What Is So Special About Bone Broth?
What in the world is Bone Broth, and why do I recommend it to so many patients as well as people who simply want the fastest way to improve their health? Bone broth benefits go far beyond the excitement and hype about it’s ability to reduce wrinkles.
Bone broth is one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. It’s packed full of protein, amino acids, collagen, glutamine and other GAGs (a key group of amino acids).
Bone broth’s nutritional makeup is the reason it’s the cornerstone of the Paleo, Ketogenic, and AIP diets, as well as many other nutritional programs specifically formulated to heal digestive issues and leaky gut. I’ve personally used it for fat loss and accelerated healing of my ACL rupture both before and after surgery. Bone broth plus my secret exogenous ketones formula make for an amazing fast and pain-free healing process.
Bone Broth Benefits
- Inhibits infection and reduces inflammation
- Promotes a well functioning immune system
- Protects you from pathogenic organisms, environmental toxins, and cancerous growths.
- Supports your adrenals, bones and teeth
- Full of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium
- Heals and seals the gut lining
- Enhances digestion
- Ready bioavailable source of minerals and nutrients
- Cools inflammation and eases joint pains
- Promotes healthy skin and hair growth (YES, it reduces wrinkles)
- High in amino acids like arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline
- Collagen-rich, which promotes the health of joints, tendons, ligaments, and skin
My Favorite Bone Broth Benefit – It Helps You Heal
Bone Broth has 2 little amino acids that pack a powerful healing punch!
Bone broth can be a therapeutic food for gut healing because of the many minerals, vitamins, and easily assimilated amino acids that are leached from the vegetables, herbs, and the bones of healthy, pastured animals.
The common thought behind bone broth for many years was that it was simply high in calcium (among other minerals), which builds and maintains bones and teeth, supports muscle contraction, heart health, hormone production, and nervous system support.(1,2)
We now know that bone broth isn’t as high in calcium as we once suspected, but it does have significant amounts of essential amino acids, most notably glycine and proline. These two aminos are key components of connective tissue, from the cartilage that makes up our joints to the components that hold the cells of our organs and muscles together, among other things.
These and other amino acids are critical components of healing the microscopic damage done to tissues in our bodies over time, which is why so many practitioners tout bone broth as a “healing” tonic.
7 Reasons I Recommend Bone Broth for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Problems
Leaky gut and systemic inflammation are closely associated with autoimmune conditions across the board. And it’s well known that protein deficiency suppresses the immune response and increases susceptibility to infection.(4) So, there are a couple of reasons your “in the know” health practitioner might recommend a high quality bone broth:
1. High levels of dietary glycine may help with modulating the immune system and reducing inflammation, which helps you to heal from infection and/or disease.(3)
2. Glycine plays an important role in digestive health by helping to regulate the synthesis of bile salts and the secretion of gastric acid.(5)
3. Glycine is involved in the production of glutathione, one of the body’s most important antioxidants that helps to reduce oxidative stress.(6)
4. Glycine promotes better sleep, mental clarity, improves mood, boosts memory, and helps to reduce stress.(7,8)
5. Proline helps the body to break down proteins for use in the body.(4)
6. Amino acids in bone broth are very easily assimilated by the body, making them perfect for those who may be on a journey of healing their gut.
7. Drinking bone broth counts toward your daily liquid consumption and helps you stay hydrated, which is essential for kidney health and helps keep digestion regular.
Bone Broth is NOT New!
Although bone broth is catching on in the mainstream and celebrities are clamoring to it because of it’s skin rejuvenating effects, bone broth is far from new. In fact, it’s considered ancient nutrition, and it’s why we consider so many soups and broths today healthy items, especially when we’re sick. Our genetics love this! Bone broth benefits were known well by our ancestors thousands of years ago!
In Chinese medicine, whose origins date back over 2,500 years, bone broth is used to support digestive health, as a blood builder, and to strengthen the kidneys. Then, beginning in 12th century Egypt, physician Moses Maimonides was known to prescribe chicken soup as a medicinal remedy for colds and asthma. However, our soups and broths today are merely canned water with sodium and some flavoring and preservatives. Far from healthy.
Fortunately, you can now either make your own with a simple recipe BELOW, or you can have it shipped to you in powder or liquid form. You want to make sure it is sourced from pastured or grass-fed animals.
Where to Get Bone Broth: (these are my two sources)
1. These are packets that are convenient and the taste is good to most people: GO HERE You get the same bone broth benefits as the homemade version!
2. Highest quality and best tasting bone broth: GO HERE This is like a homemade version and it comes to you frozen.
3. Want to be DONE with it and just mix in collagen with whatever you want and get the same benefits? I understand that not everybody is going to want to really delve into ancestral nutrition and get back to basics, so here is our modern and APPROVED answer…Bone Broth Collagen Powder! I recommend bone broth collagen for the types I, II, and III found in bone along with hyaluronic acid that helps more so with joints in addition to gut, skin, hair, nails, tendon, cartilage, and ligament.
This is the BEST: GO HERE
This is BEEF bone broth collagen. It has the most of the kind of collagen and amino acids for healing joints, connective tissue, and gut problems. Chicken both broth collagen is good too, but it has just a little less of the good stuff. Collagen Peptides which are typically from hide (not bones), are excellent for general health/wellness, skin, hair, nails, and also a for gut and joints just not as much as bone broth collagen. It all works, so go with your budget, and just know that beef bone broth collagen is the king for what most people are looking for. This version is tasteless and can be mixed with almost anything! LEARN MORE
Simple Bone Broth Recipe
Makes: About 4 quarts
1 medium, white onion*
2 medium carrots, chopped
3-4 stalks celery*
1 leek, halved*
7 garlic cloves, smashed*
5 lb. bones (from pastured, grassfed meat – I use a mixture of chicken bones, feet, and beef knuckles. Get it all here: US Wellness Meats)
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
*Leave out if on the SIBO diet or Low-FODMAP diet. For AIP, the whole recipe is fine!
6 sprigs parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp. turmeric powder
Cut onion, carrots, celery and leek into chunks and add to a crockpot with the bones.
Add smashed garlic and apple cider vinegar.
Fill the crock pot to the brim with filtered water.
Cook broth anywhere from 24-48 hours on “low” in the crockpot (If working on a stovetop, you’ll want to keep it on a very low simmer, covered, for the same amount of time. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the stove on at night, turn it to the very lowest setting, then turn it back up in the morning.)
When you have about 2 hours left, add herbs/spices and make sure they’re covered with liquid. After the allotted time, turn the heat off and let the broth cool down until it’s safe to handle. Strain the liquid into a large bowl and discard all solids. From here, you can transfer your broth into smaller containers and fridge or freeze. Keep bone broth for up to one week in the fridge or freeze for up to six months.
My Favorite Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
I love this one because it tastes great, and it has the fastest cooking time. I love the fact that bone broth benefits also extend to an incredible treat to the palate when made with this recipe.
It takes 15 minutes basically to prepare then 4-6 hours to cook. I usually do the full 6. You need a large stockpot or slow cooker (crockpot). This recipe will make a full gallon of broth. I get all my chicken parts from US Wellness Meats.
- 3 or more pounds of raw chicken bones/carcasses from 3-4 chickens
- 6-8 chicken feet or 1 pig’s foot (will not affect taste)
- 1 whole chicken, 4-6 legs, thighs, or wings – I do the legs due to more cartilage
- 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar depending on pot size
- Purified water to just cover the bones and meat in the pot
- 2-4 carrots cleaned and chopped
- 3-4 ribs organic celery chopped
- 1 onion, cut in large chunks (I use white onion)
- 3-4 whole garlic cloves
- 2 tsp peppercorns
- 1 bunch parsley
- Place bones and meat in the cooker. Add the vinegar and just enough purified water to cover all by 1 inch. Cover the pot.
- Bring water to a simmer (medium heat) and in about 2 hours skim the film off the top of the broth using a spoon.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and peppercorns and decrease the heat to low – broth should barely simmer.
- Cook for at least 4-6 hours (I do 6 to make sure all cartilage dissolves), and add water as needed to keep bones covered – watch because this will happen.
- Add the parsley in the last hour.
- When done, remove from the heat, remove the bones and meat with tongs or a good spoon (Keep the meat for later!)
- Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids
- Let the broth cool and then refrigerate within 1 hour.
- If you desire, you can skim off the fat (unless you are on a ketogenic diet) as it chills.
- When chilled, the broth should be fairly gelatinous. It’s good for 5 days in the fridge and 3-4 months in your freezer.
If you really want to dive deep into fixing your nutrition, I highly recommend Deep Nutrition by Catharine Shanahan, MD.