The benefits of bone broth have been tested and documented for several years. This light, soupy liquid is rich in several minerals and nutrients that offer a plethora of health benefits. And while everyone has their own process of preparing bone broth, it is typically incredibly easy to make.
Here’s a brief overview of the various benefits of bone broth and how you can make it from scratch.
What Is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is quite similar to chicken soup, just without the chicken bits, vegetables, and noodles. Bone broth is a clear soup that is primarily made from any animal’s bones, connective tissues, and some meaty bits. The longer these bones are simmered, the higher benefits of bone broth you can enjoy.
Bone broth is a savory, tasty, and warming drink to have, especially in the winter. It’s a versatile liquid that you can consume as-is or use as a base for gravies, sauces, and soups.
One of the best parts about making bone broth is you can use whichever animal’s bones you like. There is no standard ingredient; you can use beef, bison, buffalo, chicken, fish, lamb, turkey, or veal. Combine the bones with your favorite veggies like onions, celery, carrots, along with aromatic herbs like thyme and rosemary, and let it all simmer in water for a few hours.
You can also include connective tissues like beaks, feet, gizzards, hooves, and even fins, for a hearty broth.
Five Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth is a nutrient-dense liquid that can boost your overall health in no time. It has low-calorie content and is rich in protein.
Given the wide range of health benefits that bone broth offers, the Chinese also call it the Longevity Soup. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best health benefits of bone broth.
#1. Better Sleep
Bone broth contains amino acids, including glycine, that can have a relaxing effect, and when consumed before sleeping, it can help you fall asleep quicker. It also helps ensure a full night of restful sleep.
Research has also shown that glycine can help reduce daytime sleepiness and boost memory and mental function.
So, if you tend to wake up several times during the night, try to include a bowl of bone broth as part of your unwinding routine.
#2. Protects Joints
When cooking bone broth, the collagen from the animal’s bones and tissues is broken down into gelatin. Gelatin is 99% protein and is an excellent way to boost your joint health as well as aid in repairing connective tissues and preventing injury.
Bone broth also contains chondroitin and glucosamine, known to help alleviate joint pain and decrease osteoarthritis symptoms.
#3. Highly Nutritious
Depending on your choice of bone and other ingredients, you can turn your simple bone broth into a superfood.
Usually, any animal bone you use will be loaded with magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and minerals.
For example, fish bones are rich in iodine that is known for promoting good metabolism and thyroid function.
And if you opt for pork with the bone marrow, your broth will be rich in vitamins A and B, and K2, as well as thiamine, biotin, zinc, boron, iron, selenium, and manganese. Pork bones are also a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help regulate your blood pressure and aid in inflammatory responses.
All these nutrients are released in the bone broth as you simmer it, thus allowing your body to absorb all these vitamins and minerals easily.
#4. Heals the Gut
Did you know that your overall health is significantly dependent on your gut health? For your body to function optimally, your gut needs healthy bacteria to ensure proper digestion and fight off infection. Bone broth is exceptionally good at boosting your digestive function.
The gelatin in bone broth attracts and holds liquids. So, when the gelatin from the bone broth travels to your digestive system, it binds the water in the digestive tract and allows the food to move seamlessly in your gut.
Another amino acid found in bone broth is glutamine. It helps the intestinal walls’ functionality and can be very helpful for those suffering from a leaky gut. This is a condition that occurs when the barrier between your bloodstream and gut is damaged, resulting in unwanted leaks and inflammation. Leaky gut syndrome has been linked to several chronic health conditions.
As bone broth is easy to digest, it can also help with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.
#5. Helps Keep Collagen Strong
Collagen is a kind of protein that can be found abundantly in the connective tissues, bones, tendons, and cartilages used in preparing bone broth. This also makes bone broth one of the best bioavailable and accessible sources of collagen.
This amino acid-rich component plays a vital role in cellular processes like tissue repair, cellular communication, immune response, and cellular maintenance.
A cup of bone broth consumed regularly can help improve your skin’s hydration level, elasticity, and overall appearance.
Steps on How To Make Bone Broth
Preparing a bone broth is very simple. You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients. Just take your pick of an animal’s bones, any vegetables you like, and some flavorful herbs and spices.
Here are the step-by-step instructions on making approximately 8 cups of bone broth.
2 pounds of beef, turkey, chicken, or lamb bones (include connective tissues like neck, and knuckles)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (to help break down collagen and bring out all the flavors)
2 cups vegetables of choice (celery, carrots, onions, etc.)
Salt and pepper to taste
#1. Use a Dutch oven or large pot and add your animal bones of choice.
#2. Fill with water generously, approximately 10-12 cups (the water will reduce as the broth cooks).
#3. Add your veggies and seasonings to taste.
#4. Bring your broth to boil.
#5. Reduce the heat and let the broth simmer for 12-24 hours. Remember, the longer you simmer your broth, the more flavorful it becomes, and the more benefits you get.
#6. Once done, strain to remove the bones and other solid bits. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days or store it in the freezer for about 1-2 months.
Note: When the broth cools down, it will solidify to a jelly-like consistency. This is normal; just reheat it and the broth will return to its liquid form again.