Bone Broth Benefits

Someone stirring pot of soup

Did you know bone broth is highly nutritious, helps fight inflammation, helps the digestive system, improves joint health, helps with weight loss, improves sleep and brain function and improves hair and skin?
 
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well as it turns out, that may be the case. Most of these benefits are based on assumptions and there is very little scientific research on bone broth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there has to be scientific evidence for something to be true, just that we have to take it with a grain of salt. Ha ha.
 
Similarly, there is little evidence for chicken soup and infection, but we all know it’s comforting and makes us feel better. Though science hasn’t found why exactly, they do know that chicken soup helps with inflammation.[1]
 
One study found that bone broth was a poor source of many nutrients but adding vegetables increased the nutrient content[2]. They also stated that you could get a lot more nutrients by eating other foods.
 
The assumption about hair, bones and skin has to do with collagen (that gelatinous layer on our broth after its cooled). The assumption goes like this: collagen is released from the bones in the broth and therefore when we consume it, the collagen will be absorbed by our own bones, skin and hair. However, through digestion, collagen is broken down into amino acids and the amino acids are used by the body where they are needed most. Additionally, there was a concern raised, as bones are known to store heavy metals, particularly lead. However, a 2017 study reported that the lead and cadmium content of both store-bought and homemade bone broth was low.
 
There is no harm in eating lots of bone broth if its low sodium, low fat and contains lots of vegetables. To get the most out of your broth, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (this reduces the pH) and simmer for 8 hours or more. This helps increase the amount of calcium and magnesium in the broth, but it’s less than 5% of the daily recommended levels[3]
 
Want to make your own broth? I like to start with this recipe by Epicurious and add 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and simmer it for at least 8 hours (you can add extra water). You can also brown the bones first by roasting them on a baking sheet at 450F for 30-45 minutes. This gives your broth more flavour and a darker colour.

[1] https://exploreim.ucla.edu/wellness/an-inside-scoop-on-the-science-behind-chicken-soup-and-the-common-cold/
[2] https://nutritionstudies.org/drinking-bone-broth-is-it-beneficial-or-just-a-fad/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5533136/

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