What is bone broth? This is a stew made from the bones and connective tissue of animals, mixed with spices. Here's everything to know about bone broth and the health benefits of bone broth.
Bone broth is more than a new diet trend, in fact, it has been around since the Paleolithic era and there are even recipes for "beef tea" dating from the 1760s. So what is bone broth and why is everyone drinking it? Let's dive in for more information on the health benefits of this delicious, healing elixir of our ancestors.
Bone broth is similar to a soup stock but heated in water for a much longer time, (12-48 hours instead of 1-4 hours). By simmering it for that length of time on a high heat, it extracts the minerals and nutrients from the bone marrow, meat, cartilage, and tendons.
Many traditional cultures have been using bone broth this entire time as a healing aid and in their recipes. Such as Vietnamese people with making delicious Pho soup, and many other Asian countries.
However, somehow in North America, we have lost that appreciation for slow cooking food and opted for more quick and convenient packaged broths instead. Which have little to no nutritional value.
Bone broth has been used for many years, then with the new age of fine dining, and lean eating that we started to turn our heads toward it. It wasn't until recently, that we have started to recognize it's healing benefits and bring it back full swing.
If you want to make a soup for dinner, go ahead and buy soup stock from a tetri-pack at the supermarket.
You will get the flavour hit you're seeking, but will miss out on the amazing health benefits that bone broth delivers.
Soup stock from a package has basically been made for mass production and stripped of its nutrients. They filter and strain out all of the meat, tendon, cartilage, and everything that contains the matrix-strengthening goodness.
If you want the magical, healing benefits of bone broth, you need to seek out bone broth from a place such as Kettle & Fire.
Or better yet, make your own bone broth.
Bone broth walks between the fine lines of food and medicine, and there are very few foods that can have that same claim. The positive effects it has on your health are nearly endless, so we will focus on the main benefits.
Regular bone broth consumption can mean ditching a pile of supplements that you may be taking.
How is this so? It's all because of bone matrix.
We are not referring to the Hollywood movie, bone matrix refers to the proteinaceous (mostly collagen) substance in between bone cells, where more than 30% of the protein in the body is stored. It is basically a network of sugars and proteins that are bonded together creating frames that cells attach to.
In the bone matrix, there are compounds such as collagen, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine. These compounds are so vital to our health, yet most western diets don't contain them because they are in the matrix of the bones, not the muscle meats.
You may recognise the names of many of these compounds - they are effective compounds in improving joint health. This is why many health stores promote supplements that contain collagen, chondroitin and glucosamine.
Perhaps you're taking these supplements yourself? As you know, they are quite expensive.
Even regular purchases of Great Lakes Collagen powder can start impacting your supplement budget.
Either way, save your money. Consume bone broth instead.
Not only is bone broth a natural product in it's raw state, it's a lot cheaper than the pills and potions you will be buying from the health store.
Oh and did I mention it's tasty as well?!
If you have ever consumed chicken soup for a cold, congratulations! You are already on to the ancient wisdom that is bone broth.
As you have already learned, there are incredible healing benefits to consuming the real-deal bone broth. Bones are the deepest tissue of the body, to cook with them reveals the very "core" of health and nourishment.
Bone broth contains all the necessary minerals and amino acids for our body to create its own building blocks and recreate structures within our cells. It is easy to say, that if you are vegan, you are missing out on a huge chunk of nutrition if you do not consume bone broth!
Deep within the bone marrow lays:
Iron helps to carry Hemoglobin throughout the body, which oxygenates the blood and provides us with energy.
Move over calcium supplements: for every liter of broth, there are 1.5 grams of calcium. Build your bones the paleolithic way and drink bone broth! Calcium helps our blot to clot, our heart to beat, and keeps our bones nice and strong.
Chondroitin helps to build strong bones and cartilage, stronger connective tissues and more flexibility.
When bone broth cools down, it becomes a jelly-like substance. That is due to the high amount of collagen that comes from the marrow. Forget the expensive collagen supplements, and face creams! Drink bone broth instead and receive extra minerals!
Collagen helps to build bone mineral density, heal arthritis, reduce skin damage, reverse aging, help with back pain, and so much more.
This mineral helps the body to use carbohydrates and fats, it also helps calcium to develop strong bones.
Magnesium is a mineral that is highly lacked in western society. A lot of medical issues are related to the lack of magnesium. It helps the nerves, muscles, digestion, and assimilation.
Move over electrolyte drinks, bone broth wins this match again. There is the perfect blend of potassium and sodium to replenish your body after strenuous exercise.
Great for your joints and cartilage.
Sulfer is great for joint health, so you can skip the bitter tasting MSM supplements and opt for bone broth instead.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
I cover protein and the best forms of protein quality in my article In Search For The Highest Quality Protein (And The Issues It Causes For Diet Guidelines).
Protein is essential for building strong muscles, repairing tissues, and strengthening your hair and nails. Drinking bone broth is a more natural protein source, compared to many protein supplements that are out on the market right now.
However, I would not recommend bone broth as your sole source of protein. Though bone broth contains all essential amino acids, from a ratio point of view it is is high in collagen.
A question I often get asked by my Hormone Reset Members is 'should I discard the fat in my bone broth?'.
My answer is always the same - No!
Many vitamins are fat soluble, meaning a lot of the healing nutrients contained in bone broth are tied up in the fat.
Plus, as bone broth is an animal product, the fats are saturated fats... the good healthy fats.
If you are still worried about saturated fats, I recommend you read my article 9 Reasons Why Your Doctor Is Wrong About Fat.
You have probably heard the saying "you are what you eat", but think of it more as "you are what you absorb". Bone broth has the ability to help our body to take in nutrients without taking too much energy to break down, it is also low in calories but packed high of nutrients, which also makes it a perfect food for fat-loss.
Due to the widespread use of antibiotics, our gut bacteria is depleted, causing a plethora of digestive issues and other massive health problems. What makes this worse, is that doctors are prescribing more antibiotics or even laxatives to fix the problem, without getting to the root cause of the issue- the gut!
Here are a few reasons why having a healthy gut is essential;
Nourish your gut with plenty of fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, probiotics, kefir, and of course, bone broth which heals your gut lining.
Perhaps one of the most studied facts of the medical industry is the gut-brain connection. The gastrointestinal tract is hypersensitive to emotion, and that is why you feel your gut in certain traumatic experiences.
These two systems are so interconnected that if your gut health is sub-par, you could experience some serious mental issues such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and more.
The interesting factor is that this can be reversed, and if you are experiencing mental issues such as stress, you will now start to have digestive issues. So it is easy to say that you can no heal one without healing the other.
So a healthy gut can lead to a healthy brain.
Most Western diets that consume a high amount of Methionine, which is an amino acid found in proteins such as eggs and meat. Methionine can be toxic if consumed in large amounts, reducing longevity in life.
To balance that out, an amino acid named Glycine comes to the rescue. How do you get Glycine? In the gelatin of bone broth.
Who would have thought, consuming the broth from bones, tendons and cartilage can help strengthen and heal our our bones, tendons and cartilage!
As I mentioned above, bone broth contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, both strengthen cartilage, joints, and tendons. It will also reduce inflammation, and lessen the symptoms of arthritis pain.
A fun fact: Kettle and Fire Bone Broth was born because our co-founder, Nick, tore his ACL playing soccer and needed a high-quality bone broth to help speed up his recovery time. (You can read more on that here.)
Collagen beauty products are all the rage right now, what's silly is that you can get the pure form for a fraction of the price if you drink bone broth. The high amounts of collagen help to heal your skin, reduce signs of aging, and strengthen your hair and nails.
Bonus tip - another scientifically proven way to improve skin health is through red light therapy.
I told you that the health benefits of bone broth were quite amazing!
If you've already been consuming regular servings of broth I bet you're feeling pretty good right about now.
If you have yet to tap into the amazing benefits of bone broth, then you may be wondering, how do I make bone broth? Or How do I buy it?
If you're wanting to buy it, I highly recommend Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. They have some of the worlds best quality and nutritious bone broth products.
In fact, a lot of the bones they use come from cattle not too far from my farm here in rural New Zealand! Very cool.
If you want to make your own bone broth, check out my article Everything You Ought To Know About Bone Broth, or simply watch the video below:
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This blog post was written by Alex Fergus. Alex is a ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Professional and certified Superhuman Coach who continues to expand his knowledge base and help people across the world with their health and wellness. Alex is recognized as the National Record Holder in Powerlifting and Indoor Rowing and has earned the title of the Australian National Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Having worked as a health coach and personal trainer for over a decade, Alex now researches all things health and wellness and shares his findings on this blog. Learn more about Alex's Credentials HERE.
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