What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is made from the bones and connective tissues of various animals. It is very dense in nutrients, which makes it a great addition to sauces, soups, and drinks.
You can make bone broth from almost any type of animal, including the following: pork, turkey, beef, chicken, veal, and fish. All you need to do is simmer the bones and connective tissues, and the stock you get will absorb all the essential nutrients you need.
Benefits of Bone Broth
There are many benefits of incorporating bone broth into a balanced diet, including the fact that it is nutrient-rich, reduces inflammation, can help with weight loss, and improves sleep.
It Reduces Inflammation
The amino acids found in bone broth, including glycine and arginine, have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, in particular, may help fight the inflammation associated with obesity. One study shows higher levels of arginine in the blood are associated with decreased inflammation in obese women.
While some inflammation is necessary, chronic inflammation may lead to several serious diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and many types of cancer.
Benefits of the Digestive System
Gut health is a popular term in the health community, but what does that mean?
It refers to having a balance of good bacteria in your digestive system and gastrointestinal tract. When this part of your body is healthy, you can comfortably eat digestive food without discomfort - and your metabolism is regulated.
If your gut health is lacking, you may experience a leaky gut. This occurs when the barrier between your bloodstream and your heart is impaired, leading to several chronic diseases and symptoms. High levels of stress or factors like poor diet and lack of sleep can cause a leaky gut.
For instance, you may experience bloating, constipation, fatigue, food intolerance, IBS, brain fog, and more. Not only is bone broth easy to digest, but it may also aid in the digestion of other foods.
The gelatin found in bone broth naturally attracts and holds liquids. This is why adequately prepared broth congeals are in the fridge. Gelatin can also bind to water in your digestive tract, which helps foods move through your gut more easily.
An amino acid in gelatin called glutamine helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall and has been known to prevent and heal a condition known as "leaky gut." A leaky gut, associated with several chronic diseases, is when the barrier between your heart and the bloodstream is impaired.
Support Joint Health
Collagen is the main protein found in bones, tendons, and ligaments. During the cooking process, collagen from bones and connective tissue is broken down into another protein called gelatin. Gelatin contains essential amino acids that support joint health.
It contains proline and glycine, which your body uses to build its connective tissue. This includes tendons, which connect muscles to bones, and ligaments, which connect bones.
Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, natural compounds found in cartilage. Multiple studies have found that glucosamine and chondroitin can decrease joint pain and reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
Helps with Weight Loss
Since bone broth contains gelatin, it can help us feel fuller even though it has relatively low calories. Similarly, its high protein content aids appetite control and can help you increase your muscle mass.
The greater lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn, which leads us to believe that bone broth can help with weight loss.
Bone broth is typically very low in calories but can still satisfy hunger. Studies have found that eating broth-based soup regularly can increase fullness, reduce calorie intake and lead to weight loss.
The amino acid glycine in bone broth may help you relax. Multiple studies have found that glycine helps promote sleep.
One study found that taking 3 grams of glycine before bed significantly improved sleep quality in individuals with difficulty sleeping. Taking glycine before bed helped participants fall asleep faster, maintain a deeper sleep, and wake up fewer times throughout the night.
This study also found that glycine reduced daytime sleepiness and improved mental function and memory. Therefore, drinking bone broth could have similar benefits.
Contains essential Vitamins and Minerals
In general, bone broth is very nutritious. However, the nutrient content does depend on the ingredients you use, as each brings something different to the table.
Animal bones are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and other trace minerals — the minerals needed to build and strengthen your bones. Fish bones also contain iodine, essential for healthy thyroid function and metabolism.
Connective tissue gives you glucosamine and chondroitin, natural compounds found in cartilage that are known to support joint health. Marrow provides vitamin A, vitamin K2, minerals like zinc, iron, boron, manganese, and selenium, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
These animal parts also contain the protein collagen, which turns into gelatin when cooked and yields several critical amino acids. As the ingredients simmer, their nutrients are released into the water in a form your body can easily absorb.
Where to Get Bones
You can use bones from the previous night's dinner or get them from your local butcher. I keep leftover bones from meals in a bag in the freezer.
The best thing is that bones are cheap and often even free. Many butchers are happy to give the animal scraps to you instead of throwing them away.
The meat department at most grocery stores will often have them too. Do your best to find pastured chicken or grass-fed beef bones since these animals will be the healthiest and provide maximum health benefits.
How to Store It
While it's easiest to make broth in large batches, it can only be stored safely in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To help your broth last longer, you can freeze it in small containers and heat individual servings as needed.
How Much to Use
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this. Many recommend drinking 1 cup (237 ml) of bone broth daily for maximum health benefits.
How to Make Bone Broth
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals. This highly nutritious stock is commonly used in soups, sauces, and gravies. It has also recently gained popularity as a health drink.
To make the most nutritious broth, it is best to use a variety of bones — marrow bones, oxtail, knuckles, and feet. You can make bone broth using bones from just about any animal — pork, beef, veal, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, venison, chicken, or fish.
Marrow and connective tissues like feet, hooves, beaks, gizzards, or fins can be used. All you need is a large pot, water, vinegar, and bones. Adding vinegar is vital because it helps pull all of the valuable nutrients out of the bones and into the water, which is ultimately what you will be consuming.
You can also add vegetables, herbs, or spices to your broth to enhance the flavor. Common additions include garlic, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, and thyme. These can be added right away in step one.
- 1 gallon (4 liters) of water
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2–4 pounds (about 1–2 kg) of animal bones
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley and thyme, to taste
- One large onion, diced
- Celery, chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves, diced
- Place all ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12–24 hours. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes and is more nutritious.
- Allow the broth to cool. Strain it into a large container and discard the solids.
Commonly Asked Questions about Bone Broth
1. What are the advantages of bone broth?
In addition to these benefits of bone broth, the gelatin it contains has an additional nine bonus side effects. More robust, healthier nails. Anti-aging. Anti-tumor. Arthritis and joint pain relief. Cell-protecting. It can alleviate diabetes and lower blood sugar; it supports insulin regulation. It can improve sleep.
2. What is the best way to drink bone broth?
Drinking plain bone broth using a coffee mug for your broth provides a reasonable single-serving size. Drink the bone broth at least once daily in the morning instead of your regular cup of coffee.
3. When is the best time to drink bone broth?
There has yet to be an overall consensus among experts on the specific time of day that's best to drink bone broth, though most suggest consuming it at least daily to reap the health benefits.
4. What happens when you drink bone broth every day?
If managing arthritis, drinking bone broth every day may ease your joint pain. Bone broth is suggested to contain glucosamine, a chemical found in the fluid around the joints. Fostering and nurturing its lubrication can reduce the risk of joint breakdown, lessening the likelihood of wear and tear.
5. Is there a difference between bone broth and bone stock?
No. These are essentially the same thing, and the terms are used interchangeably.
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