Bone broth usually takes a backseat in nutrition since most of us consider it to be more of an ingredient in preparing soups than a meal by itself. While this may not be your idea of your go-to comfort food, a bowl of a well made nutrient-dense broth can set a lot of things right for your health!
What Is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is prepared by simmering bones for a considerably long time ranging anywhere between 10 to 48 hours depending on what animal’s bones you’re using. The reason for this long cooking process is only so that low, steady and long-simmering allows the release of marrow, collagen, amino acids, glycerine, minerals, and gelatin from the bones, straight into the broth.
This might put off a lot of people, even those from the non-vegetarian category. However, this broth is very rich in nutrients and minerals including magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, etc. ,
One may use bones from cattle, fish or even poultry. While the nutrient content of the broth will vary depending on what animal you’re using, the health benefits will still remain significantly high.
Here are 7 key nutritional compounds that make bone broth a nutrient goldmine.
This is the main component of connective tissue like ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone, and skin. It is also responsible for the development of your blood vessels, the cornea, and the lens of your eye. Not only does it play an important role in providing a strong framework for your body, it is also essential in tissue development, repair, and regulation and makes up about 30% of the protein in your body.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a type of complex carbohydrates. These contribute to the formation of proteoglycans, which form the building blocks of connective tissue and synovial fluid (this is the lubricant that surrounds your joints to reduce painful friction).
An amino acid that makes up approximately a third of the collagen in your body, glycine also acts as a neurotransmitter. Signaling the brain through this receptor assists in inhibitory neuro-transmission in the spinal cord and the brainstem.
Proline is another essential amino acid that makes up about 17 percent of the collagen in your body. This is responsible for maintaining the stability of the collagen and also contributes in neurotransmission. While small amounts of this amino acid can be manufactured by your body, it is recommended to consume dietary proline as well to maintain an optimal level of this amino acid in your body.
Yet another essential amino acid and the most abundant one in your blood stream, glutamine is one of the few amino acids that can make its way directly through the blood–brain barrier. This amino acid is necessary to maintain cellular energy in your intestinal epithelial and immune system cells.
6. Bone marrow
Bone marrow is essential for your health and has two functions, depending on what color it is. Red bone marrow is where new red blood cells and immune cells are manufactured by your body, while the yellow marrow is rich in healthy fats.
Bone is rich in minerals, including copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and sodium.
Note: Ensure to always add a splash of vinegar to your pot while simmering your bones, so as to extract these minerals effectively.
Health Benefits Of Bone Broth
The nutrients and minerals in animal bones are extremely beneficial for human health. The only way to access all of this is by boiling the bone broth consistently over long hours. Here’s a look at some of the benefits bone broth has to offer.
- Improves Gut Health: Bone broth is rich in collagen, glutamine, and gelatin that help soothe your intestinal lining and reduce gut inflammation.
- Supports Joint Health: The glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates in the broth help treat joint pain and inflammation and can even relieve symptoms of arthritis.
- Reducing Cellulite And Improving Overall Skin Quality: Very often, cellulite is a result of a lack of connective tissue. Bone broth is rich in collagen that aids in building and repairing connective tissue. This also helps improve your skin condition and gives you a glowing complexion.
- Boosts Immunity: The cells of the immune system that are housed inside your gut will benefit greatly from the calcium and magnesium content in the broth as these minerals help trigger more efficient immunity functioning.
- Facilitates Weight Loss: While being high in nutrient content, bone broth is fairs extremely low in calorie count. It keeps you full for a longer time as your body works to absorb the nutrients in this broth. This way, it helps to reduce hunger cravings, which are often a sign of mineral deficiency.
Who Shouldn’t Be Having Bone Broth?
If you or your children have a glutamate sensitivity, you may need to watch how much bone broth you consume, as this may exacerbate the sensitivity.
Though glutamines are important for your body, too much of this compound may pose a danger to your health.
Your body breaks down glutamine into two neurotransmitters – glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. These are essential for good brain health and play a balancing but opposite effects on the working of your brain. Glutamate is stimulating while GABA is has a calming effect. If a healthy person, the body maintains these two compounds in a very delicate, but a well-balanced ratio.
If you consume too much bone broth, you may run the risk of developing an excessive level of glutamate in your brain which may result in the following:
- Fogging of the brain
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Mood swings
- Leaky gut
While healthy people don’t need to worry too much about this, those with glutamate sensitivity may need to avoid even the healthy sources of glutamates, and this, unfortunately, includes bone broth. In fact, the longer you cook the broth, the more concentrated in glutamate-content in it gets.
If you have glutamate sensitivity, all you have to do is lower the simmer time when you’re preparing your broth. The downside to this is that it won’t contain as many nutrients as a long-cooked broth has, but it is still very easily digestible and will still offer you good gut-soothing benefits.
Be sure to follow this in conjunction with avoiding processed foods, for they contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). Over time, your body should be able to develop better glutamate tolerance, and you will soon be able to consume long-simmered broths and other natural sources of glutamates.