Bone broth (known as “stock” in traditional culinary terms) is made by simmering bone and cartilage in water and vinegar for an extended period of time.
Vinegar helps to pull the beneficial nutrients from the bones and connective tissues.
The resulting liquid contains significant amounts of protein (mostly via collagen), potassium, and sodium as well as other beneficial nutrients.
Bone broth differs from regular chicken broth or beef broth in that it is simmered with bones vs the liquid of simmered meat (on or off the bone). The latter proves to yield far more of the beneficial nutrients!
So, what is the best bone broth? In this article, I will answer this question and address other hot questions for this popular health topic!
WHAT NUTRIENTS DOES BONE BROTH CONTAIN?
The nutrient content of bone broth depends on the ingredients and their quality:
Bone: The bone itself yields minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Sodium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon are also present.
Marrow: Bone marrow gives you vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3s, omega-6s and minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, boron and manganese. Marrow from beef and lamb also contains CLA.
Connective tissue: This tissue provides glucosamine and chondroitin, which are popular dietary supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
If you decide to include herbs, meat, spices and vegetables, extra benefits can be gleaned from their nutrient make up as well!
Additionally, bones, marrow and connective tissue are all largely made up of collagen, which turns into gelatin when cooked. Gelatin has a unique profile of amino acids, and is particularly high in glycine which yields anti-inflammatory properties.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CONSUMING BONE BROTH?
The most notable beneficial ingredient in bone broth is collagen.
While there is not much clinical information about the health benefits of bone broth, research with collagen suggests that it may help with joint pain, pain due to osteoarthritis, and modestly improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles. Collagen is also a good source of protein– an essential macro-nutrient for muscle growth and maintenance!
Note: Be aware that there are different types of collagen used in bone broth products. The most commonly studied and absorbable form is collagen hydrolysates.
Bone broth is touted for healing the gut and treating various digestive disorders such as leaky gut syndrome. Laboratory and animal studies suggest that a combination of gelatin and tannic acids may help to reinforce the mucous lining of the gut and reduce symptoms of Colitis.
Nothing beats a hot bowl of chicken bone broth when sick!
1. How do I get my hands on bones?
First, think of the person you’ll want to murder….lol, just kidding!
You can use bones from the previous night’s dinner, or get them from your local butcher. Another option is talking with local farmers to see if they can save you their bones or even hunters.
2. How much collagen do I take in order to reap the benefits?
This can depend on your needs. The average recommended dose is 10-15 grams daily but you can go up to 30 grams.
3. Do certain bones yield better nutritional profiles than others?
A study in Australia that compared the amino acid content of bone broths found that the amino acid content of broth was significantly higher when 1. made from beef rather than chicken and 2. made from long bones (i.e. marrow containing bones).
CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS
Bone broth is generally quite safe to consume. However, individuals with kidney disease should check product labels and consult with their physician before consuming due to the high amounts of sodium and potassium in some products. In addition, those on dialysis who have fluid intake restrictions should consult with their physician prior to consuming.
Mild to moderate gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea and gas have occasionally been reported in people taking undenatured collagen, gelatin or collagen hydrolysate). Other side effects have been reported have been generally mild and include headache, dizziness, insomnia, lack of appetite, itchy or pustular skin rash and canker sores.
WHAT IS THE BEST BONE BROTH?
Now to answer the main question at hand!
The best bone broth is broth made right in your kitchen! Homemade bone broth made from organic whole vegetables and grass-fed animal’s bones is not only nutritious and typically way more palatable than store-bought… but it’s also extremely cost effective.
Get your apron on, your crock pot ready and see my recommended recipe next!
BONE BROTH RECIPE
Calories: 400 per serving
Prep Time: 10-15 min
Cook Time: 24-72 hours
Serving Size: 3 quarts
- 3-4 pounds of beef or chicken marrow and knuckle bones (note: bone broth can be made from any type of bones you like – chicken, beef, pork, or even fish)
- 2 pounds of meaty bones such as short ribs
- 1/2 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar with the mother
- 4 quarts filtered water
- 3 celery stalks, halved (optional)
- 3 carrots, halved (optional)
- 3 onions, quartered (optional)
- Handful of Fresh Parsley (optional)
- Sea Salt (optional)
TIP: Play with the ingredients! You can add other goodies like bay leaves, ginger, lemon rinds and liver to name a few.
- Place all bones in a pot or a crock pot, add apple cider vinegar and water and let mixture sit for 1 hour.
- Add more water if needed to cover the bones
- Add the vegetables – bring water to a boil – and skim the scum from the top and discard
- Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 24-72 hours
- During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals
- Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth
- Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge for up to 5-7 days or in the freezer up to 6 months.
TIP: Quality matters! In order to reap the most benefits from your bone broth, I highly recommend seeking bones and cartilage from organically raised, pastured or grass-fed animals.
PRE-MADE/STORE-BOUGHT BONE BROTH
While I wholly advocate for making bone broth from scratch as it usually yields more nutritious if done correctly and definitely much cheaper – but for those who prefer something pre-made, this section is for you!
Since collagen and total protein distinguishes bone broth from soup and other broths, look for products that list the amount of protein they contain – which should be at least 6 to 10 grams per cup sized at 8 fl oz or 240 ml.
Also, check that the chicken or beef broth is made with bone, joint, or cartilage, as these are rich sources of collagen.
There are two types of pre-made bone broths on the market – liquid and powder. Yes you heard that right….powder! If it’s protein or collagen you’re after from bone broth, you’ll typically get the most for your money by purchasing a powder, rather than liquid that’s made from chicken, rather than beef.
Next, you will find my top two recommendations – 1 powder and 1 liquid. Both products are consumerlab approved. To understand the qualifications of this approval, you can review their quality assurance program. In order to see the full report, and see other approved products on the list, you must pay a membership fee.
#1 LIQUID BONE BROTH PRODUCT
- Simmered for 20+ hours
- Made with marrow bones from 100% pasture-raised, grass-fed & finished cattle
- Free from hormones, antibiotics,and additives
- Certified gluten free
- MSG-free, dairy free, and soy-free
- Paleo friendly, Keto, and Whole30 approved
- 10 grams of protein per serving
- Made with organic vegetables and spices
- Made with Apple Cider Vinegar
- Contains collagen
- Very pricey according to many
- Bland or “acquired” taste according to some reviews
#1 POWDER BONE BROTH PRODUCT
- Chicken Collagen type II, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and 19 amino acids
- Non GMO
- Cruelty free
- Hormone free
- Cage free
- Allergy free (gluten, dairy, tree nut, egg, soy, peanuts, crustaceans, etc.)
- Paleo Friendly
- 20 grams of protein per serving
- Not palatable/Bad taste according to many reviews
- Some G.I. upset (e.g. gas or bloating) according to some reviews
Bone broth is nutritionally dense and packed with healthy ingredients to boost your immunity and health.
Homemade bone broth is delicious and a great addition to your daily health regimen.
If you are looking for a wholesome way to boost your health – look no further!
Have experience with bone broth? Have any questions? Please feel free to leave a comment 🙂