Broths and stocks are cooking staples, but the rise of Paleo has made those of the bone variety especially trendy. Bone broths are made by simmering meaty bones- like chicken, beef or fish- with a handful of aromatic vegetables for hours (or days, if you’re feeling crazy) until they’ve melded together into a rich, nutritious broth that can be warmed up and drank on its own, or used as a base for soups and the like. Below, holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque talks health benefits and the do’s and don’ts of incorporating bone broth into your diet.
Bone broth is the superfood elixir full of vitamins; it is the product of simmering animal (fish, chicken, beef) bones in water and all of the benefits that result from the bones including collagen, glysine and glutamine. The broth contains phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium and the healthy fat found in bone broth helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins that are needed for cell function.
Fish, chicken and beef bones will all yield different tastes. Oxtail and beef marrowbones are the best sources of gelatin and collagen, but fish broth contains iodine that can support thyroid health.
Bone broth is a natural source of gelatin, which acts as a soft cushion in between bones and takes pressure off of joints. Although bone broth contains collagen, dietary collagen isn’t sent straight to your joints. Like other proteins, collagen is broken down into amino acids, which become building blocks for body tissues. That being said, having the building blocks allows your body to heal, and recent studies show chondroitin sulfate in bone broth has been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.
Broth is also one of the best sources for glutathione precursor amino acids. Supporting your body to increase Glutathione levels will naturally increase your energy, detoxify your body and significantly strengthen your immune system. Therefore, bone broth is known for restoring the lining of the gut and supporting intestinal health.
In addition, since bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, which is responsible for maintaining skin’s elasticity and youthfulness, it can also aid in skin health.
There is not necessarily a best time to drink it – it’s totally personal preference. I prefer to have bone broth mid day or made into a vegetable soup for dinner.
You can make it yourself, however it’s important that you use grass-fed (chicken and beef) or wild (fish) and 100% organic bones to get the full benefit. [If you want to purchase your broth], I love Bare Bones Broth.
Here in L.A., you can find fresh broth at Earth Bar and Erewhon Market. Be wary of store-bought bone broths or stocks as not all are truly equal. The best brands use grass-fed bones that are completely free of hormones, antibiotics and MSG. If you shop online at Thrive Market, Kettle and Fire is another great brand.