The Basis Of Bone Broth
-Taken from Dr. Axe Food Is Medicine
In the modern world, we’ve almost forgotten the health benefits of many ancient superfoods. Herbs, spices and even homegrown vegetables are relics of the past. Sadly, they’ve been replaced with “convenience foods” that include not only processed foods but “ultra-processed foods” (think frozen pizza, jello and cheese doodles!).
Make no mistake, for every superfood that gets added to the “forgotten” list, we pay the price with our health.
One of the most notable “forgotten superfoods”? Bone broth.
For as long as humans have been cooking food over fire, bone broth — the simmering stock of bones from fish, beef, chicken, turkey and other discarded animal parts — has been a daily part of life, celebrated by cultures around the world.
Yet today, many people don’t recognize bone broth for the amazing food it is. Instead, it’s taken for granted. Or it’s simply thought of as the base for soups and stews and nothing more.
But what many don’t know is that beneath the modern names and common uses is a whole host of hidden health benefits.
The long cooking process breaks down the bones, releases key nutrients and unlocks many of the beneficial compounds inside the bones.
These vital nutrients and beneficial compounds provide a wide range of health benefits.
The 6 Powerful Benefits of Bone Broth
1. Protects Joints†
Bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen in the world. As we age, our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible.
Why does that matter? Well there’s a reason we’re less flexible: the cartilage diminishes as it gets attacked by antibodies. In other words, you experience age-related degradation of joint cartilage and, as a result, discomfort. As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorbable to help restore cartilage.
One of the most valuable components of bone broth is gelatin, which acts like a soft cushion between bones that helps them “glide” without friction. Gelatin also provides us with building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones.
2. Good for the Gut†
Studies show that gelatin is great for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as to wheat or dairy). But it can also help you on the other front by helping with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut.
Bone broth is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system, unlike many other foods, which can be difficult to fully break down. After all, a food is really only useful if we have the means of absorbing its nutrients.
Because the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and entire GI tract, supplementing with collagen can support healthy digestive function.
3. Maintains Healthy Skin†
Collagen helps form elastin and other compounds within skin. Many of the compounds it influences are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance.
That’s one of the reasons why collagen is used by many celebrities and stars to reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging. Many people believe they see a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen.
But it’s not just a hunch. Science confirms that cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue and that collagen consumption can fight back against these issues.†
4. Supports Immune System Function†
One of the most remarkable things about bone broth is its gut-supportive benefits.
Leaky gut occurs when undigested particles from foods seep through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. From there, the immune system detects them and becomes hyperactive. This increases inflammation and leads to a whole host of immune challenges.
Because bone broth is so beneficial for the gut, it can target immune issues at the root cause: leaky gut.
5. Boosts Detoxification†
In the Western world, toxins are the norm.
But just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
Thankfully, your body has powerful ways that it can detoxify itself from heavy metals and other toxic exposures. But when toxicity is too high, your body won’t be able to keep up with the overwhelming amount of chemicals. Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent.
In fact, I believe it’s the No. 1 cleansing food of all time. How?
It helps the digestive system expel waste and promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins, helps maintain tissue integrity and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.
Some of the ways in which bone broth boosts detoxification is by supplying sulfur (especially when you add vegetables, garlic and herbs to your broth) and glutathione, which is a phase II detoxification agent that lowers oxidative stress.
Stanford University’s Medicine Preventative Research Center has found that glutathione helps with elimination of fat-soluble compounds, especially heavy metals like mercury and lead. It also helps with the absorption of various nutrients, the use of antioxidants and with liver-cleansing functions. (1)
6. Aids the Metabolism and Promotes Anabolism†
Bone broth is a great way to obtain more glutathione.
And studies have shown time and again that it can plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism and regulation of cellular events.
I want to highlight one study in particular: A 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition states that glutathione’s roles and benefits include regulating gene expressions, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production and immune responses. (2)
That’s a brief overview of some of the benefits. Now let’s look at the powerful nutrients behind the benefits you can experience.
Bone Broth Nutrition
Bone broth could be called “nature’s multivitamin.” How so exactly?
And it’s a great protein alternative for those who can’t tolerate dairy and whey.
One thing that makes bone broth so powerful are the “conditional” amino acids it contains: arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline.
Of course, a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are critical. But bone broth is something we should all consider adding back into our diet for these benefits and nutrients — benefits and nutrients that you can’t get from almost any other food.