With trendy new diet fads and health gimmicks popping up daily all claiming to be the next best thing, how do we know if bone broth is good for you? Does it really work and hold up to all the health claims? When a supplement can heal our joints, rejuvenate skin, cure brain fog and cognitive inefficiencies, and even help with anti-aging, it’s bound to raise a few eyebrows. Bone broth nutrition is a widely publicized topic in the health and fitness world. But what is bone broth and what nutrients does it contain?
What is Bone Broth?
What is bone broth? Bone broth is known as “nature’s multivitamin.” The nickname originated from the nutritional content of bone broth. This superfood contains significant amounts of essential minerals, amino acids, and proteins like collagen and gelatin. These nutrients collaborate to support gut health, immune system efficiency, and virtually every crucial bodily function known to sustain life. It’s a modern health revelation that’s here to stay.
Bone broth has been ancestrally used worldwide for thousands of years as natural nourishment for the body. The healthy and beneficial homemade broth results from slow boiling various bones of vertebrate animals—the world’s best source of natural collagen. Many people also use joints, ligaments, and tendons, along with a mixture of vegetables, herbs, and spices. This process creates broths and stocks with healing qualities.
The types of bones used vary depending on the recipe you’re preparing. Often, beef, chicken, pork, ham, turkey, lamb, fish, elk, goat, and even buffalo bones are used to create a savory broth. By allowing the ingredients to slow boil for 12 hours or more, the bones can fully release their nutrients from the bone marrow into the broth. This process creates a nutrient dense gelatin upon refrigeration. The simmer extracts collagen, amino acids, and other vital minerals. The flavorful and nutritious broth makes for excellent soups that taste great and offer numerous health benefits.
Is Bone Broth Healthy / Good for You?
Is bone broth good for you, and is it a healthy choice to add to your diet? The short answer is yes, bone broth benefits the body in more ways than you can imagine. It really works and has remarkable nutritional value, regardless of your age or goals. Everyone should be regularly eating bone broth to maintain peak mental and physical health. Bone broth is good for you because it’s real food. There is nothing artificial or processed about it. The slow boiling of ingredients creates an immensely nutritious and low-calorie meal that boosts immunity and heals the body.
Note, when we refer to bone broth, we’re not talking about the high-sodium and preservative-packed boxes on store shelves. Although there may be some health benefits to them, the nutritional value is much lower than homemade bone broth. With store-bought broths, stocks, and bouillon (dehydrated stock), you’ll likely encounter several artificial ingredients or excessive MSG and salt. You’re better off making bone broth in a crock pot or pressure cooker. The other option is buying a grass-fed bone broth powder from a trusted seller to reap the full range of health benefits without the additives.
Bone Broth Nutrition Facts
We know bone broth is good for you, but what do the bone broth nutritional facts and information state? What individual nutrients are in this compelling liquid that makes it so healthy and beneficial?
Here’s the truth: the nutritional value of bone broth varies from one broth to the next. If you’re looking for a fact panel breaking down the exact quantity of each nutrient in homemade bone broth, it doesn’t exist—there are too many variables. Recipes, ingredients, cooking time, bone types, bone quality, the animal’s diet, etc. Nutrient consistency only exists when you’re buying branded bone broth protein powders.
With that said, regardless of the nutrient density, experts everywhere agree that bone broth should be a key component of everyone’s diet. In other words, don’t stress over the nutrition facts, all bone broth is healthy! The benefits of bone broth have been well researched and are supported by science. Here is a quick summary of how bone broth obtained the name, “nature’s multivitamin.”
- Contains over 19 essential and non-essential easily absorbed amino acids (protein building blocks that play a major role in almost every biological process).
- High in collagen and gelatin, the most crucial proteins for healthy skin, connective tissue restoration, and strong bones.
- Loaded with several nutrients and minerals that support immune system function, gut and digestive health, and brain function. Known to promote memory, and boost creativity and holistic thinking.
In other words, bone broth benefits nearly every aspect of living. Bone broth is an excellent way to increase intake of micronutrients essential for good health while reducing caloric consumption. This superfood provides important chemical compounds and minerals that we otherwise lack from the traditional western diet.
Below, we’ve compiled the nutrition facts in a list containing all the amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and the full nutritional content of bone broth. All the items could be an entire article on their own, so we’ve highlighted the main health benefits of each nutrient.
1. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG)
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a family of carbohydrates that support and maintain elastin, collagen, and the turgidity in cellular spaces between fibers and bones. GAGs promote moisture retention in elastin fibers and collagen allowing them to remain soluble. The ability of glycosaminoglycans to attract water makes them useful as a shock absorber and lubricant in the body.
This class of nutrients is especially important for skin care products where GAGs support the metabolism of epidermal and dermal cells. Their rejuvenating properties allow them to keep the skin’s elastin and collagen in excellent condition. GAGs interaction with copper peptides also helps with the repair of scars and wrinkles, a highly desirable skin benefit as we age.
The three GAGs providing many of the bone broth benefits are glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate.
- Rebuilds cartilage, connective tissue, and strong bones
- Preserves health and integrity of joints
- Antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative damage
- Inhibits development of atherosclerotic lesions (fat accumulation)
- Relieves discomforting symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Reduces inflammation and slows autoimmune responses
- May reduce the risk of lung cancer
- Repairs and protects the gut lining, improving digestion
- Fights stomach, bladder, and intestinal irritation
- Treats leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Accelerates wound healing, decreases wrinkle appearance, and hydrates skin
- Enhances moisture retention for aged, dry skin
- Reduces the appearance of age-related wrinkles
- Improves skin elasticity and provides visual anti-aging benefits
- Expedites healing of wounds and sores on the skin
- Supports lubrication and shock absorption of achy joints
- Promotes healthy cartilage, connective tissue, and tendons
- Diminishes symptoms of degenerative joint diseases
- Eliminates dry eyes and general eye discomfort
- Treats joint pain and osteoarthritis
- Enhances production of collagen
- Boosts exercise and injury recovery
- Improves skin health and external wound healing
- Helps synthesize new cartilage for maintenance of joint flexibility
- Assists in controlling the body’s natural inflammation response
2. Minerals and Electrolytes
Bone broth benefits the body by providing it with easy-to-absorb electrolytes and essential minerals. Electrolytes help the body maintain the fluid balance between extracellular (outside) and intracellular (inside) environments. Bone broth is good for you because, like drinking sports beverages, bone broth helps restore a depleted electrolyte supply ensuring proper hydration of the body.
Hydration is crucial for the optimal function of major organs, especially the brain. While sports drinks are not exactly “smart drugs” per se, electrolytes role in cognitive function should not be understated. A proper electrolyte balance supports bodily functions such as muscle contraction, nerve impulses, cognition, and maintaining a healthy pH level. The electrolytes found in bone broth’s nutritional content include sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg++), and calcium (Ca++).
You’ll also find essential minerals such as phosphorus within bone broth. Phosphorus plays a critical role in bone density, heart health, circulation, digestive and gut health, and nerve signaling functions. Below is a list of the electrolytes found in homemade bone broth and bone broth supplements.
- Builds strong teeth and bones and prevents osteoporosis
- Supports weight loss and metabolism
- Controls and stabilizes blood pressure
- Can help enhance mood and reduce irritability and premenstrual depression
- Promotes heart health by protecting cardiac muscles
- Assists in transportation of nutrients
- May reduce the risk of colon cancer
- Controls and maintains healthy alkaline pH Level
- May help improve sleep quality and treat insomnia
- Useful for prevention of migraine headaches
- Assists with regular bowel movements
- Opens several detoxification pathways within the body
- Promotes healthy energy levels
- Supports a healthy heart and cardiovascular environment
- Helps with digestion and constipation relief
- Calms nerves and reduces anxiety
- Relieves muscle spasms, aches, and soreness
- Pivotal nutrient for regulation of other electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and calcium)
- Prevents osteoporosis and supports bone health
- Helps natural detoxification of the body
- Maintains strong bones and healthy teeth
- Increases metabolism and utilization of nutrients
- Aids in cognitive function by enhancing neurotransmission efficiency
- Supports mood and energy levels through B vitamin regulation
- Improves digestion and gut health
- Balances the pH level in the body
- Essential for normal growth and development during infancy
- Improved muscle strength and reduction in muscle cramps
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Reduces appearance of cellulite and boosts metabolic processing of fats and carbs
- Helps regulate neural function and electrical conductivity of the brain
- Lowers risk of stroke
- Primary mineral for cellular detoxification
- Supports healthy growth rates during early development
- Alleviates hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Protects against osteoporosis and improves bone health
- Reduces anxiety and stress and stabilizes mood
- Preserves optimal fluid symmetry in the body
- Essential nutrient for fluid regulation in the body
- Supports normal blood pressure
- Improves brain function and clears brain fog
- Maintains the blood’s acid-base balance by influencing kidneys
- Reduces muscle cramps
- Defends against age-accelerating free radical damage
- Eliminates excess carbon dioxide
- Controls the cell's absorption of glucose enhancing nutrient transportation
3. Amino Acids
The benefits of bone broth involve several amino acids that support healing and bodily repair. Among the amino acids are glycine, arginine, proline, and glutamine. These nutrients are classified as “conditional” amino acids, meaning they are nonessential but are essential under some conditions.
Many people are deficient in these amino acids due to poor eating habits and carbohydrate-heavy diets. Lack of quality grass-fed animal products can lead people to be chronically deficient. Amino acids provide much of the nutritional value of bone broth making supplementation important to avoid the adverse side effects of deficiencies. Here is a breakdown of how each amino acid benefits the body.
- Improves immunity and central nervous system function
- Offers anti-aging benefit by reducing free radical cell damage
- Supports detoxification and improves kidney function
- Boosts brain power and mental capacity
- Fights neurodegenerative diseases like dementia
- Reduces bodily inflammation and muscle pains
- Promotes wound healing, healthy skin, and tissue formation
- Helps preserve a healthy heart and repairs blood vessels
- Enhances athletic and exercise performance
- Assists in lowering and maintaining blood pressure
- Improves protein function and collagen synthesis
- Supports gastrointestinal health and repairs and rebuilds intestines
- Helps eliminate leaky gut and heals ulcers
- Supports smooth and healthy skin
- Decreases muscle wasting and promotes muscle growth
- Boosts recovery and athletic performance
- Improves IBS and promotes healthy bowel movements
- Reduces sugar and alcohol cravings
- Enhances cellular detoxification and metabolism
- Helps fight cancer by lowering risks associated with high-dose chemotherapy
- Essential neurotransmitter in the brain supporting focus and concentration, and memory
- Improves blood sugar and diabetes
- Supports healing and benefits immune system function
- Helps body build lean muscle mass
- Reduces muscle loss (sarcopenia)
- Plays a role in HGH (human growth hormone) production
- Helps prevent seizures and strokes
- Improves digestion and heals leaky gut by helping form collagen and gelatin
- Boosts cognitive performance and memory retention
- Protects collagen within joints and reduces joint pain
- Enhances range of motion, mobility, and flexibility of cartilage
- Lowers risk of diabetes and stabilizes blood sugar
- Improves quality of sleep and reduces fatigue
- Decreases free radical damage and bodily inflammation for anti-aging
- Reduces certain types of cancer
- Converts glucose into working energy for the mind and body
- Assists in oxygen-rich red blood cell production
- Calms nerves and reduces effects of anxiety and stress on the body
- Helps with tissue and skin repair
- Improves muscle retention following vigorous workouts
- Aids in formation of collagen and cartilage
- Supports joint health and flexibility
- Prevents arteriosclerosis
- Maintains healthy blood pressure
- Keeps skin looking young and vibrant
Collagen is the nutrient responsible for most of the bone broth benefits. Collagen is considered the most important protein for skin rejuvenation, strong bones, digestive and gut health, and connective tissue maintenance. Osteoporosis, premature aging of the skin, joint pain, and many other issues arise if you’re collagen deficient.
Collagen was prevalent in the diets of our ancestors but is profoundly lacking in modern western diets. For this reason, bone broth is a sought-after supplement for maintaining peak physical and mental health. As we age, natural collagen synthesis declines leading to weaker bones, joints, and less durable skin. By continually feeding our bodies a steady supply of collagen, we not only maintain our youthfulness, but we can even reverse the effects of aging.
Difference Between Collagen and Gelatin
Collagen and gelatin go hand in hand, but they are not the same thing. These beneficial nutrients are similar, though. Gelatin results from boiling collagen-rich bones. Since people rarely eat raw skin, joints, ligaments, and tendons, they cook them. During the boiling process, full extraction of collagen, minerals, electrolytes, and amino acids create the consumable gelatin. The thicker the gelatin upon refrigeration, the more nutritional value it provides.
Final Thoughts on the Nutritional Value of Bone Broth
What is bone broth? Bone broth is a natural multivitamin in every sense of the word. This supplement provides an abundance of minerals, electrolytes, and essential nutrients that support all aspects of living. Bone broth promotes healthy digestion, immunity, healthy weight management, and much more.
Try not to overthink the bone broth nutrition facts and information. Understand that all bone broth is good for you. Focus on different ways you can squeeze bone broth into your diet, and you will become a much healthier individual. Have you tried bone broth? Let us know about the remarkable impact bone broth has had on your quality of life in the comments below!
Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.
~ Astrid Alauda
Thanks for reading!
Leave a comment below!