While a bowl of bone broth may not look very exciting, it certainly can work some magic…
Bone broth is derived from animal bones and connective tissue (small amount of meat or flesh) which is typically sourced from beef, chicken, cattle or fish. When bones are simmered in water on a slow cooker with herbs and spices for more than 20 to 48 hours, the multi-benefit elements of gelatin and collagen are released, creating a superfood or liquid known as bone broth.
Before elaborating on the benefits of gelatin and collagen it is important to highlight the fact that bone broth, broth and stock are not the same. In fact, while stock is simmered for a shorter period of time (3 to 4 hours), broth is simmered for even shorter (only 45 mins to 2 hours) with the texture of both stock and broth being way less thick than that of bone broth. This expedited cooking process reduces the amount of gelatin extracted from the bones, limiting the broth’s ability to support the immune and digestive systems. On the other hand, due to the extended length of its simmering process, bone broth is way more rich in vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
If you find the preparation of home-made bone broth too time consuming, you can always buy pre-made and ready-to-drink bone both from your local supermarket. It is however important to watch out for the following pointers when doing so:
- Make sure there is ‘bone broth’ written on the label of the product
- While ensuring the product actually contains bones (no bones = no benefits), go for products where bones and water are among the first ingredients in the list
- Go for products which specify that they’ve been simmered for more than 20 hours
- Products with grass-fed bones or grass-finished bones are of higher quality
As aforementioned, brewing connective tissue in broth form provides our body with natural compounds from cartilage. Furthermore, both bones and their connective tissue contain collagen. Upon cooking, collagen turns into gelatin which provides the body with important amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
The following are therefore the benefits of bone broth:
- Joint health – bone broth is a source of gelatin which is especially important for our joints.
- Gut health – the amino acids present in bone broth may also aid with digestion. One such amino acid called glutamine is associated with managing conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut syndrome and intestinal barrier dysfunction.
- Mood improvement – diet quality influences gut bacteria and gut bacteria influences the human brain. Bad gut health is linked to depression and mood swings. Bone broth can improve gastrointestinal health and improve the connection between gut and brain.
- Better sleep – the amino acids in bone broth may also promote better sleep. One such amino acid called glycine is a safe therapeutic tool to improve quality of sleep.
Bone broth indeed contains easily available nutrients and vitamins for the human body. It provides numerous health benefits which awareness dates back to our ancestors. We thus recommend incorporating bone broth in your daily nutrition to experience the significant benefits mentioned above.
To fitness with love,