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Bone broth or stock can be a delicious and healthy addition to our regular diet. Bone broth is made from leftover bones by boiling them until all the goodness and nourishment comes out. It is nutritionally dense and is essentially a quick meal that one could drink on the run. It has become so trendy that it has become the staple food of the Paleo diet. It is easy to digest and also very flavorful.
There are many different kinds of bone broths : chicken, beef, fish, bone powder, etc.. These can be touted for the various benefits that they bring to our health.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
1. Better Bones and Joints
Bone broth is great for your bones! Have you ever noticed that the broth sometimes gets solidified when refrigerated. This gelling property of the broth is due to gelatin of the bones. This gelatin when consumed can provide a cushion for your joints and bones, thereby, strengthening them. Gelatin also helps to maintain the layer of collagen and thus helping the joints to glide for proper movement.
Broth also has essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus that are required for healthy bones. Bone broth with vegetables, meat or fish provides these minerals as well as proteins, vitamin A, C, D, B (complex), manganese, copper, etc. all of which promote bone health.
Various amino acids like proline and cysteine are present in bone broths which help reduce joint pain. Athletes like Tom Brady, therefore, credit bone broth for their healthy bones.
2. Improves Gut Health
Many people suffer from leaky gut syndrome. As the name suggests, in this digestive condition the bacteria and bacterial toxins leak into the gut (intestine). This happens because the intestinal permeability increases. This leads to severe diarrhea, constipation and certain food intolerances. Gelatin in bones of the broth can help to patch up and seal the pores in the intestine lining. Gelatin also helps people with food allergies and sensitivities. It also promotes probiotic balance and growth.
3. Boosts Immunity
Chicken soup is an age old treatment for Common cold. Bone broth is loaded with minerals and hence called superfood for the days when you get sick. Amino acids like arginine, cysteine, and glutamine of bone broth act as immunity boosters in human and animals. Arginine also has a role in wound healing and regeneration of damaged liver cells. Cysteine in broth resembles to acetylcysteine which is a drug for bronchitis.
There are various auto-immune diseases that accompanied or contributed by leaky gut syndrome. Immune system detects the food particles in the circulatory system that have seeped out by the pores pores in the gut. The immune system gets hyperactive and starts producing antibodies against these particles. This leads to an auto-immune like response and attack on healthy tissue. Gelatin and collagen help in healing the pores. Healthier gut leads to healthier immune system
4. Better Skin, Nails and Hair
We get wrinkles because cellulite is formed due to loss in connective tissue. This makes our skin lose its firm form. Elastin is one of the compounds that help to maintain the youthful, wrinkle-free texture of our skin. Collagen helps in the formation of elastin and those other compounds. Consumption of collagen rich foods like bone broth will help you get a supple skin. Even various skin products consist of collagen but the absorption through skin is meager. Gut absorption is much better way.
Our nails and hair are also made up of collagen. This is why consuming bone broth will help the texture and growth of both. Collagen strengthens the nails and hair. It also helps quicker, healthier growth of hair and makes them shiny.
5. Helps in Weight Loss
Bone broth has satiating properties. It is hearty and rich. It is almost carb free and has very few calories. When you drink bone broth you feel full even while consuming very few calories. Drinking broth as a soup leads to less calorie intake in the next meal. Bone broth is filled with magnesium, phosphorus, amino acids and fatty acids that help to stay satisfied for long duration.
Firmicutes are a type of bacteria that reside in the human gut. These bacteria lead to increased intake of calories leading to obesity. Bone broth is rich source of L-glutamine, an amino acid found to reduce the Firmicutes in gut. This helps in lowering calorie intake and reducing weight.
6. Fights Inflammation
In a study of effect of amino acids in healthy individuals and ovarian cancer patients, it was observed that amino acids reduced inflammation in both. Amino acids, specifically L-glutamine helps in treating gut inflammation. Bone broths being rich in amino acids should therefore be consumed.
Bone broth is packed with hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and magnesium. These help in reduction of inflammation in joints and muscles. Thus arthritis and sore muscles can also be helped by bone broth.
7. Muscle build up
As mentioned, bone broth is loaded with various amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins i.e. amino acid chains make up proteins. Amino acids in the broth help to synthesize the muscle proteins. They are also essential for muscle growth, recovery, repair, and maintenance. If your diet doesn’t consist of consuming meat frequently, bone broth can come in handy.
Glycine is an amino acid present in bone broth that is helpful in preventing breakdown of protein tissues of muscles. In fact, it actually maintains healthy muscle tissues.
8. Improves Mood and Sleep
Neuroscientists have found out correlation between gut microbiome and nervous system. If the gut microbiome is unhealthy, it sends signals of anxiety to the brain. On the other hand if the gut microbiome is healthy it sends happy signals to the brain. Bone broth keeps the gut flora healthy and sends happy signals to brain and this improves the mood.
Bone broth has glycine which is an anti-inflammatory amino acid working on Central Nervous System (CNS). Glycine can reduce day time drowsiness and improve the quality of night sleep. It also helps to ward off fatigue as it counters the effect of norepinephrine. Bone broth also contains magnesium which has calming effects.
9. Enhances Detoxification
Bone broth helps in the functioning of liver. Liver is the main detoxifying unit of out body. With better functioning of liver, detoxification becomes easier and effective. Potassium and glycine help in cellular and liver detoxification. When broth is made with vegetables, it provides sulfur which aids in detoxification. Glutathione helps in reduction of oxidative stress and with elimination of fat-soluble compounds, especially heavy metals like mercury and lead thus in detoxification.
Bone broth has anti-aging and anti-tumor properties. It also helps in regulation of bleeding and insulin levels. Bone broth also aids in metabolism and promotes anabolism which helps maintain the energy levels in the body. Basically, bone broth alone can function as energy drinks, weight loss potions, certain antibiotics, protein shakes, etc. Therefore, bone broth is a golden liquid.