Should You Be Drinking Bone Broth?
With the weather changing and temperatures cooling down, there’s one superfood you should start incorporating into your diet if you haven’t already - and that is bone broth. Bone broth is overflowing with health benefits and should definitely be a staple in your diet (unless you have histamine issues, which is a blog post for another time!).
What exactly is bone broth?
Bone broth is an extremely nutritious stock that is typically used in soups or stews, or can be consumed on its own. It’s made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of different types of meat anywhere from 10-48 hours. You can also easily make this in the Instant Pot.
Here are just some of the benefits of bone broth:
- It’s rich in mineral and nutrient content. Bone broth is extremely high in vitamins and minerals, which come from the bones themselves. It’s especially high in calcium, iron, vitamin A and K, fatty acids, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. Not only this, but one of the best things about bone broth is its high collagen content. Collagen helps provide amino acids to the body and is also beneficial for gut health and skin health.
- It improves immunity. The “superfood” level nutritional content of bone broth can help boost immunity.
- It’s excellent for gut health and digestion. Bone broth contains the amino acid glutamine - which is excellent for gut health. Glutamine works by helping to heal the intestinal barrier.1 This can be really beneficial for people with leaky gut, IBD, IBS, Crohn's Disease, or someone with many food intolerances.2 Bone broth is an extremely easy food to digest, making it a great way to get protein into your diet while soothing the digestive system. Even if you don’t have a leaky gut, bone broth is beneficial for protecting your intestinal wall, essentially “sealing things up”. The glycine in bone broth also stimulates the production of stomach acid, which is essential for proper digestion.3
- It reduces inflammation. Bone broth contains glycine and arginine, which are amino acids that are extremely beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body.
- It Improves joint and bone health. Bone broth contains the nutrients that are essential for building and maintaining healthy bones: calcium, phosphorus, and amino acids. The amino acids proline and glycine found in bone broth are both used by your body to build its own connective tissue. Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which have been shown to decrease joint pain.
- It supports weight loss efforts. Bone broth is extremely high in protein, so it helps you feel satiated and full for longer periods of time, thereby reducing caloric intake. Studies have also shown that when combined with strength training, the collagen in bone broth can help boost weight loss and increase muscle mass.4
- It benefits the skin. Collagen is skin firming, helps to improve elasticity, and eliminates fine lines. Bone broth also contains healthy fats and keratin - great for hair, nail and skin health.5
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With protein consumption in general, it’s important to be aware of balancing the methionine to glycine ratio. Methionine and glycine are amino acids that have vital uses in our bodies. Methionine, an amino acid high in muscle meats, helps to boost performance, improves mood and cognitive function, and supports the liver. Glycine, an amino acid high in bone broth and organ meats, plays a key role in blood sugar regulation, muscle growth, sleep, immune support, and skin and joint health.
Glycine helps to balance out methionine, which in turn regulates homocysteine levels in the blood. High homocysteine levels put you at risk for bone fractures, heart disease and stroke.6 Modern diets are typically high in muscle meats and low in bone broth, organs, and connective tissue.
Drinking bone broth is one of the best ways to keep a balanced methionine to glycine ratio.
A good rule of thumb is to add 1 gram of collagen for every 10 grams of non-collagen proteins. So if you eat 100 grams of protein a day, 1 serving of bone broth (10 grams of collagen protein) will balance your protein needs adequately.7,8
When buying bone broth, make sure to look for organic broth made from 100% pasture-raised animals. Here are a few of my favorites:
And, if you want to get creative, try this bone broth mint chip ice cream recipe!
- M;, A. (2017). Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: From bench to bedside. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27749689/
- N;, R. (2010). Possible links between intestinal permeability and food processing: A potential therapeutic niche for glutamine. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20613941/
- Moody, F., Durbin, R., Durbin, R., Villegas, L., & Cheung, L. (1965, July 01). Effects of glycine and other instillates on concentration of gastric acid. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ajplegacy.1918.104.22.168
- Zdzieblik D;Oesser S;Baumstark MW;Gollhofer A;König D;, D. (2015). Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: A randomised controlled trial. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26353786/
- Goop. (2019, October 29). Bone Broth Benefits - Why Bone Broth Is So Good For Us. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://goop.com/food/tutorials/why-bone-broth-is-so-good-for-us/
- Says:, J., & Kresser:,C. (2019, September 24). Bone Broth Benefits: Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://chriskresser.com/the-bountiful-benefits-of-bone-broth-a-comprehensive-guide/
- Masterjohn, C. (2020, September 13). Balancing Methionine and Glycine in Foods: The Database. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/blog/balancing-methionine-and-glycine-in-foods-the-database