Bone broth has a long history and goes back to prehistoric times when hunters had nothing to eat.
It is easy to imagine that after the feast of fish or poultry grilled on the fire and stripped of most of their flesh, they turned to the manufacture of a healthy broth, with heads, tails, claws, and hooves.
Even if at first it was more out of necessity than anything else, the broth of very nutritious bone does not only help to satisfy hunger.
Benefits recognized for centuries in all cultures
The renewed interest in bone broth in recent years is encouraging, as it is an excellent food for the body and mind.
Unsurprisingly, the diversity of cultures around the world have had their own versions of bone broth, be it French Light Broth and Maldives Garudhiya Fish Broth or thicker, creamier beef bone broth. Koreans and Japanese Tonkotsu are made from pork bones.
What is broth?
A broth is any liquid in which the meat or fish is cooked, while the liquid obtained from the prolonged cooking of the bones is called the sauce bottom in the culinary language. However, this distinction was pretty blurry in home cooking.
Old cookbooks bear witness to this. A bone broth was ideally composed of large fleshy bones with pieces of flesh and cartilage. It has been appreciated as a clear drink and as a base for many curries and other culinary delights.
Our grandmothers were not mistaken when they insisted on serving broth for supper. Bones and cartilage, when boiled for several hours, release a number of minerals, amino acids, and structural proteins such as collagen.
The Effect of Broth on Intestinal Health
In recent years, scientists in the medical field have discovered that health depends largely on the health of the intestine.
Many modern diseases seem to come from an imbalance between the microorganisms of your digestive system, because of an unhealthy diet and unbalanced, too high in sugars and too low in “good fats” and beneficial bacteria.
Bone broth is excellent for “curing and waterproofing” the intestinal wall, to use the words of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
The nutritional protocol GAPS described in his book The neuropsychological syndrome, GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is based on the concept of “healing and waterproof” the intestinal wall through diet.
Broth (or bottom) can have this effect because it is easily digested, helps to repair the intestinal wall, and contains important nutrients.
A steady supply of these nutrients can keep our bodies healthy and help repel diseases. Here are some health benefits of bone broth that can make you want to do it and enjoy its benefits.
Solidify your bones
What other type of food might be best for bone health than bone broth, which contains everything needed to break down bone and cartilage?
When we think about bone health, we think of calcium and phosphorus first and foremost, but structural collagen protein is just as important. It is the essence of the bone and gives it resistance and flexibility to traction.
Most often, the deterioration of the bone is the result of collagen deficiency rather than mineral deficiency.
Aging and metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and diabetes negatively affect the body’s production of collagen, resulting in weak and fragile bones.
Collagen naturally found in bone broth can counteract collagen deficiency and keep your bones limber and more resistant to breakage.
Keeps your joints healthy
People with osteoarthritis report significant relief of symptoms by leaving coffee or tea aside for bone broth.
On the other hand, coffee and alcohol are known to exacerbate the swelling and stiffness of the joints as they increase inflammation.
Caffeine in beverages is particularly troublesome because it blocks the adenosine receptors, disrupting the process of regulating inflammation in the body.
Osteoarthritis is clinically treated with supplements of chondroitin sulfate and gelatin, but these same substances are found in profusion in the bone broth.
In addition, most of the supplements available on the market are of inferior quality; making your own bone broth is the best way to ensure a steady supply of these substances to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
Promotes tissue repair and regeneration
As mentioned earlier, collagen is a structural protein. In fact, it is the most common, it represents between 25 to 35% of the total protein content of the body. It is present not only in bone and cartilage but in the skin, blood vessels, and in all organs of the body.
All of these body cells and tissues need repair and permanent renewal through cell division.
For these reasons, the need for collagen in the body is quite high. Although the collagen of bone and cartilage decays during cooking, the resulting gelatin has all the substances necessary for the formation of new collagen.
Bone broth accelerates the healing and resolution of internal injuries because it is an excellent source of collagen constituents.
It counteracts mineral deficiencies
Bone broth is a mine of minerals because the bone is demineralized during the cooking process.
This process is accelerated by adding a small amount of wine or vinegar during cooking. Bone broth is particularly rich in calcium and phosphorus, the main components of bones.
There are other food products, milk, and other dairy products, that may contain more calcium than bone broth.
However, the bioavailability of minerals is higher in the case of bone broth because they come directly from the bone. They are in a form that the body can absorb more easily.
Magnesium and potassium are two other important minerals that you can get from chicken bone broth and beef, just like fish broth can provide more iodine supplements.
Bone broth is traditionally given to children and the elderly to improve endurance and increase their resistance to infectious diseases. It’s an excellent tonic to keep you healthy during the flu season. You can add herbs that boost immunity like ginger, turmeric and astragalus to bone broth to make it even better and more effective.
Inflammation is our body’s natural response to injury, but chronic inflammation can lead to many pathological conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
Bone broth can reduce inflammation because it has many anti-inflammatory amino acids. Among them, arginine deserves special mention because it is used clinically for the treatment of generalized inflammation.
Bone broth “heals” the digestive system because the long cooking process has already broken down complex proteins and fat molecules into their simpler elements.
The gelatin obtained promotes the formation of collagen and the rapid healing of the damaged intestinal wall. This is particularly useful for people with gastrointestinal ulcers and Crohn’s disease.
Bone broth increases the appetite and absorption of nutrients, thanks to glycine, an amino acid that is a constituent of many types of proteins. It is, indeed, used in some drugs to improve their absorption.
Relieves Autoimmune Diseases
Leaky Gut Syndrome (understand intestinal hyperpermeability) is considered to be one of the main causes of autoimmune diseases.
They are triggered when the intestinal wall is damaged and the food particles pass into the bloodstream. The body takes these foreign bodies for toxins and responds by triggering an immune attack that is misguided toward our own cells.
An amino acid called glutamine contained in bone broth has a corrective action on the damaged intestinal wall, preventing the entry of food toxins into the bloodstream.
There have been many cases where autoimmune conditions have been reversed by taking bone broth regularly.
The bone broth has a calming effect
Osteocalcin is a hormone that can reduce anxiety and improve mood.
A similar effect also comes from glycine (not the flower, the amino acid). In fact, it is the smallest amino acid, proteinogenic, this molecule of glycine plays the role of inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord.
Unsurprisingly, it is found in abundance in a broth of bones, which makes it an excellent comfort food to consume when you have the blues.
Increase male fertility
Osteocalcin is a hormone produced by bone cells. It has a regulating effect on the endocrine system, which includes improving the function of the pancreas as well as the testicles.
It increases the secretion of insulin and the male hormone, testosterone. Making bone broth a regular habit can promote male fertility and manhood.
Helps improve sleep
There is enough anecdotal evidence that drinking a cup of bone broth ensures restful sleep. Now, supported solidly by science.
With its high glycine content, bone broth is an excellent sleeping aid. Research on the effect of glycine supplementation has shown that taking a dose of 3 grams can improve the quality of sleep.
The amino acid diffuses into the brain and lowers the body’s temperature and inhibits muscle activity, thus facilitating sleep.
If uncontrollable thoughts keep you awake, a therapeutic dose of glycine under the tongue may help you. If you have been deprived of sleep, it can also prevent you from feeling tired the next morning.
Glycine (molecule) is known to increase serotonin levels without affecting dopamine levels. This selective action on neurotransmitters can help regulate the circadian rhythm.
Protects against anemia
Not having enough red blood cells or hemoglobin reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
The resulting anemia affects more than a quarter of the world’s population. Young children are at greater risk with almost half of the schoolchildren anemic in developing countries.
Iron supplements are usually prescribed to treat this condition, but problems with the absorption of iron by the intestine make it often less effective.
Healthy foods, rich in iron and other minerals are best for fighting anemia. Since the bone marrow is where the blood cells are formed, the bone broth contains all the substances needed to make the red blood cells.
Protection against muscle cramps
Leg cramps are a common complaint among sports people, but not uncommon among others.
Some people experience these painful muscle spasms during and after strenuous activities such as swimming and running, while others catch them at rest during the night.
Among the many causes of muscle cramps, the depletion of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium is the most prevalent.
Rich in these minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, bone broth is an excellent sports drink for restoring electrolytes lost through sweating. Drinking a cup before and after a workout and before bedtime can protect you from painful cramps.
Now you can see some benefits of bone broth and understand why this is becoming very popular. I love it when science proves some natural remedies and ways that we can take care of ourselves without resorting to harmful prescription medications.
Natural solutions are usually the best way to go.
If you have any concerns about bone broth, please discuss them with your doctor or dietitian.