To me, bone broth is simple, it’s timeless, and it’s where we can go when we want to get back to the basics. Bone broth is easier to make than you might think, and it has healing properties that go deeper than we can imagine. Bones represent the structure of the Universe. When we feel we know the truth, we feel it deep in our bones. Bone broth is grounding and nourishing. And while all of this sounds wonderful, we also have science to show us the benefits that our bodies can feel with each sip.
Bone broth has been one of the secrets to my health and vitality for years. As I write this, I am getting close to my 90th birthday, and I am sure that it’s going to be another of my best decades ever! Age means nothing when you have good health.
Let’s all affirm: I take in and give out nourishment in perfect balance.
Nourishing myself is a joyful experience, and I am worth the time spent on my healing.
It is safe to experience new ideas and new ways.
I give myself permission to be all that I can be, and I deserve the very best in life. I love and appreciate myself and others. And so it is.
I am so passionate about bone broth that I have written a whole book about it with my good friend, Heather Dane, it is available here.
Studies conducted on bone broth have found that it can improve your health in a myriad of ways.
1. Bone Broth Boosts Immunity
Amino acids in bone broth, like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine, have been shown to boost immunity in humans and animals.
2. Bone Broth Alleviates The Common Cold And Bronchitis
There’s a solid scientific reason that we reach for chicken soup during cold and flu season. In 2000, a study was published in Chest, the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, which studied chicken soup (bone broth) and found that it does indeed aid in alleviating symptoms of the common cold, by clearing mucus, opening respiratory pathways, and providing easily digested nutrition.
In addition, according to medical doctor and UCLA professor Irwin Ziment, chicken soup naturally contains the amino acid cysteine, which chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine.
3. Bone Broth Fights Inflammation
Studies show that many of the amino acids in bone broth (such as cystine, histidine, and glycine) reduce inflammation, and L-glutamine specifically reduces gut inflammation. Additionally, the same Chest article from October 2000 mentioned above concluded that chicken soup’s anti-inflammatory benefits may be one reason it is so helpful with relieving symptoms of the common cold.
4. Bone Broth Strengthens Bones And Teeth
A study on the necessary nutrients for bone health found that the process of bone-formation requires “an adequate and constant supply of nutrients” as follows: calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins.
Bone broth with vegetables and meat or fish provides a good source of all of these vitamins and minerals.
5. Bone Broth Promotes Weight Loss
While more studies of gut bacteria and weight loss need to be conducted, research has shown that obese people have more of a certain type of bacteria called Firmicutes and less of another type called Bacteroidetes in their digestive tracts. The higher proportion of Firmicutes is believed to lead to a higher amount of calories extracted from food. Therefore, a higher ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteriodetes has become one of the markers of obesity.
Bone broth is a good source of L-glutamine, an essential amino acid (building block of protein) necessary for the body and gut health. L-glutamine was found in studies to reduce the Firmicutes in the gut and, therefore, aid in weight loss.
Many studies have also looked at whether consuming soup before a meal promoted weight loss due to a lower amount of calories eaten during the meal itself. In a study published in the November 2007 issue of Appetite (an international research journal specializing in behavioral nutrition and the cultural, sensory, and physiological influences on choices and intakes of foods and drinks), researchers conducted the study again and went a step further to see if eating a meal with liquid would have the same effect as soup.
The finding was that ingesting soup did indeed reduce caloric intake at the next meal and that only soup—not food consumed with water—had this beneficial effect.
6. Bone Broth Improves Hydration
Bone broth, especially when it’s made from vegetables, adds electrolytes (minerals) and carbohydrates (from vegetables) to the diet. Studies have shown that drinking broth can rehydrate better than water alone due to the electrolytes.
7. Restore Exercise Capacity with Bone Broth
Additional studies have shown that liquids with carbohydrates and electrolytes, like a bone broth simmered with vegetables, outperform water alone when it comes to restoring exercise capacity that may be lost from dehydration and electrolyte depletion.
8. Build Muscle with Bone Broth
The amino acids in bone broth can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is essential for the ongoing growth, repair, and maintenance of skeletal muscle groups. In a study looking at healthy patients and ovarian-cancer patients, researchers found that ingesting amino acids helped stimulate muscle protein synthesis and reduced inflammation, both in healthy participants and participants undergoing cancer therapy.
9. Improve Mood with Bone Broth
Your diet influences your gut bacteria, and your gut bacteria influence your brain. According to neuroscientists, your gut bacteria are constantly speaking to your brain. The makeup of gut bacteria, called your microbiome, influences how the brain is wired from infancy to adulthood, along with moods, memory, the ability to learn, and how to deal with stress. When the gut microbiome is healthy, it sends happy signals to the brain; when it’s unhealthy, it can send signals of anxiety.
Because of this signaling, neuroscientists are starting to investigate how to manage gut bacteria to treat mood and stress-related disorders such as depression.
Biologists says that the degenerative and inflammatory diseases on the rise in industrialized societies could be corrected by the use of gelatin-rich foods due to the presence of restorative amino acids such as glycine, alanine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
In addition to these benefits of bone broth, the gelatin it contains has an additional 9 bonus side-effects.
- Stronger, healthier nails
- Arthritis and joint-pain relief
- Can alleviate diabetes and lower blood sugar; supports insulin regulation
- Can improve sleep
- Helps regulate bleeding from nosebleeds, heavy menstruation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and bladder hemorrhage
- Helps normalize stomach acid, which is useful for colitis, celiac disease, ulcers, and other inflammatory gut conditions
For decades, food manufacturers have been trying to sell you on Gatorade, energy drinks, over-the-counter drugs, antibiotics, weight-loss potions, and energy pills. Well, there is something you can take for better health and better athletic performance, but it’s not one of these—it’s bone broth!
But What about A Broth For Vegetarians?
If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can make a vegetable broth. Especially if you have a compromised digestive system, they can be key to recovery as they are so easy for the body to break down.
You can make a vegetable broth by taking veggie scraps or whole vegetables and covering them in water, then simmering for 8-24 hours. You will then discard the vegetables because all of their nutrients are now in the soup broth.
As I said for years at my I Can Do It Conferences, “If you get your food right and your thoughts right, everything just works.” Affirmations are gentle words to change the way we think and shift us into a place of self-love, and bone or vegetable broth is a gentle way to get important nutrients into the body. The whole process of making broth is a path back to loving and nourishing yourself.
Some Additional Reading