Fitness Nutrition Forums

What's the Deal With Bone Broth?

Bone broth has people singing its praises as a powerful, nutritious, trendy elixir, but is it as great as everyone claims?

A piping hot new food gaining popularity is something called bone broth. Food bloggers, wellness enthusiasts, and foodies are all lapping up this trendy cuisine.

What is bone broth exactly? And is it good for you?

Bone broth itself is nothing new — your grandmother has probably been making it for many years. Bone broth is a liquid made predominantly from bones and other connective tissue from fish, poultry, beef, or pork. There is no one single recipe for bone broth, and each batch can vary in its flavor profile and nutritional content based on what vegetables or herbs you add, what types of bones and other parts you use, and how long you simmer the broth (4 hours versus a full 24 hours).

Those who have jumped on the bone broth bandwagon tout its many perceived benefits, although there is little scientific data on this subject at the moment. Fans of this concoction claim it has a host of benefits, including curing digestive disorders, protecting your joints, boosting sleep quality, and improving your skin, hair, and nails.

There is not a great deal of research to confirm these health claims. Most of the info on the benefits is anecdotal, but this uptick in interest in this seemingly powerful product warrants further research. Most scientists agree that this purported cure-all elixir is no magic pill that will instantly rid you of disease and relieve all your aches and pains, but it may have a few perks.

Bone broth benefit believers cite that due to its high collagen content, it helps build bone, but scientifically it does not work that way. Your body’s digestive system breaks down whole collagen into amino acids, which are then used by your body wherever they may be needed. And many of vitamins and enzymes in bone broth get denatured from the heat used to cook it.

Potential Benefits

While there are a lot of health claims that are not backed by any scientific studies, there are a couple of benefits that experts in the field of nutrition and food science take stock of.

Bolstering Your Immunity — A study published back in 2000 concluded that chicken soup has several substances that show advantageous medicinal properties. The study revealed that participants who ate chicken soup noticed a slight reduction in inflammation, which in turn decreased their symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.

Sports Recovery Beverage — Sports dietitians confirm that bone broth, or soups that contain it, are a great post-workout recovery drink, particularly for endurance athletes or anyone who does intense exercise and loses a lot of fluids through sweat. Since bone broth is a liquid, it helps rehydrate you after an intense sweat session. Bone broth also contains sodium, which is one of the electrolytes you lose through sweat. It also houses amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that your body needs to repair and build muscle fibers.

The Big Picture ...

While bone broth is becoming increasingly popular and its fans tout numerous health gains, the science just isn’t there to back up most of those claims, and scientists say these purported health claims are overblown. However, bone broth can certainly be a regular part of an overall healthy diet that focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, lean proteins, low-fat or nonfat dairy, and healthy fats. It is certainly no miracle cure-all food, but it is one that can be enjoyed often, especially if you are drinking it in place of high-calorie beverages or foods.

[Image via Getty]

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}