Trending: Bone Broth Benefits
If you’ve been paying attention to health and wellness news, then you’ve heard of bone broth and its purported benefits. Though broths are in fact a traditional food, the contemporary bone broth trend has been going for a few years, with many devote drinkers swearing by its healing properties.
Whether it’s homemade recipes that boil animal bones, joints and connective tissue for 12-24 hours, or the more convenient powdered form, advocates of bone broth highlight similar lists of benefits including:
- Gut healing facilitated by gelatin and glutamine and glycine amino acids
- Skin and joint health promoted by collagen
- High mineral content, including calcium, magnesium and potassium
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Faster reduction of mucus during colds
- Liver detoxification
- Improved sleep due to glycine content
- And even cellulite reduction
While many sing bone broth praises, others have taken a closer look at a few of these health claims.
Reporting from the sidelines of the internet bone broth debate, here are some points to consider when deciding whether bone broth is worth the investment.
Critics point out that while the list of bone broth benefits claims to be scientifically based, studies cited are often conducted only with supplements of components found in bone broth, rather than with broth itself. These supplements will likely have different concentrations, forms, and interactions with the body.
The notion that the collagen in bone broth goes straight to your skin and joints is widely disputed by biochemistry experts who explain that all proteins are broken down during digestion into amino acids. Whether these amino acids go to the joints and skin as re-formed collagen, is up to the body to decide.
A 2017 study found that though bone broth is described as mineral-rich, calcium and magnesium levels were found to be less than 5% of daily recommendations.
The same 2017 study asserted that levels of lead and cadmium in the broth were at low levels. While a 2013 study on organic chicken bone broths found high levels of lead in the broth when compared to tap water.
The lead concern has been brushed off with explanations of calcium content decreasing risk of absorption, and lead levels being within the accepted safe range. However, given the cumulative, persistent and full-body toxicity of lead, this may be something for all bone broth drinkers to consider.
Are there other alternatives to explore, both for vegans and those that wish to improve their gut, bone, joint, and skin health by other means?
Yes, but it might not be as catchy as a cure-all elixir!
Encourage your body’s natural collagen production by increasing your glycine, proline, lysine, and vitamin C intake. These are easily found in nutrient dense foods such as beans, greens, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.
Add calcium to your diet with dark leafy greens and veggies. One cup of bone broth may yield around 7 mg of calcium, while 1 cup of kale can provide 53 mg, and 1 bunch of broccolini can have as much as 516 mg!
Prioritise a varied, antioxidant rich, and anti-inflammatory diet high in veggies, fruits and whole grains to protect the collagen your body makes and support a healthy microbiome.
As with all health trends, keeping your ear to the ground for all sides of the story means you’ll be able to make the most informed and appropriate decision for you. Whether it’s bone broth, a veggie-rich diet, or both, taking initiative for your good health is something to be proud of!