Bone Broth: Nutritional Facts & Benefits

by lydia on May 23, 2012

It’s time we reclaim broth making from the past, our ancestors instinctively knew the benefits. The All New Joy of Cooking describes broth as, ‘inherently calming, consoling, and restorative to our spirit and vigor.’ A pot of broth simmering away on the stove is like therapy and medicine for the soul, along with that it makes a home feel assuredly comforting and inviting. Enjoying a bowl of soup is always a comfort to my soul along with my palate. A sense of true deep down nourishment always comes over me personally with every sip of broth. Because bone broth is easy to absorb, tastes good, and contains a rich concentration of nutrients, broth makes a distinctively good natural ‘medicine.’ In folk wisdom, chicken soup is known as ‘Jewish penicillin’.

Fish broth will cure anything. ~ South American Proverb

Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. . . without it nothing can be done. ~ Auguste Escoffier

Good broth resurrects the dead. ~ South American Proverb

On the GAPS dietary protocol, one that is meant for individuals to ‘heal & seal’ the gut lining, bone broth is at the center of the plan. It plays a critical role in soothing the gut and allowing the body to absorb critical nutrition in the most assimilable way. Loaded with minerals, one of our nation’s epidemic health issues, bone broth is a great way to replenish the bodies likely depleted mineral reserves. Let’s look at more ways that bone can truly nourish and benefit the body.

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Nutritional Facts & Benefits of Bone Broth

  • Bone broth contains gelatin a colloidal substance that attracts digestive juices to itself and prevents gastrointestinal bugs from attaching themselves to the gut wall and wreaking havoc. The gelatin in bone broth assists digestion.
  • Bone broth contains minerals such as calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorous & trace minerals in an easily assimilable form. These minerals are pulled out of the bones in part due to using a vinegar solution prior to cooking. The vinegar helps to draw the mineral salts out of the bone.  All of the minerals present in bones used for bone broth, except fluoride, are macro-minerals, which are essential for proper nutrition and are required in greater amounts than 100mg/day. The only macro-mineral not present in bone is chlorine. Minerals have numerous functions in the body beyond the composition of bone, which is why the body will rob the bones and tissues to maintain steady levels of minerals in the blood and other fluids. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in bone, it is also the most abundant mineral in the body. The calcium present in bone broth can be considered for use in the following deficiency signs, symptoms and conditions: pain and inflammation, cramps, muscle spasms, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, anxiety, palpitations, hypertension, high cholesterol, allergies, brittle nails, periodontal and dental disease, pica, rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and any situation that creates bone loss such as aging, immobilization, postmenopause, and caffeine,
  • Bone broth is helpful in treating digestive disorders such as IBS, colitis and even Chrohn’s disease.
  • Anemia and other blood disorders respond to gelatin in the diet as well. Gelatin is used to tonify the blood. Glycine, a key ingredient in gelatin, plays a vital role in the blood. (Table II) Also if gelatin is extracted from bone, then marrow, where blood cells are produced is also extracted. Chinese studies have shown gelatin to increase red blood cell and hemoglobin count, increase serum calcium level, increase the absorption and utilization of calcium, and prevent and treat myotonia atrophica (muscle wasting)
  • Gelatin assists in neutralizing whatever intestinal poison is causing problems during an intestinal bug or flu.
  • Broth recipes stress the quality that can be obtained from using highly cartilaginous parts of animals. These parts will be joint areas, like chicken feet and beef knuckles, trachea and ribs, or anatomy with a concentration of glycosaminoglycans, like hooves and skin.
  • Cartilage (aka- broth) can be considered for use in the following conditions: arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), cancer, decreased immune system states, and malnutrition.
  • Another word for collagen is gelatin. Collagen is a scientific term for a particular protein in the body, while gelatin is a food term referring to extracted collagen.
  • Gelatin has also been found to improve body weight as well as bone mineral density in states of protein undernutrition.
  • Gelatin (broth) can be considered for use in the following conditions: food allergies, dairy maldigestion, colic, bean maldigestion, meat maldigestion, grain maldigestion, hypochlorhydria, hyperacidity (gastroesophageal reflux, gastritis, ulcer, hiatal hernia) inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, weight loss, muscle wasting, cancer, osteoporosis, calcium deficiency and anemia.
  • Scurvy is a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. It results in symptoms such as bleeding gums, bruising, and poor wound healing. These manifestations are actually due to a deficiency of collagen, because vitamin C is needed to synthesize collagen. It converts proline into hydroxy proline. Collagen, along with minerals are needed for the creation and healing of bone. It is also integral to cartilage formation and repair.
  • Collagen (broth) can be considered for use in the following conditions: poor wound healing, soft tissue injury (including surgery), cartilage and bone injury (including dental degeneration).
  • Broth could be considered a liver tonic (or liver supportive). Broth helps the body to detoxify during a cleanse, and in fact at any time it is eaten.
  • Broth also contains, Chondroitin Sulfate, a jellylike substance, now famous as a supplement for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. It functions to support and provide adhesiveness. It lines blood vessels and plays a role in lowering atherosclerosis, cholesterol and heart attacks.
  • Broth is not a complete protein, since it only contains three amino acids. A complete protein needs to contain all B essential amino acids. Therefore it is not a meat replacement, but it can be used as a meat extender. Since glycine is used to make other amino acids, it is considered protein sparing. In addition, because glycine is used to make energy in gluconeogenesis, consuming glycine spares your own body protein from being broken down to make energy. Broth is not a meal replacement, which is why it is used as a starting point for soup, or as the first course of a meal.
  • Broth can be thought of as a protein supplement, and a calcium supplement. The chemical ingredients extracted from broth are glycine and proline (collagen/gelatin), calcium and phosphorus (minerals), hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate (GAGs), and other minerals, amino acids and GAGs in smaller amounts.

For a more in depth read on the benefits of bone broth, read this article; ‘Why Broth Is Beautiful’, by Kaayla Daniel, PhD, CCN.

Onion Soup & Roasted Bone Marrow

Recipes

(Sources; ‘Gut & Psychology Syndrome’ by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride; ‘Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health Disease‘;)

Are you new to making homemade broths and stocks? If you want to learn from the best on all the ins and outs of homemade broth making, plus obtain numerous recipes and uses for broth -check out my friend Patty of Loving Our Guts eBook; ‘Broth Elixir of Life‘. Gorgeous photos and step by step instructions, plus information on all the healing benefits of broth and why you should make it a staple part of your healthy kitchens.

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