What’s So Great About Bone Broth?
They say chicken soup can sooth your soul, but Bone Broth just might be able to soothe so much more. Touted as the newest health drink — and maybe even the “soup-er food” of 2016 — Bone Broth is full of vitamins and minerals. It’s readily attainable, too; now you can even buy it boxed at the grocery store! There is nothing really new about Bone Broth, so we set out to learn just why is it becoming so popular right now.
Broth is made by cooking meat, and perhaps a small amount of bones, for hours along with acidic ingredients, like vinegar and tomatoes. Stock, on the other hand, is made by cooking bones with only a small amount of meat. Bone Broth is a unique melding of the two — made with bones, but also solid amounts of meat adhering to those bones. Cooking the bones for such long periods apparently breaks down and releases more protein than the bones would yield with regular stock.
Bone Broth is not a new phenomenon. Historically, this soup, with herbs and perhaps a vegetable or two, has been an integral part of many traditional Chinese meals, acting as a digestive, a palate cleanser and a drink. Its current popularity, though, may be due to societal lifestyle changes and consumers’ growing desire to return to wholesome, whole foods.
That, and… it’s a taste that trending. Among the current evangelists of Bone Broth are celebs and pop culture personalities, like Kobe Bryant and other members of the Los Angeles Lakers. These sports stars tout Bone Broth as a workout recovery drink, claiming that it helps to replace lost electrolytes, repair and build muscle. These claims have led many of their fans and followers to turn to the broth to hydrate (and warm up!) after their own winter workouts.
No specific studies have been done to solidify the health properties of Bone Broth, but as a generality, these benefits have been put forward:
- minerals and compounds like the anti-inflammatory carnosine (which relieves cold and flu symptoms) and alkylglyerols (immune boosting ingredient) strengthens your immune system. It’s like chicken soup on steroids!
- Bone Broth helps protect your joints. It has glucosamine and a host of other ingredients — like chondroitin sulfate — that help keep your joints happy, healthy, and pain-free, and have been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.
- Bone Broth helps strengthen your bones. Phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the cooked bones seeps out into the broth leaving you with the essential building blocks for healthy bones.
- Bone Broth may help heal and seal your gut. The gelatin in the Bone Broth helps seal up holes in our intestines. This helps cure chronic diarrhea, constipation, and even some food intolerances. The collagen in it also repairs damage to the gastrointestinal tract, helping to avoid bloating and food sensitivity.
- Bone Broth may give you younger, healthier skin. It is exceptionally high in the aforementioned collagen, a protein that is supposed to make your skin smoother because it helps to form connective tissue, heal bruises, and repair injuries. Now, Bone Broth likely won’t actually help to restore any collagen, but instead of putting it in or on your skin via so many different kinds of “plumping” products currently available, you’ll find drinking it will certainly be cheaper… and can make your skin, hair, and nails look just as radiant.
- Bone Broth may help you sleep better, feel better, and give you more energy. Glycine — found in bone broth — has been shown in several studies to help people sleep better and improve memory. It also supports your body’s detox process, digestion, and secretion of gastric acids.
- Bone Broth may aid your weight loss goals. The broth is full of glutamic acid, an amino acid that helps you experience savory flavor more intensely. This intensity boosts satiety… which might make you eat less!
Despite its popularity, Bone Broth isn’t the answer to all of life’s ills. It can be made with different animal bones (some with fatty marrow, some without), with different added flavors, and with different cooking methods. These variables in Bone Broth recipes impact its nutritional properties and other benefits. Still, Bone Broth has its merits, and it’s tasty, too! Best to consider it not a miracle cure, but rather, part of a well-balanced and nutritionally sound diet.