5 Reasons You Need Bone Broth In Your Diet
It may seem unlikely that what we throw away as ‘scraps’ — bones, tendons and connective tissue — can actually be used to make such a powerful superfood. That’s because when you make bone broth, several nutrients get released from the bones that aren’t found in any other foods. These nutrients, such as collagen, gelatin, and certain amino acids, have the ability to heal your body and improve your health in countless ways — and so many of us are missing out on these benefits by not drinking bone broth.
From healing digestive conditions to providing all-day energy, let’s take a closer look at why bone broth is the missing part of your health.
Why Bone Broth is the Missing Part of Your Health
Bone Broth Heals and Repairs Your Gut
To a certain degree, most of us suffer from a condition called leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut, also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, occurs when the tight junctions in your gut allow undigested food particles, pathogens, and bacteria to pass through your small intestine and leak into your bloodstream (1). Since these substances aren’t supposed to be there, your body responds by triggering an immune response, which creates inflammation in your body (2). Doesn’t sound so pleasant, does it?
Not only does having leaky gut prevent your body from absorbing essential nutrients, research suggests that leaky gut syndrome is the root cause of many chronic illnesses and diseases — especially since approximately 70% of immune system cells are found in the gut (3). Those diseases include autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease (2).
Now, here’s where bone broth comes in.
Collagen and gelatin are two proteins released from bones and tissue when they’re simmered for long periods of time. Both of these proteins have been shown to heal and seal holes in the gut lining — which is exactly what you need to heal leaky gut (4). By supporting your digestive tract with these nutrients, you can also heal and prevent other conditions that stem from compromised digestive health.
Collagen is the protein that holds muscle tissue together in humans and animals. Therefore, collagen can’t be found in plant foods. While plants do contain nutrients that can help our bodies produce collagen— such as silica and vitamin C— eating collagen in its whole form is far more beneficial for gut healing, especially for those with weakened digestion and absorption issues.
Since we don’t eat bones and tissue in their raw form, boiling these parts releases the valuable nutrients we’d otherwise miss out on. Additionally, simmering bones for long periods of time allows the collagen and gelatin to become easy to absorb, which is crucial for a weakened digestive tract.
Bone Broth Promotes Younger Looking Skin
For many of us, when we hear the word collagen, anti-aging creams and healthy skin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Collagen is the protein that helps maintain skin firmness and elasticity, and keeps your skin looking plump and hydrated. Your body’s natural collagen production begins to decline around age 25, which is why getting collagen through your diet is the best way to promote youthful skin as you age.
Drinking bone broth is far more effective for your skin than using anti-aging skin creams. This is because collagen molecules are typically too big to be absorbed through the skin when they’re applied topically, and offer little-to-no effect. On the other hand, drinking bone broth delivers collagen straight to your digestive tract, where it can be absorbed and utilized to improve the appearance of your skin from within.
So, save your money (and Sunday’s roast beef dinner scraps) to make your own anti-aging skin solution. Bone broth may also help heal acne, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions which can result from leaky gut syndrome (5).
Bone Broth Improves Sleep
If you have trouble falling and staying asleep — especially due to stress — you may need more glycine in your diet.
Glycine is an anti-inflammatory amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter, and helps reduce the brain’s response to stress and anxiety (6). Studies have shown that glycine is also effective for improving sleep quality, especially for those who experience insomnia, fatigue and drowsiness during the day (7).
Glycine is found in small amounts in certain vegetables and meat, but the gelatin in bone broth is made up of approximately 30% glycine, which makes it one of the richest sources of glycine on the planet.
Bone Broth Protect Your Joints
Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid are all compounds called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are found in bones and tissue. These compounds help strengthen cartilage, stimulate the growth of new collagen, and improve synovial fluid production in joints to reduce pain and friction (8)(9).
In fact, hyaluronic acid is often injected into joints to treat osteoarthritis. You can also get hyaluronic acid through your diet by drinking bone broth.
Additionally, collagen helps form the cartilage that protects and acts as a cushion for your joints. Since bone broth provides a dietary source of collagen, incorporating it into your diet may also help promote the growth of new cartilage where it has been worn down.
Another unique benefit of bone broth is that it’s highly anti-inflammatory, thanks to its amino acid profile. In addition to glycine, bone broth also contains proline, arginine, and glutamine, which all help reduce chronic inflammation (10)(11). Therefore, bone broth may also be helpful for reducing the frequency and severity of joint pain flare ups.
Bone Broth Boosts Your Energy
If you’re worried about trading in your beloved morning coffee for bone broth, you may find that the long lasting energy bone broth provides is actually no contest to a short caffeine fix.
You see, bones are storehouses for minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which play an important role in oxygen transport and energy production. Unfortunately, many of the best plant sources of these nutrients have become less nutritious, due to farming methods that deplete the health of the soil (12).
When making bone broth, all of these minerals get released from the bones and make their way into your soup. It’s like drinking a multi-vitamin. Best of all, once the minerals are released, they’re highly bioavailable — which means they’re easy to absorb, especially for those with compromised digestive systems.
The gut-healing benefits of bone broth also have a ripple effect on your energy levels. You can only be as healthy as the nutrients you absorb — and by repairing the gut lining, you can improve your body’s ability to absorb the essential nutrients that are needed for energy production.
Simply put, there are few other foods that provides all of these powerful nutrients together. This is why bone broth is one of the best foods for improving how you feel each day.