Bone broth soup is a traditional staple around the globe. It has essential amino acids that boost our immunity and keep those opportunistic infections at bay. It is also an excellent and effective anti-aging remedy since it provides collagen that improves the elasticity of our face and skin. Bone broth is the most quintessential home remedy for every common cold and flu. It is packed with protein, essential minerals, collagen, and nutrients. In a way, bone broth is known to nurse any sick individual to good health. For centuries bone broth is used to cure and prevent ailments. Moving ahead in this article, you will learn fantastic bone broth benefits on health, bone broth nutrients and recipe. But before we discuss anything regarding this stock, let’s first understand what is bone broth?
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is a stock made from animal bones and connective tissue typically cattle, chicken, or fish. This stock is also a part of the paleo diet.
The bones with adhered meat are boiled into a stew and slowly simmered for 8 to 20 hours or more with additional herbs, vegetables, and spices.
Chicken soup was a traditional dish of Jewish kitchens. It was called Jewish penicillin as it was used to treat and prevent illness.
Earlier the skin, feet, bones and other parts of the animal which could not be consumed were added to boiling water and left to simmer. The simmering of the bone and connective tissues lead to the release of compounds of proteins and minerals into the stock (1).
Bone broth nutrients
Bone broth is rich in amino acids, type 2 collagen, gelatin, minerals and various cartilage compounds. The exact nutritional content varies depending on the amount and type of animal bone and cartilages used. It also depends on the time it is shimmered.
Amino acids are the basic units of protein. It is said that bone broth contains around 17 to 19 different types of amino acids. Let us see.
Methionine is an essential amino acid and is obtained from the diet. It helps in metabolizing the food that we consume (2). Methionine acts as a potent antioxidant to help our liver eliminate free radicals which are toxic to our body.
It also prevents free radicals from causing oxidative stress that is damaging to our cells. Methionine is the precursor for the production of amino acid, cysteine, which gets converted to glutathione.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant supporting the natural detoxification process of the liver.
Proline is an amino acid which makes up about seventeen percent of collagen. Our body manufactures small amounts of proline, and to meet the optimal level of proline in the body adequate dietary proline is necessary.
Proline binds to the glutamate receptors and glycine receptors and acts as a neurotransmitter (3). It is a precursor for hydroxyproline, which is used by our body to make collagen.
Proline helps the body break down proteins and helps improve skin elasticity and smoothens the wrinkles. It is has proven benefits for the heart, and it prevents the stiffening of arteries.
Glycine is an amino acid which makes up about one-third of collagen. Glycine acts as a neurotransmitter as it binds to glycine receptors present throughout the nervous system.
Glycine helps in mediating inhibitory neurotransmission in the spinal cord and brainstem. It is necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis (4). Glycine also plays a crucial role in our digestive health by regulating our blood sugar levels and bile salt.
It also increases the levels of creatine which in turn enhances muscle growth and repair.
Arginine is an amino acid which is primarily used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is also essential for proper kidney function. In our body arginine gets converted into nitric oxide.
This nitric oxide is a potent neurotransmitter which aids in the relaxation of blood vessels and improving blood circulation (5). Arginine also plays a crucial role in wound healing. Some evidence also suggests that arginine is helpful in improving heart health.
Collagen is the main structural protein found in the human body. It helps in the formation of connective tissue and also repair of the protective gastrointestinal tract lining.
Irritation within the gut impairs our standard digestive functions and can cause permeability. This allows particles to pass directly into the bloodstream. This is a common condition known as leaky gut.
Collagen in bone broth protects and seals the mucosal lining of our gut which improves nutrient absorption and prevents particles from leaching out (6). Collagen also covers and holds our bones and ligaments together, allowing free gliding movement.
Glycosaminoglycans are complex carbohydrates which are essential for metabolism. They proteoglycans are a combination of proteins and glycosaminoglycans. They form an integral part of synovial fluid which lubricates the joint.
Bone broth contains hyaluronic acid, keratan sulfates, dermatan sulfates and chondroitin sulfates (7).
5.Minerals and Electrolytes
Bone broth provides essential minerals, electrolytes which can be easily absorbed by our body. Though the mineral content of bone broth is low, it is still adequate for those with a deficiency.
Electrolytes found in bone broth include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. These compounds are essential for maintaining sufficient bone density and health, nerve signaling functions, maintaining healthy circulation, heart health, and digestive health.
Bone broth benefits on health
Bone broth benefits you in several ways such as it boosts immune and metabolism, maintains gut health, improves sleep cycle and eye health.
Studies have confirmed that the components of bone broth influence our immune system. The glycine receptors have been identified on the outer surface of several different types of immune cells.
Glycine moderates the immune response, resulting in reduced inflammatory signaling molecules. It also reduces the oxidative stress which would otherwise damage to lungs and other tissues. Glycosaminoglycans heparin sulfate also influences B cell and T cell function, and macrophage activity (8).
Chicken soup is believed to have a curing effect against upper respiratory tract infection as it increases the nasal mucus velocity and it also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It also provides essential nutrients and adequate hydration.
Glycine, an amino acid found in bone broth, plays a vital role in blood sugar regulation by the production of glucose in the liver, which decreases the adverse effects of consumption of dietary fructose.
Glycine has also shown evidence of reducing the incidence and size of heart attacks. Glycine balances out methionine intake. This minimizes the risk factor for severe diseases like stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular disorders.
Bone broth is also recommended as part of the diets for gut and psychology syndrome patients, such as those with autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
3. Maintain gut health
Thinning of this mucus layer and a decrease in the count of essential bacterias compromise the integrity of the epithelial barrier of the gastrointestinal tract.
Microbes and dietary proteins tend to leak into the bloodstream and can invoke an inflammatory response system. This leaky gut syndrome is relatively common and can cause an exaggerated immune response.
Bone broth is rich in gelatin which absorbs water and helps maintain the layer of mucus forming an intestinal barrier (9). Gelatin and glycine also reduce the inflammation caused due to the leaky gut syndrome.
Glycine also protects against gastric ulcers. Glutamine, another component found in bone broth, helps maintain the integrity of the GI tract mucosa and intestinal barrier.
4. Bone broth benefits Skin
Bone broth has collagen which helps in increasing the elasticity of our skin. Collagen is known to aid in the reduction of wrinkles and other sign of aging on the skin.
People also consume foods and supplements for the reduction of cellulite, which causes the skin to lose its firm tone. In a study (11), it was found out that oral collagen supplements have beneficial effects on human skin.
5. Aids in digestion
Bone broth when consumed in conjunction with meals aids in digestion. Glycine helps stimulate the production of stomach acid which is necessary for proper digestion. Glycine is also helpful in digestion of fats in the small intestine.
The gelatin from bone broth helps draws fluid into the intestine which improves gut motility and supports healthy bowel movements.
Bone broth benefits in improving the quality of sleep. It is also a preferred choice for those dealing with insomnia. Bone broth contains glycine, which acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter which decreases anxiety and improves sleep quality.
Bone broth will not only cure insomnia but also has mood-altering benefits as it regulates serotonin and melatonin levels.
7. Bone broth enhances eye health
One of the most important bone broth benefits is the improvement of eye health. The hyaluronic acid present in bone broth stimulates proliferation of the epithelial cells that line the cornea lost fluids.
Keratan sulfates are essential for the transparency of the cornea, while chondroitin sulfate influences the development of neural pathways in the retina (10). Studies have shown that glycine delays the progression of cataracts.
Should you buy bone broth or make one at home?
I will suggest you not to buy bone broth from any store as they may contain MSG, etc. It would be a good option to prepare bone broth recipe at home. The method and preparation are inexpensive and hardly require anything specific before you cook.
Traditional bone broth recipe requires bones, meat, vegetables, and water. If the choice of meat is lamb or beef, then you should brown or roast the meat for at least 30 minutes at 300-350 before you put it into the pot.
However, if your bone broth recipe involves chicken or fish, then you do not require to brown them. You can even add apple cider vinegar to the pot for easily taking out minerals and essential nutrients from the bones.
Bone broth recipe and cooking procedure:
- Put bones in a large stock pot, preferably 4-5 gallon pot.
- If you are using lamb or beef bones, then roast them in an oven for at least 30 minutes at 300-400 Fahrenheit temperature.
- Pour filtered water into the stock pot and add a bit of vinegar such as apple cider vinegar.
- Chop all vegetables, such as onions, garlic, carrots, etc., and add them to the pot. Add salt and spices (black pepper and turmeric) to taste.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. After you see broth boiling, reduce the heat to simmer.
- Within first few hours of simmering, impurities will come on the surface in the form of a foamy layer. You need to scoop it at regular intervals of 30-40 minutes and throw it away.
- You need to simmer the broth for at least 8-10 hours probably.
- Switch off the heat and remove the pot from heat. Let it cool for some time. Use a metal strainer to strain small pieces of vegetables and bones.
Final words on bone broth benefits
In a way, bone broth benefits on health are never-ending. It is packed with every kind of nutrient which improves the quality of health. Adding meat chunks adhered to bone will enrich the nutrient value of bone broth.
Chicken, cattle, fish and sometimes rabbits, are preferred choice for preparing the stock. Bone broth is an excellent choice for those with insomnia and attention deficit. It also alleviates anxiety symptoms and improves sleep and mood.
The bone broth boosts immunity and provides nutrients to people who get recurrent flu and the common cold. It not only provides symptomatic relief but also prevents another episode.
Bone broth is rich in collagen which helps in increasing the firmness of skin and delaying signs of aging. Thus bone broth is the perfect stock choice for all age groups and must be present in every household.