Is Bone Broth Good for You?
These days everyone seems to be jumping on the bone broth bandwagon. Fans of bone broth claim it to be a nutrient gold mine and with an abundance of minerals, collagen, gelatin, and amino acids such as glutamine and glycine, it may very well be. Bone broth is simply animal bones that are sometimes roasted first and then simmered with vegetables for hours to become a soothing and nutrient dense food.
What are some of the benefits of bone broth?
Most people are already familiar with good old-fashioned chicken soup’s healing properties and this is readily backed by science. Studies have shown chicken soup to improve upper respiratory tract infections by mitigating inflammation. Seems like grandma knew best after all!
Collagen in broth supports skin, nail, and hair health. The rich mineral and glucosamine content has been shown to strengthen bones and teeth, and support joint health.
Perhaps broths biggest claim to fame in today’s diet is the role it plays in supporting gut health. Bone broth is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system and therefore is a staple of many gut-healing diets. In a healthy gut, the intestinal lining consists of tight junctions which control what passes through. With leaky gut, these junctions don’t work properly resulting in small undigested particles of food that “leak” through the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. The body recognizes this as foreign particles resulting in an auto immune-like response as the body attacks healthy tissue. Studies have shown bone broth to be beneficial in restoring the gut lining and supporting intestinal health.
The best and least expensive way to get bone broth is to make it yourself using bones ideally from grass fed, organic animals. If you cannot, or do not want to make bone broth, there are now several companies that make it and are found in natural health food stores. Look for companies that use only organic meat and do not add any MSG, stabilizers, flavors, or preservatives. Often they can be found in the frozen section. If you want to make it yourself, you can find many recipes online. You can also pick up a copy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, or Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther, both excellent resources for making your own broth.
Broth can be enjoyed in many ways. Use it as a base for soups and stews, to cook veggies or rice in, or simply in a mug by itself as a warm, soothing drink.
“Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro”
“Efficacy of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in an experimental model of mucosal ulcerative colitis”
Photo: Platings and Pairings