Is Bone Broth Healthy?
It turns out that there really is some science behind your grandma’s famous chicken soup. When prepared correctly (where the bones are boiled on low for up to 48 hours), bone broth offers a wide range of benefits for health and well being, from strengthening the immune system to improving the suppleness of the skin. While experts disagree as to whether bone broth can be called a “superfood,” all concede that simple bone broth is chock full of nutrients and makes a great addition to any balanced diet. Here are some of the most often cited health benefits offered by bone broth.
- Bone broth is immune boosting: Of all the health benefits of bone broth, its ability to provide critical immune support due to its high concentration of vitamins and minerals is the best documented. One study published in the journal Chest revealed that participants who add chicken soup containing broth made with chicken bones experienced a reduction in the body’s inflammatory responses to upper respiratory tract infections. In addition, a Harvard study demonstrated that some people with autoimmune disorders experienced symptom relief when drinking bone broth.
- Bone broth improves digestion: Key nutrients contained in bone broth like collagen, glucosamine, and gelatin are essential for maintaining a healthy gut. Thus, bone broth can be therapeutic for those suffering from digestive problems such as a leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and flora imbalance. It has also been reported to be useful in easing some food intolerances.
- Bone broth improves joint health and strengthens bones: When the bones are simmered for hours and hours to create bone broth, they actually break down, releasing a host of nutrients that are good for both your joints and your bones. Bone broth actually contains glucosamine, which is a well-documented support supplement for joint health. Likewise, the phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the broth provide essential building blocks for healthy bones. In addition, the chondroitin sulfate in bone broth has been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.
- Bone broth enhances the skin: Interestingly, bone broth is a rich source of collagen, a key ingredient in most wrinkle treatments and facial creams. Many proponents of bone broth have asserted that regular consumption of the broth actually makes their skin look noticeably healthier and more radiant. Some have also reported similar results with the skin and nails.
To maximize the health benefits of the broth, you want to be sure that your bones come from a good source. Ideally, to make bone broth as healthful as possible, you want to use bones from grass-fed cattle or bison, pastured poultry, or wild-caught fish.