Bone broth recipes reappear each year at this time as people resolve to eat better in the coming year, and nutrition gurus blog about bone broth’s benefits. There’s really nothing terribly new about bone broth, which is the product of meat bones (usually chicken or other poultry) cooked in water for up to 24 hours. From home cooks to 5-star chefs, people have been making various broths for centuries. It forms the basis for soups, stews, gravies, and countless other dishes. But as nutrition science advances, we’re gaining a better understanding of how age-old foods impact health and prevent illness.
As bones are cooked, nutrients are released into the water that are easily absorbed by the digestive system when the broth is sipped. According to an article on Prevention’s website , minerals released from bone include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals are essential for human health, especially the health of our bones. Bone broth also offers chondroitin and glucusamine, two nutrients which may help relieve pain and inflammation in aching joints. Some bone broth devotees claim to see improvements in the quality of their skin, hair and nails. This is probably due to the high level of hydrolyzed collagen in bone broth, Collagen is a protein that gives skin its firmness and elasticity.
Some patients troubled by chronically irritated digestive systems, sometimes called “leaky gut”, have turned to bone broth for relief. Leaky gut can cause bacteria and undigested food particles to escape from the intestines, causing inflammation and discomfort. It is thought that the gelatin in bone broth may form a film over the digestive tract, which in turn prevents the leakage.
Whether all the health benefits attributed to bone broth will withstand research scrutiny is still up in the air, but it’s safe to say that bone broth is nutrient dense, easy to digest, and inexpensive to buy or make. Please see our broth recipe in the accompanying article.