Bone broth has become an extremely popular health food item recently, especially for those on the keto or paleo-style diets. It is considered by many to be a tasty breakfast drink, sort of like a cup of morning tea or bullet coffee. Others use it as part of a fast or cleanse.
It sounds great, but what are the benefits to drinking this stuff, if there are any at all? Let’s take a closer look at this salty mixture, to see if we can figure out what the brothy hype is really all about.
Bone Broth Diet: The Benefits
Before we get to the potential issues that may arise if you become a regular broth drinker or drink too much of it, let’s take a look what it is about the boney concoction that has made it so popular with the health nuts amongst us.
1. Immunity Booster
Drinking broth is reportedly associated with stronger immunity, which means it may help your body become better at fighting off sickness, like the common cold, and even allergies.
2. Strong Bones
Bone broth is rich in minerals and nutrients, like calcium, for example, that can help to promote better bones, which is always a good thing, right?
3. It’s Good for Your Joints, Tendons & Ligaments
You can thank the collagen and key nutrients and minerals for this one!
4. Boost Your Healthy Mineral Consumption
As we already mentioned, bone broth is loaded with important vitamins and minerals. This includes things like potassium, sodium, sulfate, and other electrolytes and nutrients. These are all things your body needs and they help support many of the other reported benefits associated with broth.
5. Radiant Skin
We can also use radiant looking skin, right? Well, the collagen in bone broth is known to give your skin that more youthful looking glow. It also improves its smoothness and strength, which are a couple of added bonuses, especially for those of us creeping into our late-30s.
6. Better Digestion
Another thing you can thank collagen for. Becuase bone broth is an excellent source of all-natural collagen, it can also help with your digestive function. That’s because the protein in collagen helps the tissue formation that lines the gastrointestinal tract.
7. Muscle Wasting Preventer
A lot of times people who drink broth are doing so as part of a fast. Either they’re completing a temporary fasting session, over a few days, maybe, or they are intermittent fasters. These can both be methods of weight loss or just part of a person’s normal diet routine, but muscle wasting can often be a nasty side effect of fasting. To help prevent this, fasters can add bone broth to their diet – the glycine in the bone broth is an essential amino acid, that can help add muscle strength and can even control blood sugar.
8. Liver Detoxifier
Your liver can deal with a lot of nasty stuff on a daily basis, depending on what you’re putting into your body, but luckily bone broth can help cleanse the system. That’s thanks to the glutathione found in the broth, which is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier.
9. Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Ever lay awake at night, tossing and turning? Yeah, me neither. Broth amino acids serve as “inhibitory neurotransmitters” which helps your body produce the chemicals and hormones necessary for a good night’s sleep. They can also reportedly help you think more clearly, improve your memory, and help with decision making.
10. Can Help Decrease Headaches & Muscle Spasms
I don’t know about you, but sometimes starting a new diet or exercise routine seems to shock my system. That’s to say, there’s an adjustment period for my body. This can take the form of an occasional headache, muscle spasms (If I’m dehydrated or starting a new workout routine), and muscle aches. Thankfully, the magnesium, potassium, sodium, and electrolytes in broth are all known to help with these issues.
Does it Actually Work?
There are plenty of people out there touting the benefits of broth, including well-known folks like Dr. Axe and Dr. Oz. That being said, according to NPR there aren’t many scientific studies available that validate the “specific healthful properties” of bone broth. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t work, but it’s just lacking hard scientific evidence at this point.
NPR also points out that there can be some pretty large variations between broths. That means that one company who makes it may use animal bones with the fatty marrow, while another may use bones that don’t have as much of the marrow. They may also use different added flavors or vegetables, and the cooking process can be completely different. All of these things can have a huge effect on the actual nutritional value of the broth you’re buying.
On the positive side, NPR did speak with a couple of people and cite some research, suggesting that broth does have some proven benefits in a couple of areas: There is some evidence that chicken bone broth can help boost your immune system and athletes have found that broth is great as a recovery drink.
These two health claims about bone broth do seem to have a little more science behind them. This first is that bone broth may bolster the immune system — at least if it’s made from chicken bones. It probably isn’t a coincidence, then, that chicken noodle soup has been used for years to help ease the symptoms associated with the common cold.
Bone broth has also had some proven benefits with athletes, because of the electrolytes it helps to replace. It even became popular with NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant, who hyped the broth as an excellent sports recovery drink.
My takeaway from all of this is to only buy broth that is highly reviewed, has a strong reputation, and is made my a reputable company. There are a few places to find these, so let’s take a look at my favorite place to buy bone broth at the moment.
Where to Buy it
There are a number of different places that you can buy bone broth, and obviously, some are going to be better than others. Your local health food store can often be a great resource. For me, the best place has been the Thrive Market. Thrive vets all of their suppliers, and every product you buy is rated according to what criteria it meets: For example, if they use non-GMO, organic, free-range ingredients, just to name a few.
Thrive currently has a free 30-day trial membership if you’re interested in checking it out. They are far and away the best when it comes to the health space – in terms of money you can save, and the quality of their products. This is definitely the case with their bone supply.