Bone broth has been used in cooking for centuries and is made by boiling the bones and connective tissue of animals in water for a long time – but is bone broth good for you?
According to research published in the Investigative journal about food and nutrition (opens in new tab)The broth that remains contains a number of nutrients, including protein, calcium and collagen. These nutrients can have beneficial effects on your skin, bones, and overall health and well-being. However, are there any factors to consider before deciding to enjoy this liquid?
To find out, we spoke to Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian nutritionist and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (opens in new tab). We also turned to science to see what the latest research had to say.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is a liquid made from simmering animal bones, fleshy joints and connective tissues in water for hours until it breaks down. The liquid left over can be used in stews, soups, gravies or on its own.
Some Research (opens in new tab) Bone broth dates back to the 17th century, but its revival has led health enthusiasts to drink it more for its nutritional benefits than for its ability to add culinary excellence to a dish. Some believe that bone broth’s rising popularity may be due to the Paleo diet.
Is bone broth good for you?
According to Derocha, yes, bone broth is good for you — and for a number of reasons.
Derocha is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with Marquee Health and has a private practice that offers nutritional advice and health coaching. She received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and psychology from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Wayne State University.
It is packed with nutrients
“Animal bones are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and other trace minerals — the same minerals needed to build and strengthen your own bones,” Derocha says.
She adds that the connective tissue in bone broth provides the fluid with two natural compounds known to support joint health: this includes glucosamine and chondroitin. The merge element provides: vitamin Avitamin K2, minerals such as zinc, iron, boron, manganese and selenium, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
But even if you’re a pescatarian and drink broth made from fish bones, you can still reap the benefits. According to Derocha, fish stock contains iodine, which she says is crucial for “healthy thyroid function and metabolism.”
“All of these animal parts also contain the protein collagen,” adds Derocha. “This turns into gelatin when cooked and yields several important amino acids.”
It is a source of protein
In addition to nuts, legumes and meat, the macronutrient protein can also be found in bone broth. But why is this a good thing?
“The protein content in bone broth can support your body as it builds bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood,” says Derocha.
If you’re making your own bone broth, it can be difficult to determine how much protein is in each serving, especially since “every batch of bones is so different,” Derocha says. However, a cup of beef bone broth contains about 5 g of protein – this is not bad considering the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (opens in new tab) sets the average recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein intake at 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.
It can benefit your digestion
Gut health is currently trending in the wellness world. And according to Derocha, bone broth can help you have a healthier gut. But how?
“Research has shown that our overall health is greatly influenced by the good health of our gut,” says Derocha. “Bone broth is easily digestible and can aid in the overall digestion of food. The gelatin found in bone broth naturally attracts and retains liquids. When this gelatin binds to water in the gut, it helps to pass through the intestines more easily. to move the intestinal tract.
“Glutamine, an amino acid in gelatin, helps maintain the function of the gut lining and is known to prevent and heal ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut also leads to inflammation. Hence, drinking bone broth may be beneficial for people with leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.”
It can help you sleep
The amino acids in bone broth may also support better sleep. At least that’s according to research published in the Neuropsychopharmacology journal (opens in new tab). Researchers said the amino acid glycine has long been known as an “inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brainstem and spinal cord” and can lead to “muscle atony during sleep with rapid eye movements.” Researchers found that glycine therefore offers a “therapeutic option to improve sleep quality.”
It can support your health
Joint health is another area where bone broth can be beneficial. In fact, according to a research paper published in the food diary (opens in new tab) – who instructed people with knee osteoarthritis to drink chicken broth – showed positive results. In addition to reducing stiffness and pain, those who digested the broth saw an improvement in joint function.
Is bone broth safe for everyone?
While bone broth has its upsides, there are two specific factors to highlight. Derocha says that, according to some studies, bone broth can be high in glutamate. “Glutamate can cause adverse effects such as anxiety, restlessness, low energy, mental exhaustion, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating, although there is no scientific evidence to prove this,” she says. “Therefore, those with a glutamic acid sensitivity should be aware that bone broth may not be the best for them.”
Plus, as published in a study in Medical Hypotheses (opens in new tab)When bone broth is cooked, lead can be released. Researchers said: “It is known that bones retain the heavy metal lead, a contamination with which we are widespread in the modern environment. Such sequestered lead can then be mobilized from the bones. We therefore hypothesized that bone broth could have a risk of becoming contaminated.” are with lead.”
That’s why, if you’re going to add bone broth to your diet, researchers recommend: “Doctors and nutritionists consider the risk of lead contamination when advising patients on bone broth diets.”
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.