If you haven’t tried bone broth, we kindly ask what are you waiting for?
The highly nutritious stock is made from simmering bones and connective tissues of animals in water and a little bit of vinegar. OK, sorry that probably wasn’t the best image, but bone broth does date back to prehistoric times! Loaded in key minerals such as iron and magnesium, bone broth is thought to offer a host of health benefits to the body. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now).
Below, we detailed just five potential health benefits you could receive from regularly drinking bone broth. And for even more drinking tips, be sure to check out our list of the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.
After drinking bone broth consistently, you may notice…
A positive difference in your hair, skin, and nails
Bone broth is rich in whole-food collagen, a protein that makes up about one-third of the protein in the human body, which is believed to support skin, hair, and nail health. In another Eat This, Not That! article on the health benefits of bone broth, Sharon Brown, clinical nutritionist and founder of Bonafide Provisions shared exactly how bone broth can act as a catalyst for healthier hair and skin.
“Collagen-rich bone broth promotes smooth, supple skin and strong, healthy hair and nails. In addition, the skin is the body’s largest organ, and there is a strong link between gut and skin health known as the gut-skin axis,” Brown said.
One 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients even showed that taking collagen supplements for three months improved participants’ skin hydration, elasticity, and density—all of which are key factors in preventing skin aging.
As Brown explained to us before, collagen—when consumed in high levels, which is often available in quality bone broth—may help to repair the mucosal lining in the gut. This, in part, can promote better digestion, soothe the intestines, and even reduce inflammation. Not to mention, restoring the gut’s mucosal lining is just one way you can prevent leaky gut syndrome, which occurs when the lining of your gut tears and allows for small openings to appear in the wall of the gut.
“These tears allow particles, such as toxins, microbes, and simply undigested food into your bloodstream. The body reacts by going into a state of defense and tries to attack these substances, causing inflammation in the body,” Brown said.
Leaky gut syndrome can cause a host of gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas.
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An improvement in your mental health
Leaky gut syndrome may also affect your mental health. According to a 2017 study, inflammation of the GI tract can place stress on the microbiome by releasing cytokines (molecules that allow your cells to communicate with one another).
However, these pro-inflammatory (harmful) types of cytokines can then increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, allowing these rogue particles (or toxins) from the gut to cross over into the brain. In turn, this may cause anxiety, depression, and even memory loss. You may also want to read up on our list of 17 Foods That Make Your Depression and Anxiety Worse.
Note: Bone broth is not a cure for depression and anxiety, however, it may be able to improve your overall mood. Always be sure to talk to your doctor if you notice changes in your mental health.
Less bouts of acid reflux
Frequent acid reflux or heartburn (when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus) can damage the lining of the esophagus over time and lead to a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if not properly treated. Most cases of acid reflux occur from dietary choices. For example, fried foods, dairy products, and alcohol could all be culprits in your GI discomfort.
Bone broth, which contains both collagen and an amino acid called glutamine, can help to strengthen the lining of your intestines and your esophagus. If you often suffer from heartburn, consider incorporating more bone broth into your diet while also removing the foods that are causing your acid reflux.
As if you needed another reason to sip on a cup of bone broth, it may also help you shed a few pounds. Think about it: just one cup of bone broth delivers 10 grams of protein, and protein helps you stay fuller for longer. Let’s say you add some lean meat and low-carb noodles to your bone broth (Vietnamese pho, anyone?) you could add up to additional 20 grams of protein to your dish.
For more, be sure to check out our list of the Best Forms of Lean Protein You Can Eat.