Bone broth is a delicious and nutritious liquid that can boost your health in many ways.
In this article, I will share with you some of the reasons why you should drink bone broth, as well as a simple recipe that you can follow to make your own.
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What is bone broth?
Bone broth is a clear, liquid made by simmering animal bones in water for a few hours. It is used as stock in soups, sauces, and gravies. It can also provide a nutritious drink.
Bone broth dates back to prehistoric times when hunter-gatherers turned otherwise inedible animal parts like bones, hooves, and knuckles into a broth they could drink.
You can make bone broth using bones from just about any animal — chicken, pork, beef, veal, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, venison, or fish. Marrow and connective tissues like feet, hooves, beaks, gizzards, or fins can also be used.
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Why should you drink bone broth?
Bone broth can be beneficial for your health in many ways. Here are some of the main benefits of drinking bone broth:
1. It contains vitamins and minerals
Bone broth is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other vitamins and minerals needed to build and strengthen your own bones. However, only small amounts of these nutrients — less than 5% of daily value — actually make it into the broth¹.
2. It provides collagen and gelatin
Collagen and gelatin are proteins that are found in the connective tissue of animals. They are responsible for giving the broth its gel-like consistency when cooled. Collagen and gelatin may have several health benefits, such as:
- Improving skin elasticity and hydration²
- Supporting joint health and reducing inflammation³
- Enhancing gut health and digestion⁴
- Promoting wound healing and tissue repair⁵
3. It offers amino acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Bone broth contains several amino acids that are essential for human health, meaning that they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from food. Some of these amino acids are:
- Glycine: This amino acid may help with sleep quality, mental performance, blood sugar regulation, and detoxification.
- Proline: This amino acid may help with collagen synthesis, skin health, and wound healing.
- Glutamine: This amino acid may help with immune function, intestinal health, and muscle growth.
4. It supports weight loss
Bone broth is low in calories but high in protein. Protein can help you feel full longer and reduce your appetite. Studies have shown that increasing protein intake can help with weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing calorie intake.
Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which are compounds that may help prevent obesity by inhibiting fat accumulation and improving insulin sensitivity.
5. It enhances flavor
Bone broth is not only good for your health but also for your taste buds. Bone broth adds depth and richness to any dish that you use it in. It can enhance the flavor of soups, stews, sauces, gravies, casseroles, rice dishes, and more.
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How to make bone broth at home
Making bone broth at home is very simple. There are many recipes online, but most people don’t even use a recipe. All you really need is a large pot or slow cooker, water, vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper, and bones.
To get you started, here’s an easy recipe that you can follow:
- 1 gallon (4 liters) of water
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 2–4 pounds (about 1–2 kg) of animal bones
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: vegetables (such as onion, carrot, celery), herbs (such as parsley,
thyme), spices (such as garlic, bay leaf)
- Place all ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12–24 hours. The longer it cooks, the better it will taste and the more nutritious it will be.
- Allow the broth to cool slightly.
- Strain it into a large container and discard the solids.
- Refrigerate or freeze the broth for later use.
To add nutritional value to your bone broth, use a variety of bones from different parts of the animal such as marrow bones, oxtail, knuckles, and feet. Adding vinegar or lemon juice is important because it helps pull all of the valuable nutrients out of the bones and into the water.
You can also add vegetables, herbs, or spices to your broth to enhance the flavor and provide additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Here are some frequently asked questions about bone broth:
How much bone broth should I drink?
There is no definitive answer to how much bone broth you should drink. It depends on your personal preference, health goals, and dietary needs. Some people drink a cup of bone broth every day, while others drink it only occasionally. You can experiment with different amounts and see what works best for you.
How long does bone broth last?
Bone broth can last for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer. Make sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent spoilage. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays for easy portioning.
Can I use store-bought bone broth?
Yes, you can use store-bought bone broth if you don’t have time or access to make your own. However, be aware that some store-bought bone broths may contain additives, preservatives, or high amounts of sodium that may affect the quality and health benefits of the broth. Look for organic, grass-fed, or pasture-raised bone broths that have minimal ingredients and no added sugar or salt.
What are the differences between bone broth, stock, and broth?
Bone broth, stock, and broth are similar but not exactly the same.
Here are some of the differences:
- Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue for a long time (12–24 hours) to extract the most nutrients and flavor. It is usually thicker and gelatinous than stock or broth.
- Stock is made by simmering animal bones and some meat for a shorter time (4–6 hours) to create a base for soups, sauces, and gravies. It is usually thinner and clearer than bone broth or broth.
- The broth is made by simmering meat and vegetables for a short time (1–2 hours) to create a light and flavorful liquid that can be consumed on its own or used in other dishes. It is usually the thinnest and least nutritious of the three.
What are some ways to use bone broth?
There are many ways to use bone broth in your cooking or as a drink. Here are some ideas:
- Drink it plain or with some salt, pepper, lemon juice, or herbs for a warming and nourishing beverage.
- Use it as a base for soups, stews, chilis, curries, or any other dish that calls for liquid.
- Use it as a substitute for water when cooking rice, quinoa, couscous, or other grains.
- Use it as a substitute for milk or cream when making mashed potatoes, sauces, gravies, or casseroles.
- Use it as a marinade for meat, poultry, or fish.
- Use it as a braising liquid for vegetables or meat.
Bone broth is a nutritious and delicious liquid that can benefit your health in many ways. It can provide you with vitamins, minerals, collagen, gelatin, amino acids, and flavor. You can easily make your own bone broth at home using any animal bones that you have. Try adding bone broth to your diet and see how it makes you feel.