If you are a health-conscious person, then obviously, you consume bone broth regularly or are planning to add it to your routines. No doubt, it is seeking popularity, and for some valid reasons, it deserves recognition and awareness amongst all individuals. It is because it blesses a person with numerous health benefits.
It is a bit disappointing to notice that only a few studies have been conducted regarding bone broth and its significance. We would appreciate more evidence to consume it regularly. But this doesn’t deny the fact that you should not be consuming it. Of course, even if a few studies have proven it, the importance of bone broth does not diminish.
In this informative post, we will further look into the research that encourages you to consume bone broth, how it contributes to gut health, and the easy and delicious ways to make it at home.
What is bone broth? How can one make bone broth easily?
The first question arises for those who don’t know anything about bone broth. What is it? Let us explain.
When the bones and tissues of certain animals are simmered in a perfect manner, it is known as bone broth. You can find the stock in gravies and soups, it is called bone broth. This stock is not a waste of unwanted substances but the essence of the recipe. It contains highly nourishing ingredients and should not be discarded in any way.
This recipe is not a new one, it has been made since prehistoric times, and now, it is trending as a nutritious health drink. Some companies have even come up with ready-to-eat versions of bone broth to let consumers save time in cooking and yet consume a wholesome meal or beverage.
It depends on you – which animal’s bone broth you want to make. You can choose fish, chicken, lamb, turkey, and any animal of your choice, depending on the availability.
You can also use marrow and particular tissues such as fins and chicken feet in the broth.
Just boil down the bones, and you can drink it the way it is or add it to the sauces or soups and make your meal more healthy and delicious.
There is a procedure to make bone broth. Take a large pot or slow cooker, preferably a steel one, and put in 4 liters of water. You can even use a cooker to save time and fuel. Add bones, a bit of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and any other spices you would like. Let it boil and simmer. It takes almost hours to cook it nicely from within. A pressure cooker takes less time, and most people prefer it these days. Cool it, strain it, and throw away the solids. You can directly drink the broth or add it to soups and sauces.
Bone broth is good for health, but how does it help your well-being? Let us go through some of the specific health benefits of this delicious recipe-cum-meal.
- It is fortified with essential nutrients.
No one can underestimate the power of animal bones and tissues. However, the overall nutrition depends on the kind of substances you add to the recipe. For example, you might skip the feet and knuckles or add only bones and no tissues. Here is a representation that will show you the nutritional content of each substance:
Bones – Fortified with calcium and other minerals, they are good for bone strength and density.
Fish bones – It is good to balance out your metabolism, enable better thyroid functioning and help to repair the intestinal lining to repair chronic inflammation in the gut.
Connective tissues – It is great for cartilage health.
Bone Marrow – Containing vitamins and minerals, it also blesses your body with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are a blessing for our health.
Other animal parts – Collagen is found in bone broth and is released in the form of amino acids and gelatin.
It is almost impossible to determine the nutritional content of each bone set as each of them varies in terms of nutrients. So, try to add maximum animal content to the broth and make it more nutritious.
- It helps the digestion process.
Have you ever wondered why eating lean meat makes your stomach go wary? It is true that animal meat is hard to digest, but you cannot skip eating these. Moreover, you can never munch on bones, but you can still seek their nutritional content by cooking them in a broth. As the bone broth is simmered and boiled, it helps in easy digestion. It is a great and easy remedy for people suffering from the leaky gut syndrome. We will discuss it more in the section to come.
- It reduces inflammatory conditions.
It is inclusive of amino acids, glycine, and arginine, which are both known for anti-inflammatory benefits. We don’t have human studies, but a few animal studies have shown that arginine is great in reducing inflammation, including respiratory conditions like asthma.
And as we know, amino acids help in fighting several chronic diseases resulting from severe inflammation.
- It helps improve and support joint health.
Collagen in animal bones and tissues contains amino acids and contributes to better and improved joint health. Your body can actually build connective tissues. Studies have shown that those with issues such as osteoarthritis and joint pain can relieve their symptoms with amino acids contained in animal bones.
- It is good for weight watchers.
Are you on a weight loss diet but need to be fit and healthy? Then, you can indulge in a cup of bone broth easily. It will make you feel satiated with no hunger pangs, increase your metabolism and reduce belly fat. It contains high protein content and helps build lean muscle mass. In short, it is for those who want to reduce fat and work on their muscles and look slender and lean.
In a study conducted on 53 men, when bone broth is accompanied by rigorous fitness training, it helps in decreasing body fat and increasing muscle mass.
- It enhances your cognitive skills.
Not only do bones and tissues help in increasing physical abilities, but they also contribute to better brain functioning, thereby significantly reducing brain fog. Studies show that it has sleep-inducing benefits as it contains glycine, a vital amino acid. When you sleep better at night and are alert during the day, your concentration and memory recall improves.
- Broth-infused tomato ketchup.
Why eat tomato ketchup without any trace of nutrition? Take a sufficient quantity of tomato paste and add broth to it and simmer. In the case of spices, add pepper, salt, oregano, basil, and mint if you want. It all depends on you how to flavor it up. You may add garlic as well. Simmer until you have the desired consistency and use it with pasta and other food items.
- Fish bone broth.
For all those who eat only fish and skip lean animal meat, fish bone broth is a recipe just for you. It maintains the thyroid function and can be used in gravies for more ‘yumminess.’
Boil the fish bones in a vessel rather than using the cooker. You can find a more comprehensive recipe here – https://drkellyann.com/blogs/recipes/fish-bone-broth
- The speedy cooker broth recipe.
A simple yet super-beneficial recipe is beef broth. Beginners will find this recipe easy. Find it here – https://thehealthyfoodie.com/slow-cooker-beef-bone-broth/
- Collagen-rich soup – For those who want to improve their skin collagen and look young and beautiful, this recipe will be of immense help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6IiGzllgyg
- Healthy bone broth recipe – Another bone broth recipe that guarantees better health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyRcWUj3iGs
Is store-bought broth good for health?
Do you often buy store-bought, ready-to-eat noodles and soups? Probably, you are tight on time, and it seems to be a good solution to satisfy your hunger and be fit. But you need to know that these products contain a lot of preservatives. Even store-bought bone broth contains preservatives for increased shelf life. You cannot afford to toss your health for the sake of 1 percent nutrition and consume 99 percent preservatives. It is better to cook a nutritious broth at home and store it.
However, one can observe that some good and reputed brands have come up with broth products that are free from preservatives and Trans-fat. You can try them. Read the labels carefully, even if the product cover says that it is free from preservatives. And be mindful of the instructions. If the product needs to be finished within 2-3 days, then do not let it sit in your freezer. Boil and simmer it as given. Some local restaurants also serve bone broths and soups; you can try them if they are within your budget.
Is homemade broth better for health?
Obviously, bone broth or beef bone broth cooked at home and stored should always be preferred over store-brought broth. When you cook broth at home, you don’t add any preservatives and sodium. You can use spices that are suitable for you. But in the case of ready-to-serve broths, you need to tolerate all kinds of spices, and if you are sensitive to any of them, you may suffer from allergies.
While making bone broth, you can make it in batches and refrigerate it, for a maximum of five days and not more than that. Remember that constant reheating and refrigeration can lose their nutritional value, so be mindful of it. Store in small containers or bottles and warm the required amount whenever required.
Best ways to consume bone broth
You can drink it directly, but some people find it as a tonic and does not understand the importance of it. In such cases, you can simply add it to gravies and soups and make it delicious. Add spices that you like, and remember that spices increase immunity, so there is a point in adding them.
Drink 1 cup of broth, you can consume more, but we suggest consuming it minimally yet regularly. Go for organic versions of chicken bones and marrow to seek maximum health benefits.
What are the benefits of bone broth for the gut specifically? Are there any studies available?
Several years back, scientists inferred that the health of your gut determines your overall well-being. So, when you consume bone broth, your digestive system can absorb its nutrients easily, without any challenges. Your gut and intestinal permeability become healthy, and so is your well-being.
In a study, it was found that the gelatin in the broth is capable of holding liquids, and that’s why refrigeration is good for long-term storage. Gelatin is also great for binding water and other liquids in your gut tract. It helps the food particles transport easily.
A rat study conducted in 2018 shows that gelatin safeguards and heals the gut lining. Though human research is demanded to show these significant results, we can use this fact and acknowledge the importance of gelatin in the broth. In a 2017 study, glutamine, an amino acid in gelatin, is shown to have favorable effects on the intestinal walls, which means, it aids in healing leaky gut.
When the walls connecting the gut and the bloodstream are damaged, it is known as leaky gut syndrome. As all substances are leaked into your bloodstream, your body becomes susceptible to inflammation and other diseases.
Hence, whether you are suffering from a leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or other autoimmune disorders, drinking bone broth helps a lot.
In a published study in Chest Journal, it has been observed that the broth should contain chicken pieces or animal bones and marrow as well. It should be a perfect blend of the substances as the mere soup might contain certain unnecessary substances. So, if you want to enhance your gut health, consider having a synergy of all the valuable ingredients.
A 2017 study in Food and Nutrition Research magazine purports the consumption of homemade broth as it contains lower levels of unwanted substances and is extremely healthy. Even if people are concerned about the presence of toxic substances in broth (lead and others), homemade bone broth and even store-bought broth lead the race.
Is bone broth better than other foods?
Of course, the broth of chicken, fish bones, and other animal bones is much more nutritious than other foods. Even this broth is different from the stock, including vegetable stock and chicken soup.
Chicken bone broth is made when the bones and cartilage are simmered, while other stocks are exclusive of the bones. Hence, they miss out on several substances such as gelatin and protein collagen.
The protein collagen is contained in the connective tissue, bones, and other animal body parts, but other broths and stocks do not contain this vital ingredient.
The collagen part is useful for the body as it heals the gut by protecting the intestinal cells, relieves bone and joint pain, increases bone strength, and maintains your overall well-being.
Is it a feasible option for all?
Yes, anyone can consume it. However, those who are vegetarians or vegans cannot consume bone broth. Even those who love fish can make a broth out of fish bones. But those who skip animal meat for several valid reasons cannot benefit from this. Certainly, they can take care of their gut and overall well-being through other options such as prebiotic and probiotic supplements, and find out the 10 Best Leaky Gut Supplements, since consuming bone broth might not be a feasible choice for them as of now.
In short, if you are thinking about adding bone broth to your regime daily or regularly, go for it. Spice it up with the recipes given above, understand its benefits, and take care of your gut and health with this formulation. You will thank us for posting this article about bone broth and its health benefits. Also, if you are desirous of shedding belly fat and building muscle mass, in such cases drinking bone broth helps to a significant degree.