Whether you’re following a low-calorie nutrition plan or just looking for a healthy option that’s easy on the stomach, broths and soups can make great meals or snacks. In recent years, bone broth has become something of a trend, but this nutritious concoction has actually been a staple for centuries.
Purchasing pre-made bone broth can get a little pricey, especially if you plan to drink it most days. That said, making a batch at home might be your best bet. Luckily, making bone broth doesn’t require much culinary know-how or too many ingredients. Before you start simmering and sipping, we’ll review the health benefits associated with bone broth, so that you can understand for yourself why it’s such a popular choice.
You Can Make Bone Broth at Home — in Just 24 Hours
Put simply, bone broth just involves simmering poultry or beef bones in water. Of course, you can add in additional meat, veggies and herbs to make it a bit tastier. But, for most folks, bone broth shines because of its simplicity and health benefits. While stock takes about three hours to cook, most bone broths should be cooked for a full 24 hours.
If you’re planning to make your own bone broth, a butcher can help you select the best bones for the process. However, you can also reuse bones from a roast chicken or turkey you’ve already cooked. Not sure if it’s worth the 24-hour cook time? Well, bone broth has plenty of health benefits that make it a must-try staple.
Servings Are Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Bone broth is not just a tasty, low-calorie snack or meal. In fact, the longer you let the mixture simmer, the more nutrients and minerals you’ll get out of the bones.
With this in mind, bone broth is a long-standing favorite because of its rich mineral, nutrient, amino acid and collagen content. Most broths made from animal bones contain vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc, all of which have their own health-boosting properties.
The Gelatin in Bone Broth Is Also Beneficial
As bone broth cooks, it releases gelatin — the broken-down version of collagen. As you may know, many parts of our bodies are made of collagen, from the linings of our stomachs to our connective tissues and joints.
While people may use gelatin or collagen supplements, bone broth is a handy alternative. In fact, it’s likely less expensive to make your own bone broth than it is to buy all those supplements. In addition to improving joint and skin health, a healthy dose of gelatin (or collagen) can help you sleep better.
Bone Broth Supports a Healthier Immune System and Bone Strength
Bone broth is very easy to digest, making it a great choice when you’re under the weather. And, thanks to its amino acid content, it can also help strengthen your immune system. For example, the amino acid arginine supports your immune system and liver function, while, glutamine, another amino acid, can speed up your metabolism, allowing your immune system to, in turn, work more efficiently.
Bone broth can also strengthen your bones; it contains phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are incredibly beneficial when it comes to bone health. While every bone broth is different and contains a different amount of vitamins and minerals, most recipes are rich in these essentials. That said, if you’re struggling to meet your daily nutrition goals, bone broth can help.
Bone Broth Can Aid in Weight Loss
If you’re looking to lose weight, this broth aid you in that journey. Typically, bone broth is low in calories, but filling enough to satiate your hunger. In fact, the average cup of chicken bone broth contains more protein than your average cup of chicken broth.
Protein helps your body feel fuller for longer — and, in this case, it can help you stick with a low-calorie diet. Additionally, protein helps you maintain lean muscle mass as opposed to body fat. So, making bone broth a regular staple may help you in your weight loss journey.
A Simple Recipe for At-Home Bone Broth
While you can buy pre-packaged bone broth, it’s also rather simple to make at home, no matter your culinary skill level. If you plan to make bone broth, we recommend using the bones of animals — in this case, chickens — fed with organic feed.
Here’s a simple recipe for bone broth from Wholefully:
- 2–3 pounds chicken bones (try to get bones that have lots of connective tissue — feet, knuckles, necks, backs, etc.)
- 4 cups of roughly chopped carrots, onions, and celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Filtered water
- Add the bones, carrots, onions, celery, bay leaves, pepper and salt to a large pot.
- Next, fill the pot with water until it covers the bones by about an inch; this mixture should rest for about 30 minutes.
- After the resting period, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce the heat once it reaches a simmer.
- Cover most of the pot with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook the broth for 24 hours.
Once you’ve finished making your bone broth, enjoy it! This drinkable meal should be kept in the refrigerator to ensure freshness, but you can freeze some of it if you’ve made more than you can use. If you’re looking to make your bone broth a little more filling, add quinoa or brown rice to the pot — not only will this add to the bone broth’s flavor, but it will make the meal a tad more filling.
- “What Are the Benefits of Bone Broth?” via Medical New Today
- “Is Bone Broth Healthy?” via Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF)
- “Bone Broth: Is It Good for You?” via Cedar Sinai
- “8 Very Real Health Benefits Of Bone Broth, According To Nutritionists” via Women’s Health
- “Mayo Clinic Q and A: Collagen and Biotin Supplements” via Mayo Clinic
- “What Are the Best Sources of Protein?” via Cleveland Clinic