Bone broth is made by simmering the bones (and other parts) of a variety of animals and fish in a large stock pot with water, vegetables, herbs and spices for one to multiple days. A long, slow cooking time is necessary to fully draw out the nutrients. Some people may also add a bit of apple cider vinegar to assist in this process. This results in a nutrient-dense and easily digestible end product.
Key Nutrients ->
Holistic Pharmacist, Rosemarie Pierce explains that bone broth is rich in collagen, amino acids, glycosaminoglycans, and key minerals.
- Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is the structural protein found in all connective tissues. These include bones, skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels, giving them firmness and strength. Collagen is made primarily of very specific “non-essential” amino acids (glycine, proline and glutamine), that are generally not found in muscle meat we generally consume. There are 16 types of collagen with different structures and functions. The majority of these are either Type 1, 2 or 3. Type 1 is more so found in bone, skin, ligaments, tendons, organs, gums, teeth and eyes. Type 2 is present in joint cartilage in knees, hips, shoulders. This type of collagen is commonly sourced from chicken. Type 3 is present in skin, lungs and vascular system. Type 1 and Type 3 are often found in combination and are commonly sourced from beef. Collagen naturally decreases as we age. Consequences of collagen deficiency include wrinkles, thinning hair, brittle bones, bleeding gums, weak joints, poor wound healing and bruising. Note that gelatin is part of broken-down collagen, so cooking collagen helps isolate gelatin.
- Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Bone broth contains 18 amino acids, although it is generally low in tryptophan, cysteine and methionine. It is made up predominantly of proline, hydroxyproline, glycine and glutamine. Glycine is a conditionally essential amino acid in humans and is used to help create muscle tissue, convert glucose into energy, regulate bile salts and support liver detoxification. It is necessary to repair damaged tissues. Proline and hydroxyproline are the main amino acids needed to build collagen in the skin, bones, ligaments and tendons. It is said that increased amounts may help slow down the aging process and enhance skin health. Glutamine helps heal the gut lining, reduce sugar cravings, improve mental focus and memory, promote muscular growth and enhance recovery from injury and illness.
- Glycosaminoglycan’s (GAG’s) help to repair and restore joint health. The three most important are hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate. These ingredients are often found in supplemental formulas for arthritis. Hyaluronic acid loves water and acts as a lubricator and shock absorber in joints. It is also naturally-occurring in the skin and helps keep it elastic, hydrated and supple. Chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate help keep cartilage healthy and minimize joint pain.
- Bone broth can also provide various minerals, depending on the type, method and length of cooking time. These can include potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, sulfur in addition to multiple trace minerals. They may also contain small amounts of vitamins A, C & B’s.
General Health Benefits ->
Specific health benefits will vary based on the source. Ask a nutritionist or natural product advisor which is type is best for you and your unique needs.
- Gut Health: Improves digestive health, assists in gut lining repair and supports immune system.
- Healthy Bones & Joints: Supports and regenerates cartilage, reduces joint creaking/popping/pain, helps back pain and regenerates disks, assists with injury recovery, builds strong bones, improves circulation and supports ligaments, tendons, muscles.
- Skin, Hair, Nails: Improves skin health and elasticity, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles for smooth skin, promotes strong nails and thick hair.
- Stress & Sleep: Promotes relaxation and healthy sleep.
Therefore, bone broth may be useful for those with gut problems, inflammation or degenerative diseases such as arthritis, among other ailments. It is ideal for athletes, those following a ketogenic or Paleolithic diet or individuals who are in cardiac recovery.
You can either make your own bone broth from scratch, buy it ready-made or consider an easy to use bone broth protein powder for a quick nutrition boost! These can be mixed with hot water and sipped or added into stews, soups or sauces. Look for bone broth made from organic, grass-finished cattle and free-range chickens, raised without antibiotics and hormones.
-This article is sponsored by Good N Natural in Steinbach -