Bone broth is a soup containing bones from chicken, beef, pork or lamb and a fusion of vegetables, herbs and spices, all cooked together and simmered.
Bone broth is rich in the amino acids glycine, proline, the protein gelatin and minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine (1).
Here are the top health benefits of bone broth:
#1. Supports a Healthy Intestinal Barrier
The gastrointestinal tract is composed of a mucus layer, which protects it from damaging substances and microorganisms.
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition when the gut barrier is malfunctioning, resulting in gastrointestinal disorders, such as food allergies, diarrhea or boating and even to autoimmune diseases, such as Celiac disease (2).
Bone broth consists of glycine, which is proven to increase the mucus layer and boost its activity and thus, preserving gut homeostasis and preventing leaky gut and related disorders (3).
#2. Helps Protect Against Viruses
Hot fluid consumption helps to open the blocked nose airway and the vegetables included in the bone broth (mostly celery, onions, carrots, parsley, mushrooms) are known for their anti-oxidant and medicinal properties.
Chicken soup can help alleviate the symptoms of infections and common colds (4). As a nutrient-rich liquid, bone broth can also help keep you hydrated.
Hydration is necessary for many roles in the body, such as proper digestion and better skin health. However, when you’re sick, it’s extremely important to stay hydrated to flush toxins out of the body.
Bone broth is also a good source of amino acids, which can help promote the body’s natural detoxification process due to their ability to support phase II detoxification liver enzymes (5).
If you follow a ketogenic way of eating, drinking bone broth can help you overcome the induction flu in the beginning of your diet.
#3. Repairs Joints
Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, essential minerals.
Chondroitin sulfate triggers the chondrocyte metabolism, leading to the synthesis of collagen and proteoglycan, the basic components of new cartilage, which is a strong and flexible tissue surrounding the bone joints.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate also act as anti-inflammatory agents and can help repair joints and may prevent osteoarthritis (6).
#4. Benefits Bone Health
Bone broth is rich in calcium, which is highly beneficial for the human body.
Calcium also reduces the risk of bone fracture and may prevent osteoporosis (9).
#5. Boosts Immune System
Gelatin, a key component of bone broth, suppresses the release of IL-8 and TNF-α, both cytokines responsible for inflammation, thus acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Moreover, gelatin is found to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties, further enhancing the human immune system (10).
Furthermore, chicken soup is proven a remedy for inflammation, especially with upper respiratory tract infections (11).
#6. Enhances Skin Health
Raw animal bones contain collagen, which transforms into gelatin when cooked.
Collagen is a protein that accounts for more than 25% of our body mass. It provides strength to the bones and helps with wound healing (12).
Collagen improves skin health by reducing face lines and sun damage (13).
Collagen is also a natural anti-aging therapy, as it prevents wrinkles and provides elasticity and glow in the skin (14).
Related: Top 10 Benefits of Collagen
#7. Improves Quality of Sleep
Bone broth contains glycine, a nonessential amino acid, which has proven to improve quality of sleep.
Human and animal studies show that glycine supplements result in enhanced sleep quality, especially among people who suffer from insomnia (15).
#8. Helps with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome
Gut and psychology syndrome is a disorder that affects the collaboration between the brain and digestive system. It may lead to autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), schizophrenia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and others.
Bone broth has been suggested as a natural treatment for these neuropsychiatric disorders (16).
#9. Reduces The Symptoms Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Bone broth contains gelatin, a mixture of peptides and proteins, which acts as a gut barrier enhancer.
Gelatin supplements enhance the gut barrier, reduce harmful gut bacteria and decrease the severity of colitis, a common type of inflammatory bowel disease (17).
#10. Prevents Hypomagnesemia
Magnesium is the fourth most important mineral in the human body and it is contained in bone broth.
Lack of sufficient magnesium in the blood can cause hypomagnesemia, which leads to a variety of symptoms, ranging from tremors, tetany, to cardiac arrhythmia, delirium, and even coma (18).
#11. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Magnesium is responsible for various functions in the human body, including heart rhythm, vascular tone, nerve function and muscle movements (19).
Magnesium also regulates insulin and glucose metabolism. Reduced magnesium concentration increases insulin resistance. Furthermore, diabetes type 2 is often associated with magnesium deficiency (20).
Bone broth is rich in magnesium, as magnesium can be found in both meat and vegetables.
It has been proven that magnesium supplements advance insulin sensitivity and secretion among people with diabetes type (21).
#12. Supports Healthy Iron Levels
Bone broth also contains iron, a strong element essential for all living beings. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which is relatively common in the United States.
The prevalence of anemia among American men reaches 2% and 5% among women (22).
Anemia is often accompanied with fatigue, pale skin, leg cramps, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat. It can also lead to more serious conditions.
#13. Maintains Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Glycine, a component of bone broth, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Glycine supplements are found to decrease total cholesterol levels as well as LDL-plus VLDL-cholesterol levels (25).
#14. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Magnesium also promotes cardiovascular health.
Magnesium intake enhances the heart metabolism, prevents the accumulation of calcium, and limits the death of myocardial cells. Further, it reduces heart arrhythmias, boosts the vascular tone and lowers inflammation (26).
#15. Acts As a Healthy Addition To Your Keto Diet
Comfort foods, such as bone broth, have been shown to be associated with relationships.
More specifically, the preparation and offering of comfort foods activate personal relationships, minimize loneliness and isolation, and increase positive feelings among the persons involved (27).
Because of its amazing health benefits, bone broth can be a regular food in your diet, especially in your keto way of eating as it really helps you combat the keto flu during the first week of doing keto.
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