Bone Broth is often touted as an ancestral superfood, beloved of our forefathers and of older generations who touted its benefits to recovery from an upset stomach to colds and flu.
In recent years, the profile of bone broth has once again risen, with celebrity endorsements (hello Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek!) and TikTok exposure helping this once rustic food go viral.
Why is bone broth good for you?
While there is something truly comforting about a savoury, salty clear broth that takes little energy to digest and replaces valuable nutrients and electrolytes, the benefits of bone broth don’t end there.
Because of the extended cooking process, bone broth provides nutrients that aren’t commonly found in today’s standard diet, even if you eat meat.
Let’s take a closer look at bone broth’s secret super powers:
1. Source of collagen
While we often associate collagen just with the skin and its associated beauty benefits, this protein is used as a fundamental building block to build structure and repair tissues everywhere.
It is the most abundant protein in the human body and found everywhere from the eyes, the gut lining, joints and even the uterus! In addition, bone broth contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are natural compounds found in cartilage and essential for joint and connective tissue health.
2. Gut health
Bone broth has naturally anti-inflammatory actions thanks to special amino acids like glutamine which can help repair the tight junctions in the gut lining, a condition known as ‘leaky gut’.
It is also a source of proline and glycine, two other amino acids only found in small amounts in meat. These help provide the building blocks for the rapid growth of cells in the gut lining, and reduce inflammation.
You can also drink bone broth for gut health as it contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to give tissues moisture and keeps them lubricated.
3. Adrenal and nervous system support
Aside from bone broth’s gut health benefits, you might be surprised to learn how it can help your nervous system. Bone broth is a great source of electrolytes – the microminerals that support cellular conduction and communication—including sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphate and chloride.
These micronutrients power the energy batteries of each cell, called the mitochondria, and without them no cell-to-cell electrical conduction would take place.
People can be deficient in these microminerals without even realising– if you have symptoms such as restless legs, cramping or eye twitching, then these can be a sign that your electrolytes need addressing, and drinking bone broth regularly can be a great way to replenish these nutrients.
Amongst bone broth’s numerous benefits is its ability to support digestive function.
Both sodium and glycine help to promote the proper production of stomach acid, which is an important medium to break down food into its constituent parts, and particularly required for the proper digestion of protein.
Homemade bone broth also contains gelatine, which holds onto water and creates healthy movement of food through the intestinal tract.
5. Working Out
Bone Broth can be a great fitness partner,not only replacing valuable lost electrolytes after exercise (see above) but being a good source of hydration.
In addition if you are highly active and doing lots of training, this can be catabolic for the body, meaning in the short term it can break down muscles and tissues, creating extra work for your immune system.
Bone broth is therefore a valuable source of protein and collagen for tissue repair and recovery. In particular the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline have been shown to help reduce inflammation and recovery time, which will enable you to get back to training more quickly.
6. Finally bone broth’s many benefits also extend to its protective effects on the immune system
The majority of first-line immune defence exists in the gut, so it makes sense that if bone broth is gut protective, this will have additional benefits for the immune system.
If the gut becomes damaged or leaky, this can interfere with immune cells doing their job. A recent study found that patients who were critically ill in hospital derived benefit to their intestinal barrier function when administered intravenous supplementation with the amino acid glutamine.
Similarly mice who were given glycine supplementation showed increased intestinal immunity and greater microbial biodiversity– in other words, a greater breadth of helpful microflora in the gut. And as current research now shows, this is one of the most important indicators of overall health!
Ready to start your bone broth journey? Check our Organic Bone Broth collection!