Bone broth is nothing new, it’s been around for centuries! So why all the fuss about it lately? Read on to find out 6 major health benefits of bone broth.
What IS bone broth and how is it made? Well, bone broth is derived from exactly what you’d expect — animal bones! All bone broths — beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more — are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and the basis of all fine cuisine. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and they boost healing.
(This is another great article titled Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite we sourced from the website Dr. Axe – Food is Medicine)
Bone broth stock is a great place to find all of the valuable amino acids, collagen, gelatin and trace minerals. In fact, there are dozens of different nutrients found within bone broth, many of which can’t be obtained easily from other commonly eaten foods. That’s partly why there are so many incredible bone broth benefits.
By regularly drinking bone broth or using it in recipes, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation. Here are the six major bone broth benefits:
#1 – Protects Joints
Bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen, the protein found in vertebrae animals — in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible.Why does that matter? As we age, cartilage diminishes as it gets attacked by antibodies (age-related degradation of joint cartilage). 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 stock 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, helping take pressure off of aging joints and supporting heathy bone mineral density.Research done by the Department of Nutrition and Sports Nutrition for Athletics at Penn State University found that when athletes supplemented with collagen over the course of 24 weeks, the majority showed significant improvements in joint comfort and a decrease in factors that negatively impacted athletic performance. (3)
#2 – Good for the gut
Studies show that gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as to wheat or dairy), helping with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract. A report published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that gelatin effectively supports intestinal health and integrity. (4)Bone broth stock 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.Studies have found that in individuals with digestive imbalances, serum concentrations of collagen are decreased. (5) 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 that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. Collagen integrity is accredited with helping reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging. Many people report a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen, since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone.Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies investigating the age-defending properties of collagen have found that 2.5–5 grams of collagen hydrolysate (CH) used among women aged 35–55 once daily for eight weeks supports skin elasticity, skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (dryness) and skin roughness. At the end of only four weeks, those using collagen showed a statistically significant improvement in comparison to those using a placebo with regard to skin moisture and skin evaporation, plus noticeable decreases in signs of accelerated aging, all with little to no side effects. (6)
#4 – Supports immune system function
One of the most remarkable things about bone broth is its gut-supportive benefits, which as described above actually have a holistic effect on the body and support healthy immune system function.Leaky gut occurs when undigested particles from foods seep through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where the immune system detects them and becomes hyperactive. This increases inflammation and leads to dysfunctions all over, as the immune system releases high levels of antibodies that cause an autoimmune-like response and attack healthy tissue.Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and therefore support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. Collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal these openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity. Traditionally made bone broths are believed to support healthy inflammatory response and normal immune system function. (7, 8) Bone broth can even promote healthy sleep, boost energy during the day and support a healthy mood.
#5 – Boosts Detoxification
Today in the Western world, the average person is exposed to an array of environmental toxins, pesticides, artificial ingredients and chemicals of all sorts. While the human body has its own means of detoxifying itself from heavy metals and other toxic exposures, it often has a hard time keeping up when flooded with an overwhelming amount of chemicals. Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent since 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.Bone broth stock contains potassium and glycine, which support both cellular and liver detoxification. Some of the ways in which bone broth boosts detoxification is by supplying sulfur (especially when you add veggies, 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. Bone broth also increases intake of essential minerals, which act like chelators to remove toxins by stopping heavy metals from attaching to mineral receptor sites.
#6 – Aids the metabolism and promotes anabolism
Bone broth is a great way to obtain more glutathione, which studies show plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism and regulation of cellular events. 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. (10)Amino acids found in bone broth stock have numerous metabolic roles, including building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting bone mineral density, boosting nutrient absorption and synthesis, and maintaining muscle and connective tissue health. Glycine found within collagen helps form muscle tissue by converting glucose into useable energy, plus it slows cartilage, tissue and muscle loss associated with aging by improving the body’s use of antioxidants. Studies have revealed that glycine protects skeletal muscle loss and stops the expression of genes associated with age-related muscle protein breakdown. (11)Glutamine is another amino acid that’s important for a healthy metabolism, since it helps us maintain energy by sending nutrients, including nitrogen, to our cells. Arginine also has the role of breaking down nitric oxide that helps improve circulation and sends blood and nutrients to cells throughout the body, improving muscle and tissue integrity and promoting normal wound healing.
For more information about Bone Broth, and additional nutritional facts, check out the entire article on Dr. Axe here.
Meridian Meats & Farm Market is a retailer of several different types of organic and free range bone broths. Contact your nearest store to find out what we have in stock near you!