Bone Broth Benefits

Originally posted by Brynn on rxnutrition.ca 4/6/15

Bone broth seems to be all the rage lately. I keep reading about it, bone broth shops are popping up everywhere,  I even saw that Panera Bread was advertising for “broth bowls” trying to capitalize on this trend. I had been meaning to try it all winter but honestly I am not the biggest fan of dealing with meat, let alone chicken carcasses (even that word is gross!) but decided to give it a go. I bought a couple organic whole chickens but first I had to teach myself how to roast and carve a chicken (thanks YouTube) then I saved the bones so I could see what this health craze was all about. 

First what is bone broth? Bone Broth is made by boiling bones (I used chicken but you can use beef, fish etc) in water with an acid (like apple cider vinegar to make the nutrients more bioavailable) and optional spices, vegetables and herbs. Broth boils for 24 up to 48 to extract all the nutrients from the bones.  Here’s the recipe, but in case you need some extra convincing keep reading for the any benefits. 

Note: beware of buying bone broth from a store/restaurant if you are unsure of how it is made. You will not be getting all these benefits if there are added preservatives in it!

Gut Health
Bone broth is mainly known to help those with leaky gut syndrome. The amino acid structure and high gelatin content makes it soothing and healing for the gut. It also improves digestion and enhances the absorption of nutrients from other foods. 

Supports Hair, Skin, Nails
Bone broth contains collagen, which supports hair, skin and nail health. Collagen keeps the skin smooth, firm and reduces wrinkles. The gelatin in bone broth also helps strengthen hair and nails and speed their growth.

Immune Health
Chicken soup when you're sick? Most of the immune system is in the gut and broth is especially helpful because its high gelatin/collagen content supports gut health and its amino acids help reduce inflammation.

Strong Teeth and Bones
Bone broth is high in many minerals essential for good health. The phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the bones is extracted into the broth leaving you with the essential building blocks for healthy bones and teeth.

A lot of people have asked me why Bone Broth vs. soup, stock etc… Here’s the difference! 

Soup vs Bone Broth vs Stock (source: http://nourishedkitchen.com

  • Soup is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones and is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours). 
  • Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat. Often the bones are roasted before simmering them as this simple technique greatly improves the flavour.  Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours).  Stock is rich in minerals and gelatin.
  • Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavour of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours).  This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones. 

Try it and let me know what you think!