Although animal ligaments, joints and bones might not seem very appealing to eat, they are highly nutritious parts of the animal that hold ingredients not readily available in muscle meat or plant foods. Up until recently, western culture has mostly ignored the benefits of traditional bone broths. Many people are hesitant to consume animal parts other than meat or to cook with bones, marrow and cartilage. Luckily, today more emphasis is being placed on the importance of obtaining nutrients naturally, rather than turning to synthetic supplements. Bone broth is making a huge comeback and even being called a “superfood.”
Because it’s chock-full of nutrients and easy to digest (even for people with compromised gut health), bone broth plays a major role in many programs designed to help support digestive functions and nutrient absorption, as well as to restore integrity of the gut lining. By regularly drinking bone broth or using it in recipes, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation. Here are the six major benefits of bone broth.
- PROTECTS JOINTS - Bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen. As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear-and-tear, and we become less flexible. As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorb-able to help restore cartilage. One of the most valuable components of bone broth is gelatin, which acts like a soft cushion between bones that helps them “glide” without friction. Gelatin also provides us with building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones, helping take pressure off of aging joints and supporting healthy bone mineral density.
- GOOD FOR THE GUT - Studies show that gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as to wheat or dairy), helping with the growth of probiotics (“good bacteria) in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract. It is also easily digested and soothing to the digestive system, unlike many other foods that can be difficult to fully break down.
- MAINTAINS HEALTHY SKIN - Collagen helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. Collagen integrity is accredited with helping reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging. Many people report a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen, since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone.
- SUPPORTS IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION - Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and therefore support immune system function (70-80% of the immune system is made in the gut) and healthy inflammation response. Collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity.Traditionally made bone broths are believed to support healthy inflammatory response and normal immune system function. Bone broth can even promote healthy sleep, boost energy during the day and support a healthy mood.
- BOOSTS DETOXIFICATION - Today in the Western world, the average person is exposed to an array of environmental toxins, pesticides, artificial ingredients and chemicals of all sorts. While the human body has its own means of detoxifying itself from heavy metals and other toxic exposures, it often has a hard time keeping up when flooded with an overwhelming amount of chemicals. Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent since it helps the digestive system expel waste and promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins, helps maintain tissue integrity and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.
- AIDS METABOLISM AND PROMOTES ANABOLISM - Amino acids found in bone broth have numerous metabolic roles, including building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting bone mineral density, boosting nutrient absorption and synthesis, and maintaining muscle and connective tissue health. Glycine found within collagen helps form muscle tissue by converting glucose into usable energy, plus it slows cartilage, tissue and muscle loss associated with aging by improving the body’s use of antioxidants. Glutamine is another amino acid that’s important for a healthy metabolism, since it helps us maintain energy by sending nutrients, including nitrogen, to our cells. Arginine also has the role of breaking down nitric oxide that helps improve circulation and sends blood and nutrients to cells throughout the body, improving muscle and tissue integrity and promoting normal wound healing.