Bone broth is suddenly making a comeback! And let us hope this time is for good. Many of us have been raised on this highly nutritious liquid thanks to the preservation of traditions by our more, ”rural” sides of the family, such as grandparents. I myself was given bone broth on a daily basis for lunch as first course, followed by some sort of meat. I was lucky enough to grow with my grandmother, the one that taught me to love cooking, preparing, preserving and maintaining the tradition of serving foods made from scratch.

Thanks to her, I enjoyed a healthy and happy childhood, lively playtime away from the kindergarten, plenty of sleep, running around her dress in the kitchen and asking her for a sip of the stew she was preparing on the stove. I want my child(ren) to experience the same, from me.

Today I will share with you what you should know about bone broth, convince you to consume it and share it with your children, and start incorporating it in your daily routine.

Bone broth is also known as ancient broth.

Bone broth somehow has made it to most cultures around the world – there’s a huge variety of them: fish, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, lamb, elk, and more…basically whatever that can be hunted, has bones and cartilage can be turned into a broth filled with the same benefits.

They are easy to digest, nutrient-rich, very tasty and quite of a superfood. Our ancestors used to simmer all sorts of parts from the animal, mostly bones, cartilage, ligaments…all so the collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. Another reason why bone broth is an excellent source of minerals is because they become very available hence absorption rate rises. Some of the minerals in bone broth are:

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • silicon
  • sulphur
  • phosphorus
  • among others…

Among these, we also have extremely important compounds used in treatment of inflammation, arthritis and joint pain such as chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine.

Studies (this particular one from University of Nebraska, USA) have found that chicken bone broth was so rich in amino acids, it made it a cure food for colds and the flu as it had the capacity to reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion, while boosting immunity and healing allergies, asthma and arthritis.

Bone broth has many benefits, only when homemade. Store bought ”broth” or ”stock” is actually not bone broth, but a chemically flavoured liquid containing a neurotoxin known as monosodium glutamate.

  1. Bone broth protects joints: being one of the world’s most natural and abundant source of collagen – a type of protein founds in animals that becomes extremely important as we age as collagen production slows down and we start depending more on a natural supplementation. This happens because our cartilage is attacked by antibodies (from age-related cartilage degradation) – so when bone broth simmers, collagen will be released in the broth and becomes ready for absorption.

    One of the best things about bone broth, when cooked right to become gelatinous, is indeed, gelatine. Gelatine is what helps our bones to glide and not create friction. Gelatine also provides us with building blocks to form and maintain strong bones – taking off that pressure that becomes regular with ageing, to support healthy joints and bone mineral density.

    A study conducted at Penn University in University Park, Pennsylvania (USA), concluded that after a supplementation with collagen of 24 weeks, athletes showed a significant improvement in joint comfort and other factors related to bone health that were negatively impacting their athletic performance.
  2. Promotes and maintains healthy skin: the beautiful collagen produced in bone broth helps forming elastin which is what holds your skin youthful, elastic – hence decreasing age related signs such as wrinkles, puffiness or out of balance skin.

    During a study investigating the protective properties of collagen, it was found that with a supplementation of collagen for 8 weeks, women have seen improvements in skin elasticity, moisture, dryness and roughness. So yes, your collagen drink works – your fancy cream, doesn’t. The results from the study were quite impressive as after 4 weeks, showing noticeable decrease of accelerating age with no side effects.
  3. Supports the gut: as we know from scientific proof, is that gelatine restores strength of the gut lining and fights off food allergies, specifically wheat or dairy. It helps with the growth of good bacteria in the gut and maintenance of overall gut health.

    A study from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, shows how gelatine effectively supports intestinal health and integrity, able to inhibit cytokines and proving as an anti-inflammatory.

    In individuals with gut difficulties, studies show that serum concentrations of collagen are decreased. As the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and entire gastrointestinal tract, supplements with collagen can support healthy digestive function, and one great way is to directly drink bioavailable bone broth filled with collagen to be absorbed.
  4. Aids with detoxification: since bone broth is beneficial for the gut, it has an amazing effect on detoxification by default. Bone broth supplies sulphur (especially if you use vegetables in your broth together with bones and cartilages) together with glutathione, which turns out to be a stage II detoxification agent lowering oxidative stress.

    A study published in the Scientific World Journal, showed how glutathione aided with the elimination of fat-soluble compounds, heavy metals like mercury and lead. It also helps with the absorption of an array of nutrients, the use of antioxidants as well as with liver-cleansing processes.

    Bone broth also increases intake of essential minerals, especially if you use vegetables with peels on, acting like chelators and removing toxins by stopping heavy metals from attaching to mineral receptors.
  5. Supports your immune system: because of its gut-supportive benefits, bone broth can have a healing effect especially on leaky gut syndrome that occurs when undigested particles from foods find their way through small openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where the immune system detects them (white cells attack) and becomes hyperactive.

    This process increases inflammation in the body and leads to general dysfunction. The immune system releases high levels of antibodies that cause an autoimmune-like response and attack healthy tissue.

    Bone broth has proven to successfully restore gut health and therefore support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. Collagen or gelatine and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine found in bone broth will help seal the small openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity!
  6. A pro-metabolic food: bone broth is a great source of glutathione, a proven antioxidant to defend, nurturing metabolism and regulating of cellular events.

    According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, glutathione aids with improving gene expressions, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production and immune responses.

    As for the amino acids present in bone broth, these have been found to improve metabolism in the following manner:
  • building, repairing muscle tissue
  • supporting bone mineral density
  • boosting nutrient absorption and their synthesis
  • maintaining muscle and connective tissue health

Studies show how glycine protects skeletal muscle loss and stops the expression of genes associated with age-related muscle protein breakdown.

Glutamine is another amino acid that’s important for a healthy metabolism, sending nutrients, including nitrogen, to our cells. While arginine also has the role of breaking down nitric oxide that helps with improving circulation and sends blood and nutrients to cells throughout the body. It improves muscle and tissue integrity while promoting efficient wound healing.

In the next post, you will learn how to make gelatinous bone broth. You should know all broth is good for you, even if not gelatinous, for as long as you simmered the bones long enough, (more than 10 hours), you will get very similar benefits. Gelatinous broth is the result of using different parts of the animal, bones and cartilages while not adding excessive amounts of water. You will see what is my favourite, most economic way to make an extremely healthy and delicious mineral rich bone broth.

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