Top 5 Nutritional Benefits of Chicken Broth
Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul — it has a number of other powerful benefits. When made with quality bone broth, it gets even better.
High-quality, long-simmered chicken broth boasts an impressive laundry list of nutrients that are hard to find in many other foods.
What Is Bone Broth?
For starters, bone broth is an ancient food that was originally made by our ancestors to use up every part of the animal — including bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments — that were otherwise hard to digest. These animal parts are simmered along with other vegetables and herbs for several hours, even days, to extract a number of beneficial compounds, vitamins and minerals that your body can easily absorb.
Chicken broth has more than 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and nonessential amino acids like arginine, glycine and proline, which are the building blocks of proteins and essential for digestive health and immune system support. It’s also one of the only natural food sources for collagen and gelatin, which help form connective tissue in the body. Lastly, it has nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health.
The top nutrients found in chicken bone broth include:
- Chondroitin sulfate
5 Benefits of Chicken Broth Nutrition
1) Improve Digestion
Chicken broth supports gut health because it contains glutamine. Glutamine helps repair holes in the gut lining so that it can once again become impermeable. This not only enhances digestion, but supports your immune system.
2) Protect Your Joints
Because of the naturally-occurring collagen and gelatin in chicken broth, eating or drinking it regularly can support joint pain that comes from getting older.
Gelatin can take pressure off the joints. It’s also what acts as the cushion between bones, making it a great addition to your diet.
3) Clear Skin
Chicken broth contains collagen and collagen is one of the most important nutrient for skin elasticity. It’s is the primary structural protein of your skin, and is responsible for its plump, firm, youthful appearance. When collagen begins to break down because of aging or environmental toxin exposure, signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear.
Zinc is a mineral found concentrated in bones. It’s an important component for fighting acne and supporting healthy skin. One study showed that zinc has the ability to reduce the activity of P. acnes, which is the bacteria on the skin that can cause breakouts.
In addition to collagen and zinc, chicken broth contains glycosaminoglycans, which are molecules found in the skin’s dermis along with elastin. Their role is to fill the space between collagen and elastin to keep skin plump and supple.
4) Improved Sleep
Chicken broth contains Magnesium, which is known as the relaxation mineral. It’s required for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, including synthesizing proteins, transmitting nerve signals and relaxing the muscles. All of these functions may promote better sleep.
Getting magnesium through food as opposed to a supplement helps your body absorb more of it.
5) Healthy Immune System
Researchers found that the amino acids released when making chicken broth reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. These compounds may positively affect disorders like allergies and asthma.
The Benefits of Homemade vs. Store-Bought
When making chicken broth, the bones must be simmered for long periods of time (between 18-24 hours) to allow all of the vitamins and minerals to be fully released. The long simmer time also makes these minerals bioavailable, which means they’re easier for your body to digest and absorb. This is especially important if you have a weakened digestive system. Homemade chicken broth is one of the best options because you can control what goes in it and how long it’s cooked.
However, store-bought chicken broth can be just as nutritious as the homemade stuff. It all depends on the brand.
A good bone broth congeals when cooled because it’s high in gelatin. When shopping for broth at the grocery store, make sure it’s chicken bone broth or beef bone broth and not chicken stock. Then figure out how high the collagen content is. Chicken broth or beef broth made from grass-fed animals and organic vegetables will also have a higher nutrient content.
Low-sodium is always a good option as it allows you to add the right amount of salt. Large brand, like Swanson Chicken Broth, have various options.
Kettle & Fire’s bone broth is slow simmered for over 12 hours, helping extract the nutrients your body needs. It’s made with organic ingredients and sustainably-raised, grass-fed animals.
How to Consume More Chicken Broth
While the conventional way to use chicken broth is in a soup or stew recipe, you could actually add it to any recipe that calls for liquid. Swap water for chicken broth in egg dishes, meat marinades, stuffings, casseroles, smoothies and noodle dishes. Some people are even trading in their morning cup of coffee for a warm mug of bone broth. The daily serving size doesn’t matter as much as consuming it daily.
Having chicken broth first thing in the morning will support skin and gut health. The abundance of amino acids, vitamins and minerals may also give you some extra energy without the jitters.
We recommend making chicken broth a part of your lifestyle. To get started, check out this guide on how to drink it.