The Benefits of Bone Broth: Fad, or Fact?

Image: Peden + Munk Even though summer's right around the corner, I've been noticing a lot of buzz around bone broth these days.

In fact, the buzz is so loud, several coffee-shop-esque cafes have opened up in cities like New York, Portland, and even Vancouver. They sell to-go cups of bone broth with various toppings like egg, chili oil, and miso paste.

So what's the deal?


What is bone broth?

First thing's first: bone broth is a soup stock made when animal bones are boiled in water for a long, long time (think 2-3 days).

The concept of bone broth has been around as long as we've been eating animals. There are a smorgasbord of nutrients and minerals to be found in the bones of animals, and making a broth from them is the easiest way to extract everything they have to offer.


Why is it good for us?

The list of what can be found in bone broth is extensive: collagen. Amino acids. Glycine. Proline. Gelatin. Glucosamine. Phosphorus. Magnesium. Calcium.

But what does this mean for you?


Healthier skin, hair and nails

Bone broth is rich in collagen. A lot of folks have been misinformed by the beauty industry: applying collagen to your skin won't actually help it look younger. Putting collagen (which breaks down into amino acids, the building blocks of health skin, hair and nails) into our bodies, either via supplements or food sources, is actually the only way to have a true impact on our looks.


Stronger bones

Broth is a great way to access the essential minerals - like phosphorus, magnesium and calcium - we need to keep our bones strong and flexible as we grow older.


Healthier joints and muscles

The glucosamine found in animal joints is extremely beneficial for our joints and muscles. Athletes often add supplemental glucosamine to their smoothies to help with workout recovery. Cooking a batch of bone broth and sipping on it throughout the week is a much healthier, more delicious option.

Detoxed liver

Glycine is a wonder-amino-acid: it binds to toxins in the body and helps flush them out of the system. Guess what's full of glycine? You guessed it: bone broth!


No more leaky gut

Studies show that the gelatine found in animal bones does wonders for the digestive tract: it helps to seal holes in the intestines. Beyond healing leaky gut, sealing even minor tears and holes in the intestine can help cure chronic diarrhea, constipation, and some food intolerances.


Bones for broth-ing can be found at most local butchers and some health food stores. And if the craze keeps up, you may even find a broth bar in your city some day soon.