Bone broth provides a number of vital nutrients for good health. Here are a few that you should know about…
Bone broth has become super trendy over the past few years, although as a traditional food, it has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. Many nutritionists and celebrities swear by its health-giving properties – which natural health experts have been reminding us of for many years. Bone broth is touted as a health food because of its high levels of minerals and other nutrients which help to support your digestive system, your immune system, and your brain, among others.
Before we take a look at some of these beneficial nutrients in greater depth, first a word of caution: As with any foodstuff, bone broth is only as healthy as its source. You should not use the bones of conventionally raised (factory farmed) animals, whose bones may contain residues of toxins, antibiotics, and other not-so-good stuff. Always use bones from organically raised animals, preferably those that were fed on pasture.
Once you have a good source of healthy bones, bone broth is very simple to make. You simply simmer the bones (either cooked or raw bones are fine to start with) for several hours (depending on the type of bones, this can be anywhere from a few hours up to 24 hours). (Or you can make it faster using an Instant Pot.) You may add herbs, spices, or vegetable trimmings for extra flavor, and some like to add a dash of vinegar to help leach some of the nutrients from the bones.
You can consume the broth right away, store it in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze for later use. There are numerous uses for bone broth besides just drinking it. It can also be used in soups, stews, or sauces, or as a cooking liquid for sauteeing or braising meats or vegetables.
Here are 6 healthy nutrients that bone broth provides:
- Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) – support collagen and elastin production which is good for the structure of the body, skin, hair, and nails. GAGs also aid in digestive health by helping to restore the intestinal lining. Important GAGs found in bone broth include glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate.
- Glucosamine (hydrochloride and sulfate) – Supports joint strength and mobility by helping to maintain the integrity of cartilage (the rubbery substance within joints that acts as a natural cushion to keep bones from rubbing together). Bone broth can be a delicious and easy alternative to expensive glucosamine supplements for supporting joint health.
- Hyaluronic Acid – supports healthy tissues, including cell rejuvenation and skin firmness. Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in anti-aging skincare products. Bone broth provides the benefits from the inside out!
- Chondroitin Sulfate – Often used along with glucosamine to support joint health. Studies have shown that supplementing with chondroitin supports healthy inflammation response as well as cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health, and healthy cholesterol levels
- Minerals and Electrolytes – Essential minerals, including electrolytes, found in bone broth include calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as many other minerals such as phosphorus. These minerals are important for supporting healthy circulation, bone density, nerve signaling functions, heart health, and digestive health.
- Collagen – Quality bone broth is a good source of collagen which has a number of important functions in the body. These include helping to form connective tissue (allowing for easier movement) and protecting and sealing the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Collagen is a complex protein that is a rich source of 19 amino acids, many of which must be obtained from the diet.