Ingredient of the Week: The Curious Power of Bone Broth

August 21, 2015
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market
Ingredient of the Week: The Curious Power of Bone Broth

What do Kobe Bryant and ancient South Americans have in common? They're both big fans of the nutrition world's hottest new trend. 

Bone broth is having a serious moment in the health and nutrition world, but this newly dubbed superfood has been around for ages. In fact, an ancient South America proverb claims that, "A good broth can revive the dead." What's so great about this seemingly basic food?

Made simply by boiling bones of an animal in water for 12 to 24 hours, this powerfully healing soup is infused with nutrition. Often used to help those with leaky gut—tears or gaps in the stomach lining that can cause major digestive distress—bone broth also contains a boat load of vitamins and minerals that support a healthy body.

Collagen, calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, and other essential amino acids like glycine all play a role in making bone broth a potent champion against illness, inflammation, and even anxiety. Plus, the bones themselves are about 50 percent protein, so you'll get a solid serving of protein in your cup of soup. Another added bonus? Glycine is great for detoxing your body, so if you're fighting off a cold—or a hangover—sip on some bone broth to clear your system start feeling better instantly.

Because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, bone broth has gained a huge following with athletes (Kobe Bryant has even attributed his health to drinking bone broth daily). Joints and muscles can repair more quickly and efficiently because the broth is packed with components of collagen and cartilage as well as a plethora of amino acids. Bone broth also promotes strong bone health, thanks to the trace amounts of calcium and magnesium that seep into the broth as it boils.

The best thing about bone broth? It tastes incredible, and the savory flavor is due wholly to one single ingredient, so you don’t need to worry about the same additives and artificial flavorings that you might find in other packaged broths. Turn over any package of vegetable stock or bouillon, and you’re bound to find added salt and high sodium on the ingredients label, with none of the nutritional benefits that true bone broth has to offer. Bone broth can be used as a base for most any food, and bone stock is basically a condensed version of broth that also can be added for flavor.

So you’re sold on the benefits and taste of bone broth, but you’re not exactly sure you want to wait around to cook it? Not a problem. More and more companies are creating versions that make cooking—and eating—bone broth a breeze. Let bone broth shine as the main ingredient in a pho noodle recipe or let it do the heavy lifting and add flavor and depth to other dishes.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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This article is related to: Bone broth, Detox, Soup, Collagen, Bone stock, Ingredient of the Week, Anti-inflammatory

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  • April

    Love this article! My family and I eat about 5 slowed cook meals a week which contain the least expensive cuts of meat (mostly lamb neck slices and beef shank) that I can buy at Wholefoods since moving to Cambridge and becoming a Harvard student with no income. I usually throw in lots of herbs and veggies. My 2 year old will eat any vegetable cooked in with the meat and use bread to soak up the wonderful nutrition found in the broth and though I don't give my 9 month old meat, I usually blend the veggies with a little broth with couscous, rice or plain oatmeal and he love it!

  • Laure

    I purchased this bone broth and was disappointed. It is not a good alternative to real homemade broth, and you can tell because it doesn't form a gelatin when refrigerated. Where did that nice, bioavailable protein go? Did they remove it? Water it down?

  • Dross Cool

    BONE BROTHS ARE AWEOME ,, THEY DESTROY BLOATING , FARTING , ETC ,, AND FIX LEAKY GUT