Bone Broth Basics: Health Boosts, Getting Started & Pro Tips

If there’s one thing you should be included in your diet to maximize your health, it’s bone broth. While broths have always been a popular choice for giving your mind the extra boost it needs, especially when you’re down and out with a cold or flu, this soothing elixir has so much more to offer. From being packed with collagen to boost youthful skin and joint health, loaded with vital minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and having an abundance of amino acids, bone broth is a culinary elixir that nourishes your body from head to toe and from the inside out. Whether it comes from chicken, beef, fish or in a powdered form, it’s time to start unleashing the power of this delicious and nutritious powerhouse.

bone broth fact sheet

What is Bone Broth?

Think of bone broth as the classic chicken soup, minus the noodles and veggies. It’s essentially just the flavorful broth, created from animal bones, including connective tissues and a hint of meat, that are typically left uneaten. These components are naturally rich in all kinds of healthy elements – from collagen to amino acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins and so much more, offering a plethora of benefits. But bone broth goes far beyond just chicken. In fact, across many cultures, bone broths are made from beef, chicken, fish, lamb, and many other types of animals.

Bone broth isn’t new either. Traditionally, this nutritious elixir was the result of our ancestors being resourceful, using every part of the animal. By simmering bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons, and ligaments – components not typically consumed, our ancestors unknowingly unlocked a highly nutritious liquid that has stood the test of time. Today, bone broth forms the foundation of many cuisines worldwide, and has even found its way into trendy diets like Paleo and keto.

Bone Broth vs. Bone Stock

But here’s the thing: not all bone broths are created equal. We aren’t talking about the type of animal used in each either. Instead, we’re talking about the good ole’ homemade bone broths vs. the bone stock you can find the in the stores.

The majority of store-bought “stock” and “broth” products on today’s market do not qualify as genuine bone broth and, in certain instances, don’t even contain animal-derived ingredients. Instead, many companies rely on lab-created meat flavors found in bouillon cubes, soup mixes, and sauces – and you guessed it, they don’t contain the healthy elements you’re looking for.

Additionally, many manufacturers have resorted to adding monosodium glutamate (MSG), which may be marketed as a meat flavor but, in reality, is a neurotoxin with potential health concerns.

So, play it safe and always stick with a good homemade bone broth.

Bone Broth Benefits

What makes bone broths truly exceptional is their dense nutritional profile, easy digestibility, bursting flavors, and incredible healing potential. By slowly simmering the left-over bones and ligaments of an animal, you’re essential unleashing a cascade of healing compounds, including collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine. These mighty elements have the ability to revitalize and nurture your health in ways that are otherwise unheard of.   In fact, bone broth is one of the best sources of natural collagen which helps protect the joints and keep your skin healthy and youthful.

But that’s not all; bone broth also contains a plethora of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make it one of the most powerful, delicious and nutritious liquids out there. From calcium, magnesium and phosphorus to silicon, Sulphur and more, every spoonful is filled with goodness.

To pack an even bigger punch, bone broth presents these vital nutrients in forms that the body can easily absorb, allowing you to get more of the good stuff for less.

What does this all mean for your health? Well, let’s take a look at some of the top, evidence-based benefits of bone broth:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Ease joint pain and protect the joints:
  • Combats arthritis
  • Soothes colds and flu symptoms
  • Improves digestion
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Combats allergies and asthma
  • Improves gut health
  • Supports hydration due to is liquid and electrolyte content
  • Heals a leaky gut
  • Soothes the digestive system
  • Maintains healthy skin
  • Decreases cellulite
  • Improves skin tone, texture and appearance
  • Reduces wrinkles, puffiness and signs of aging
  • Enhances sleep quality
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Supports a healthy mood
  • Improves the body’s use of antioxidants
  • Removes toxins from the body
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Aids metabolism
  • Promotes healthy weight loss and maintenance
  • Slows cartilage, tissue and muscle loss associated with age

How to Start a Bone Broth

With all of those mind-blowing health advantages available with every spoonful, it’s time to start adding those leftover animal bones into a big pot and bring it to a slow and steady simmer. The good news is that the process is fairly easy. Time-consuming? Yes. But easy!

Pick Your Animal

The first step is to decide on the type of bone broth you want to make. This will help you choose the best animal product to use. For example, if you’re making a beef bone broth, make sure to use bones from a grass-fed animal. If you’re making chicken bone broth, you can simply use the leftover carcass and bones from a previously cooked chicken.

You can also make bone broth from turkey, pork, duck, lamb and so on.

Pick Your Bones

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Set the parts of the animal that you aren’t eating, wouldn’t eat or that are leftover to the side. This is what you’ll be using to create your bone broth.

Create Your Broth

Now to put everything together, you’ll need a large soup pot or slow cooker. Add the bones into the pot with 6 cups of water. Cook on low for approximately 12 hours, allowing those nutrients to build and release.

Enjoy Your Bone Broth

The ways you can use your bone broth are quite endless, as it’s incredibly versatile. You can use your bone broth to create a comforting chicken soup or hearty beef stew and even nutrient-rich bone marrow soup. You can add them into a smoothie or as a beverage on its own too!

Bone broth can also be frozen and reheated as needed.

Tips for Using Bone Broth

Although creating bone broth is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen – you just add the bones into a pot and simmer on low for 12 hours – a few extra tips can never hurt. Whether it’s for enhancing the nutrients to maximizing the longevity and use of your bone broth, here are some things to consider:

  • The longer you simmer the bones, the more concentrated the collagen in the broth becomes.
  • If possible, you’ll want to add in the joints and knuckle bones in beef bone broth and the feet and neck for chicken bone broth for maximum nutrition.
  • Combining animal products and vegetables in bone broth can have synergistic benefits, enhancing the overall nutritional value.
  • Choose pasture-fed, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free animal products for maximum health and nutrition.
  • Beef bones can go straight into the pot without pre-cooking.
  • Adding some apple cider vinegar to the pot helps pull out the minerals from the bones, enhancing the broth’s nutritional value.
  • Once the bone broth reaches room temperature, you can store it in the refrigerator.
  • When you’re ready to use it, reheat the broth either in the microwave or on the stovetop until it reaches your desired sipping temperature or use it as a base for soups and stews.
  • You can also freeze bone broth into ice cubes for quick additions to recipes.
  • Bone broth can be stored in the fridge for three to four days or in the freezer for two to three months.
  • Use the bone broth to boil your pasta for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Add bone broth to casseroles to infuse them with flavor and moisture.
  • Sip on hot bone broth to provide relief for a sore throat.
  • Enjoy bone broth between meals as a satisfying, nutritious and low-calorie snack option.

Who knew bone broth had so much to offer? Whether you’re sipping it for comfort, using it in your favorite recipes, or freezing it into convenient cubes for late use, bone broth can do wonders for your overall health and wellness. So, forget about having an apple a day to keep the doctor away! It’s all about having some bone broth and now, you can do just that.

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