Bone broth is the liquid you end up with after slow cooking the bones and connective tissues of various animals (pig, cow, chicken, or even fish) in water with spices, herbs, and optionally some vegetables.
A cooked bone broth is typically used either as a base for culinary creations such as rich soups and stews or as a hot, nutritious beverage. In either case, it packs a serious punch!
In fact, the rich and versatile bone broth is a lot more healthy than it’s usually given credit for. Let’s explore the surprising health benefits it has to offer!
1. It packs a ton of nutrients
First off: bone broth gives you the collagen (a.k.a. modern day magic beauty potion) directly from the bones that contained it.
Besides, bones are rich in other essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. Bone marrow, in turn, contains vitamins A and K, fatty acids, iron, selenium, manganese, and zinc.
Now: no one knows the exact composition of nutrients you would end up with, should you cook one, but some argue that well-cooked bone broth gives your body exactly the nutrients it needs to thrive — in an easily digestible form.
It is, however, crucial to understand that not all broth is created equal: the nutritional value of your broth will depend hugely on the quality, quantity, and variety of bones and tissues that went into it, so be generous while filling up your shopping basket. Adding extra ingredients, such as vegetables and herbs, will bring even more nutrients into an already powerful mix!
2. Fights inflammation
Chronic inflammation, if not addressed, may lead to a number of serious diseases including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods is therefore essential for our overall health.
Fortunately, a properly prepared bone broth has exactly those strong anti-inflammatory effects our bodies so badly need. For the same reason it makes a great recovery drink for post-workout sore muscles!
3. Supports weight loss
An interesting feature of the fatty acids contained in bone broth is that they can reduce your hunger, therefore helping you eat less and achieve your weight loss goals.
The best part? The bone broth itself is rather low in calories, but still promotes feelings of fullness thanks to the gelatin it contains. This feature is hard to beat — in fact, there is even a weight loss program which is basically a bone broth fast!
4. Benefits joint health
Even if you’ve never heard of bone broth, you’ve definitely heard of collagen — the main protein found in tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Bone broth is a source of gelatin, which breaks down into collagen during the digestion process, and supposedly increases the natural amount of collagen in the tissues. This can be especially beneficial for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Improves sleep
At last, bone broth contains glycin — an amino acid that has been shown to promote sleep, so keep this fact in mind if you’re having difficulties falling asleep or maintaining deep sleep throughout the night.
Improved sleep results in better focus, memory and mental function during the following day — something we could all use a little more of!