Bone broth is the bomb. It’s tasty AF, easy to make, and great for your overall health.
Bone broth 101: Everything you need to know
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is basically bone juice. It’s a liquid made from boiled animal bones and connective tissues. Peeps use the broth in soups, gravies, and sauces, but it’s also a delicious and nutritious drink you can sip on its own.
Confusingly, bone broth is actually known as stock, but plain ol’ broth is a different concoction altogether. The bones are what makes bone broth a stock.
The benefits: A brief rundown
Bone broth has lots of impressive perks. Here are 7 of the best health benefits:
- It’s a great source of nutrients.
- It supports weight loss.
- It could be good for hair and skin.
- It may help your joints.
- It can help digestive system.
- It may reduce inflammation.
How to make bone broth: Step-by-step
Making bone broth is super simple. But it *does* take some time to cook down. Here’s how you can DIY a batch at home:
- Boil 4 pounds of animal bones and tissues in 1 gallon of water. You can also add your fave spices or seasoning for extra flavor.
- Let it simmer for 10 to 24 hours on a low to medium heat.
P.S. You can find top-notch bone broth in lots of grocery stores or online.
Here’s a deep dive into the best benefits plus how to DIY a batch at home. 🦴
Here are seven reasons to drink more bone broth.
1. A souper-duper source of nutrients
The exact nutritional content of bone broth depends on what you use in the recipe. But in general, it’s hella healthy. Marrow, bones, and connective tissues make up the, well, skeleton of a bone broth. This stuff is *loaded* with vital vitamins and minerals like:
FYI: Fishbones also bring a bunch of good-for-you stuff to the table. They’re a solid source of vitamin D, selenium, calcium, and phosphorus. Fish can also be a great way to increase your iodine levels, which is essential for a healthy thyroid and metabolism.
For more in-depth deets, here’s a handy-dandy chart. This is what 1 cup of home-prepared beef, fish, and chicken bone broths (i.e., stocks) have to offer:
|Beef stock||Fish stock||Chicken stock|
|Calories||31.2 kcal||37.3 kcal||86.4 kcal|
|Protein||4.73 grams (g)||5.27 g||6.05 g|
|Fat||0.216 g||1.89 g||2.88 g|
|Carbs||2.88 g||0 g||8.47 g|
|Calcium||19.2 milligrams (mg)||6.99 mg||7.2 mg|
|Iron||0.648 mg||0.023 mg||0.504 mg|
|Magnesium||16.8 mg||16.3 mg||9.6 mg|
|Phosphorus||74.4 mg||130 mg||64.8 mg|
|Potassium||444 mg||336 mg||252 mg|
|Sodium||475 mg||363 mg||343 mg|
|Zinc||0.408 mg||0.14 mg||0.336 mg|
|Selenium||2.88 micrograms (µg)||2.33 µg||5.28 µg|
|Folate||4.8 µg||4.66 µg||12 µg|
Reminder: The exact nutritional content depends on the ingredients used to make a broth. But this table provides a good estimate.
2. Supports weight loss
Bone broth is a high protein food source.
Even though it’s low in calories, studies show that consuming soup on the reg can increase feelings of fullness. There’s also a chance eating soup can reduce your risk of obesity, according to a 2014 roundup of survey data.
Don’t *just* drink bone broth
PSA: You prob won’t drop a bunch of weight by drinking bone broth in isolation.
Also, you shouldn’t try to survive on broth alone. The best way to lose weight is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and workout routine. For some 10/10 weight loss tips, check out this guide.
3. Could be good for hair and skin
Bone broth may help pump up the volume of collagen production, according to a 2019 study that plied its 15 participants with bone broth. The concentration of collagen will vary though, and benefits may not be consistent with this study.
Collagen (a bangin’ protein) plays an important part in strengthening skin and may help you slay a youthful glow. In a 2018 clinical trial, supplemental collagen helped hydrate participants’ skin and reduced the appearance of wrinkles.
BTW, collagen has also been linked to hair health. It can work as an antioxidant and might help your luscious locks fight off free radical damage. But we need more research to prove the perks.
4. May help your joints
The connective tissues and collagen in bones turn into gelatin during the cooking process. Gelatin is chock full of amino acids — like glycine and proline — that the body can use to create its own connective tissues like cartilage.
(A study found that mammals, birds, and fish can get this benefit from gelatin. Unless you happen to be a fish, it may not have the same impact on you.)
This might protect your joints from wear and tear over time.
5. Can help digestive system
Bone broth might help reduce your risk of poopy probs and other tummy troubles. According to a 2017 study, folks who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) tend to have lower amino acid levels. So the extra bump of amino acids in bone broth *may* help stave off symptoms (but not entirely in the place of conventional treatment).
Also, glutamine supplementation may help heal the intestinal barrier. This could help with chronic digestive conditions like leaky gut, which affects the mucosal lining in the intestines.
6. May reduce inflammation
The amino acids in bone broth have some pretty dope anti-inflammatory properties. But the real star of the amino acid Avengers team is arginine. Studies show that this amino acid can help fight chronic inflammation (although doesn’t specify anything about the amounts you get from bone broth).
A 2015 study found that oral arginine helped improve asthma symptoms and reduced airway inflammation in mice. Another animal study found that arginine supplementation can help reduce inflammation in obese rats.
But we need more research to know if this works on humans and whether the amount available in bone broth is enough to make that difference.
7. May improve sleep
Research shows that the amino acids found in bone broth might promote better sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine improved sleep quality. Participants fell asleep faster and woke up fewer times during the night. The same study also found that glycine improved memory and reduced daytime tiredness.
Move over warm milk! There’s a new sleepy-time drink in town.
You can totes find bone broth in most supermarkets. But there’s something special about making it fresh at home. Plus it’s A LOT cheaper. Here’s a basic recipe to start with:
- 1 gallon of water
- 4 pounds of animal bones and tissues
Where the heck do I find animal bones?
Psst. You can get high quality bones from a butcher or in the meat section at your local grocery store. You can also use leftover bones from previous meals.
Here’s how to bone broth up a storm:
- Place the bones in a large pot.
- Submerge them in water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it stew away for 10 to 24 hours. (The longer you cook it, the more concentrated the flavor will be.)
- Let it cool for at least 20 minutes.
- Strain through a cheesecloth.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.
Pro tip: Give your broth more #FlavorTown vibes with spices like sage, thyme, or bay leaves. You can also throw in some veggies for extra nutrients.
How often should I drink bone broth?
There’s no clear answer here. Lots of peeps go with 1 cup a day in the morning or before bed. But you can def drink more if you want! It’s delicious, low calorie, and packed with health perks. So you really have nothing to lose.
Bone broth is a nutritious drink made from boiled bones. It’s filled with vitamins and minerals that can help your body function at its best. Bear in mind that the exact nutritional contents can vary from batch to batch.
Bone broth is very easy to make at home. It’s also nice to DIY because you can customize the flavors and use it in tons of recipes. But if you don’t have time to watch bones boil for 24 hours, we won’t judge. You can find lots of banging bone broths at the store or online.