You may have heard about bone broth in recent times thanks to the wave of ‘super foods’ being promoted by food bloggers and nutritionists alike. But, what is bone broth and what is its benefits?
Put simply and not so shockingly, it’s broth made from the bones and connective tissues of chickens, cows, and even fish and has long been revered for its nutrients and health benefits. Bone broth is a popular base for many soups and stews and it's easy to understand why. Its flavour pairs with a wide array of other ingredients like different types of vegetables, pasta, and spices. In itself, though, bone broth can provide many nutritional health benefits, like the below.
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and we can often feel the effects in our joints. Creaky knees anyone? However, gelatine supplements have been shown to increase collagen in such areas. Since bone broth contains gelatin, eating it on a regular basis can lead to more collagen for joint protection and functionality. For sufferers of osteoarthritis, the added protection for the joints can lead to reduced joint pain symptoms.
Bone broth is rich in amino acids that can enhance the digestion process. Amino acids such as glutamine appear to provide protection and healing benefits for the intestinal barrier. This results in reduced inflammation in the gut. Gut inflammation can lead to conditions like leaky gut and indigestion, conditions that slow the digestive process. Plus, reducing inflammation in the body isn't only good for digestive health; inflammation has been linked to conditions in the body like heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and more.
Support for Weight Loss
Since bone broth is high in protein, it seems to help people stay fuller for a longer period of time. The gelatin that's contained in this broth also promotes a feeling of being full. This means that people who incorporate it into their diet may be less likely to snack between meals and may not overeat. Additionally, bone broth is not high in calories. Just be careful on what you’re adding it to if you’re calorie counting!
Improved Brain Function
Can bone broth make you smarter? There's no research to suggest it can increase IQ, however, it does appear to improve memory and brain function. The glycene, an amino acid contained in bone broth can reduce daytime sleepiness, so people may feel more alert and have an easier time focusing. Ironically, taking glycine before bed appears to enhance the quality of sleep. So, if you're struggling with a bout of insomnia, a cup of bone broth before bed may help promote an improved sleep pattern.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, bone broth is a veritable tonic of goodness, containing nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin A, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. During the simmering process, these nutrients are released into the broth. Drinking the broth is an easy means for the body to absorb these important vitamins and minerals that the body needs for good health. Keep in mind that each batch of broth may be different as it contains different bones -different amounts of bones. So, drinking it regularly is the best way to incorporate its healthful benefits into your diet.
We recommend talking to a health professional if bone broth is right for you.
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Feature image: Cassie Johnston