Bone broth has been around for as long as we can remember— arguably since the caveman days, making it a true Paleo food. However, it has been on the huge rise since the early 2000s, thanks to celebrities, athletes as well as bloggers endorsing its supposedly wondrous health benefits.
And because there has been so much interest in bone broth, today you can find entire cookbooks, eateries as well as delivery services devoted to this stuff.
The real question now is:
Are we lapping over anything besides this huge hype?
What is a Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a nutrition-filled stock made by boiling and cooking bones, marrow, organs, ligaments, and cartilages from fish, poultry or meat for a very long period of time. Most recipes make use of acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in order to help in breaking down the components.
The cooking process releases the minerals and other healthy nutrients inside the bones that we do not usually get in our diet. And while it does not sound really appetizing, the result is a very tasty and highly-nourishing food.
Bone Broth Nutrition
Depending on the quality and type of the ingredients, bone broth usually contains nutrients from 3 main components namely connective tissues, marrow, and bone.
- CONNECTIVE TISSUE: The ligaments provide chondroitin and glucosamine which has natural anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. They are the main ingredients in most popular supplements for people suffering from bone and joint pain.
- MARROW: This is a good source of minerals and vitamins, including manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A. It also contains essential fatty acids, including Omega 6 and 3.
- BONE: Provides minerals such as phosphorus, sulphur, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
Furthermore, bone broth is relatively low in terms of calories— around 86 calories for an 8-ounce serving of chicken broth.
A Superfood Powerhouse
Aside from the nutrients mentioned above, bone broth is also exploding with macronutrients and micronutrients, which we do not get from our usual diet.
Collagen is probably one of the most important types of protein in the body. As a matter of fact, around a third of the protein in our body is collagen in one form or another. Collagen is the major component of various connective tissues including tendons, ligaments, and cartilage as well as playing a crucial role in the skin. Collagen is what truly binds our body together. It is a powerful nutrient for joint pains and skin conditions.
A clinical research found out that oral collagen has powerful beneficial effects on the human skin physiology, particularly in skin elasticity. In terms of joints, a study that is published way back in the year 1993 suggest that collagen intake can significantly decrease the number of swollen joints and completely relieve an individual of pain.
Although the name sounds complicated, glycosaminoglycans are a group of carbohydrates which supports collagen. Furthermore, GAGs also support elastin and is therefore crucial in terms of skin appearance and health.
The major role of GAGs is to keep the skin healthy and enhance the ability of the elastin and collagen to absorb and retain moisture. And with the help from various proteins, GAGs can also help form synovial fluid which keeps the joints lubricated, preventing joint pains.
An amino acid, proline plays a significant role in the regulating of apoptosis— an important mechanism in the body in order to get rid of unnecessary and defective cells. It is also one of the mechanisms by which the body offload potential malignant cells.
Moreover, proline is also important in collagen formation as well as helps in effective wound healing. As a matter of fact, protein collagen has approximately 15% proline in it.
It is an amino acid and is the most abundant amino acid in our body. Its major role is to serve as a crucial fuel for the enterocyte— a type of cell that lines the intestines. Glutamine does not only fuel the metabolism of these cells, but it also regulates and maintain their growth.
In general, we depend on healthy enterocytes in order to maintain the integrity of our gut lining. This is particularly important in fighting “leaky gut” which is associated with a variety of inflammatory bowel issues and also other inflammatory conditions anywhere in the body.
Beyond enterocyte, glutamine also serves as a source of fuel for cells in the liver, kidney, brain neurons, beta cells of the pancreas which makes insulin and immune cells. It is also important to note that glutamine is s necessary precursor for glutathione production— one of the most important antioxidants in the body.
Similar to glutamine, glycine is also a pre-requisite for the production of glutathione in the body. Other than being an antioxidant, glutathione is very important for detoxification reactions.
Moreover, glycine is an important component of the collagen, thus plays a crucial role in terms of skin, ligaments, blood vessels, bone, tendons and cartilage health.
So, Is Bone Broth Good For You?
Without a doubt; yes, it is! Bone broth is really good for the body. It is loaded with nutritional benefits that you will have a hard time finding elsewhere.
Although, you need to be really careful in looking at and selecting your ingredients for your bone broth. With its popularity rising, there are some manufacturers who want to try to keep up and offers low-quality varieties of ingredients which contains harmful additives.
At the very least, bone broth is not bad for you. In truth, there are not many scientifically-reliable studies that have evaluated the benefits of drinking bone broth— most that are based on anecdotal evidence and loose research. And this is also true for most home remedies and natural cures.
Regardless of the lack of enough evidence, you will not have a hard time to find individuals who swear by that bone broth provides many powerful and healthy benefits.