From a healthy gut to radiant skin and a boosted immune system, learn which health benefits of bone broth are worth the buzz, and eat and cook with this new trendy food.
This fall, there’s a new trendy hot beverage filling mugs across America, and experts are already singing its health praises. So what is this magical elixir? Bone broth. There’s even an entire shop devoted to bone broth in New York City, called Brodo, where you can get to-go cups of broth when you’re on the go—think Starbucks, but savory.
Magic is what one nutritionist called bone broth when I first heard about the emerging food trend. We were discussing leaky gut syndrome, a condition that bone broth is said to help, and the food pro told me that her clients who drink bone broth have reported vast improvements with gut issues. Sounds magical.
Heal and seal your gut
A cup of bone broth a day works miracles for the leaky gut syndrome, but it’s also good for protecting non-leaky guts. The gelatin in the bones typically used for making broth (such as knuckles, feet, and other joints) is said to help seal up holes in intestines. (People who have leaky gut syndrome have a porous intestinal lining.) This “patching” can help ease chronic diarrhea, constipation, and even some food intolerances.
Protect your joints
Taking glucosamine supplements has long been used as the first line of treatment for people with joint pain, but it turns out that bone broth has glucosamine, too. Unlike pills, the broth offers other nutritional and health benefits that can help reduce pain. Chondroitin sulphate, which is found in the cartilage that protects joints, for example, has been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.
Bone broth is a rich source of collagen, which is also naturally occurring in the body as a joint protector and stabiliser. Experts are torn on whether the skin-firming, joint-strengthening benefits of ingesting collagen are there, but studies have shown an improvement in skin’s elasticity and fine lines from collagen supplements.
Support a healthy immune system
Because of bone broth’s high concentration of minerals, Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, calls bone broth a “superfood” that can strengthen your immune system. (Maybe your grandma was right about feeding you endless bowls of chicken soup when you got sick.)
Supplement your diet
While bone broth cannot (and should not) be your means for essential nutrients like amino acids, if you don’t regularly eat meat, it can help supply amino acids from animal protein via bones. Amino acids are important for muscle recovery and energy—two key pieces of your fitness performance.
While the bone broth trend might have started with drinkable broth in a cup, there are many other ways you can eat and cook with bone broth.
How to Eat Bone Broth
- Drink it straight up. Pour it into a thermos and take it on your commute.
- Use it to make grains. When cooking your favourite ancient grain, such as quinoa or farro, use bone broth instead of water.
- Freeze for later use. Pour bone broth into ice cube trays and freeze. You’ll have individually portioned broth at the ready.
- Make soup. This is a tried-and-true way to use bone broth. Start from scratch (when possible) or use store-bought bone broth as the base for any soup or stew.