The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

health-benefits-of-bone-broth

We try to get bone broth in some form every day, either via a cup of broth or a scoop of the broth gelatin straight from a jar in the fridge. The health benefits of bone broth are numerous!It is made by slow cooking the bones, skin, cartilage, tendons, and even feet from an animal in water for 24 hours or longer. Typically made from the bones of chicken or beef, it can also be made from lamb or fish. An acidic medium (vinegar or lemon juice) is added to the cooking liquid to pull the minerals out of the bones while they cook, depositing the minerals into the broth. After the broth is cooled in the refrigerator over night it congeals into a gelatin. The longer the bones cook in the broth, the more gelatinous it becomes. The end result is a rich healthy source of nutrients that is a key component to a healthy diet.

Bone broth contains:

  • antioxidants
  • vitamins
  • minerals (calcium, silicon, sulfer, magnesium, glucosamine, phosphorus, trace minerals, and glucosamine chondroitin sulfates)
  • amino acids (proline, arginine and glycine)

Bone broth health benefits:

  • Heals leaky-gut related conditions and lessens inflammation in the mucosal lining
  • Helps to heal autoimmune conditions by healing the gut
  • Aids in detoxification by supporting the liver
  • Aids digestion by regulating the synthesis of bile salts and the secretion of gastric acid
  • Improves nervous system function and keeps our minds (and moods) in good working order
  • Boosts antioxidant activity in the body, thus decreasing oxidative damage
  • Balances blood sugar, helps maintain muscle, and regulates human growth hormone (for all you gym-goers out there)
  • Helps to reverse heart disease by reducing atherosclerotic plaque build-up
  • Reduced cellulite, stretch marks, and wrinkles (from the collagen content)
  • Improves hair and nails
  • Re-mineralizes teeth

My favorite Scientist (ThePaleoMom) sums up the science behind bone broth better than anyone out there…

“Glycine and proline are two key components of connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together. There are many types of connective tissue and these two amino acids feature prominently in most of them, from the cartilage that forms our joints to the extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold for the cells in our individual organs, muscles, arteries etc. Without these two amino acids, we would literally fall apart. So, it is no surprise that we need these two amino acids to heal, not only gaping wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and other tissues in our body caused by inflammation and infection. In fact, glycine is known to inhibit the immune system and reduce activation of inflammatory cells in your body. Whether you are trying to heal from an infection, address an auto-immune disease, or reduce inflammation caused by neolithic foods or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, high levels of dietary glycine are critical. In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.” (ThePaleoMom)

We buy a large container of grass-fed beef soup bones from our local co-op for super cheap and end up with a ton of health-giving bone broth. Such an inexpensive way to get a nutritional boost every day! Most recently I made a batch of broth over the course of 7 days, using the carcass of one chicken. Here is the recipe. Go make a batch right now!

“Good broth will resurrect the dead” South American proverb.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for this Kate! I started making bone broths after I read Sally Fallon’s book – Nourishing Traditions – but all I’ve made so far is chicken broth because it’s been the easiest to come by. The health food store where I get my grass-fed beef doesn’t sell leftover bones! It’s crazy! I don’t get why they don’t, and I haven’t been able to do fish broth yet. Maybe one day, but I definitely want the health benefits (and taste benefits) that bone broths have to offer. Thanks again!

    • says

      Glad you like this post. Sometimes when my co-op doesn’t have something in their display case I can special order it. Last week I got chicken feet (also great in bone broth!), lamb liver, and chicken hearts….pretty sure those aren’t regulars in the display case. All of these odd bits are super cheap too!

    • says

      Linda, exactly! When it cools in your fridge it will congeal and turn into a bone broth jello. When its re-heated it will liquefy. I personally take one scoop of the bone broth jello every morning for its gut healing benefits.

  2. Suzanne says

    I have made the chicken broth with all natural chickens.. Simmered for days in my crock pot,, I have done this several times but still do not get the gel.. how come?

  3. says

    I’m new to all of this but do you put that broth into something or you just eat the gelatin each day? Because I’m pretty sure I couldn’t stomach just eating a scoop of the gelatin beef broth… Sorry if it’s a dumb question.

    • says

      You can add it to hot water and drink it as a broth. You can certainly add it to foods (I add it to my kids food). My preferred method is a scoop in the morning because it’s quick and easy….and quite frankly I was sick of drinking broth! That is not a dumb question at all. Any way you can get it down is great. Your body will thank you.

  4. says

    I’ve had the same results as Zoe, a definitely weaker broth with each successive simmering, no matter the quality of the bones. And I’ve been doing the 24 hr bone broths (72 hrs for beef) almost weekly for over 10 yrs now and teach others, as well. So I really do wonder where I’m going wrong!!!

    • says

      Could it possibly be your water? Maybe hard or soft water makes a difference. We have soft water. Otherwise, I’m not sure

  5. Megan says

    I’ve been making chicken bone broth for about a year, and I have NEVER had it gel… I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Good chickens – local, organic, pastured… put ACV in with the water, and cook for 24-48 hours (or more) in my slow cooker. Never has it gelled… HELP! I’m assuming it is still good for me, and I drink it anyway, but I would really love it to gel.

    • says

      It is definitely still good for you! I am not sure why you aren’t getting a gel. Do you store it in the fridge? That’s what causes mine to gel.

      • says

        Do you put it in the fridge while it’s still pretty warm? I’ve heard that can make a big difference, that letting it cool too much before getting it chilled can keep it from gelling properly, though I have no idea why that would be the case.

        I understand that we don’t need to worry about it gelling, but I do feel better when mine does :)

    • Cd says

      I know this is a little late but I found that I had too much water and not enough bones. I added more bones and I gelled.

    • says

      Marilyn, that is a great answer! You do need bones with connective tissue on them. If you are using bare bones you will probably not get too much of a gel. When I buy bones, they have marrow, cartilage, tendons, and some meat still on them. For those of you who haven’t achieved a gel: did you use bare bones?

  6. Lysia says

    Hi, I made mine with beef pet bones. They made a fat layer at the top like coconut oil, and it was so good and rich when heated up. When you get the gelatin do you ever make the gummies with that? So is your crock pot on for the whole week basically? Thanks!

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