore the cartilage in our body.
Another valuable component of bone broth is gelatin, which acts like a soft cushion between bones and helps them move without friction. Gelatin is a building block needed to form and maintain strong bones, helping take pressure off of aging joints and supporting healthy bone mineral density.
2. Good for the Gut
Studies have shown that gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities, helping the growth of good bacteria in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.
Individuals with digestive imbalances show decreased serum concentrations of collagen. Because the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and entire GI tract, supplementing with bone broth can support health digestive function and integrity.
3. Maintains Healthy Skin
Collagen helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining the skins tone, texture and appearance. Collagen integrity helps in reducing visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging. Many people notice a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen, since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone.
Age-defending properties of collagen include skin elasticity, skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (dryness) and skin roughness.
4. Supports Immune System Function
The gut-supportive benefits of bone broth have a holistic effect on the body and support healthy immune system function.
Leaky gut occurs when undigested particles from foods pass through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where they will be detected by the immune system and trigger hyperactivity. This increases inflammation and encourages dysfunction as the immune system releases high levels of antibodies that cause an autoimmune-like response and attack healthy tissue.
Bone brother can be one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and thereby support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. Collagen/gelatin and the amino acids help seal and repair these openings in the gut lining.
Bone broth can even promote healthy sleep, boost energy during the day and support a healthy mood.
5. Boosts Detoxification
We are exposed to numerous environmental toxins, artificial and processed ingredients and chemicals of all sorts. While the body has its own detoxification system, it cannot keep up with the amount of toxic exposure we experience. Bone broth is a powerful detoxification agent as it aids the digestion system in expelling waste, promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins, maintain tissue integrity, and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.
Bone broth contains potassium and glycine, which support both cellular and liver detoxification. Some of the ways in which bone broth boosts detoxification is by supplying sulphur (especially with the additions of veggies, garlic and herbs to your broth) and glutathione, which is a detoxification agent that combats oxidative stress.
Glutathione helps with the elimination of fat-soluble compounds, especially heavy metals like mercury and lead. Additionally, it helps with the absorption of various nutrients, the use of antioxidants and liver-cleansing functions. Bone broth increases intake of essential minerals, which act like chelators to remove toxins by stopping heavy metals from attaching to mineral receptor sites.
6. Aids the Metabolism & Promotes Anabolism
Bone broth is a great way to get more glutathione, which plays an important role in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism and regulation of cellular events. Roles and benefits include regulation of gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production, and immune responses.
The amino acids found in bone broth have numerous metabolic roles, including building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting bone mineral density, boosting nutrient absorption and synthesis, and maintaining muscle and connective tissue health. Glycine found within collagen helps form muscle tissue by converting glucose into useable energy, plus it slows cartilage, tissue and muscle loss associated with aging by improving the body’s use of antioxidants. Glycine protects skeletal muscle loss and stops the expression of genes associated with age-related muscle protein breakdown.
Glutamine is another amino acid that’s important for a healthy metabolism, since it helps us maintain energy by sending nutrients to our cells. Arginine’s role in breaking down nitric oxide helps improve circulation and sends blood and nutrients to cells throughout the body, improving muscle and tissue integrity and promoting wound healing.
Perfect Bone Broth
Stay away from bouillon cubes, instant soup and sauce mixes. If you want real bone broth with the benefits, you can make it yourself at home. You’ll need grass-fed bones – check out our recipe below!
- 3lb grass-fed bones
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Handful of thyme sprigs
- Splash of apple cider vinegar
1. Heat oven to 400f. Place raw bones on an oven sheet, roast for 30mins-1hr
2. While the bones roast, chop up the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and put into a pot along with thyme stalks. Fill the pot ¾ full with fresh filtered water.
3. Once the bones have finished roasting, allow them to cool. When cooled, place into the pot and throw in a good splash of apple cider vinegar (this allows the nutrients to be more available). Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
4. Bring broth to a boil. Once a vigorous boil is reached, reduce to a simmer for 24-48 hrs.
5. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. Once cool enough, store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later use.