There are several health benefits to consuming bone broths slow cooked from 100% grass-fed or pastured organic animals or wild caught fish heads (snapper is a great option) on a daily basis. For starters:
Supports Bone Health: Bone broths minerals are easily digested and absorbed in the body supporting bone health despite its low calcium content. According to Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN – Bone, is not built on calcium alone, but built on a scaffold of collagen, making collagen the most important bone building component in broth. Human bones contain anywhere from 50 to 70 percent mineral and 20 to 40 percent collagen. Consuming gelatin in a childs younger years is pertinent to proper bone grown, and can help avoid “Growing Pains” so commonly associated with growing to tall to quickly.
Fights Inflammation: Properly made bone broth is rich in collagen not only from the bones but also from attached skin and cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is a structural component of cartilage and has been found to improve inflammatory conditions. Gelation, although not a complete protein, during cooking we end up with plenty of the “non-essential” proteins like glycine, proline and arginine needed to manufacture our own collagen and fight inflammation. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
Reduced Recovery Time from Injury: Another anti-inflammatory benefit of the proteins in bone broth is more rapid recovery from injury. Under the stress of an injury or disease, the body’s needs for these non-essential amino acids increases. During periods of increased physical demands or stress, the body needs more of these amino acids than it can produce, so they do become “essential,” and getting more of them can speed recovery. Arginine helps speed wound healing by supporting the formation of collagen. Glutamine also helps reduce healing time in hospital patients, and recovery time in athletes on an intense training regimen.
Helps Joint and Muscle Pain: Bone broths proteins give your body the raw materials to rebuild your own connective tissue, especially tendons (which connect muscles to bones) and ligaments (which connect bones to each other). Another benefit of bone broth for joint health comes from glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a family of carbohydrates found in bones and connective tissue that show interesting effects in reducing joint pain. One of these GAGs, hyaluronic acid, is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis: bone broth is a valuable supplemental food for all of us, and a delicious potential therapy for joint diseases. Especially if you play sports that put stress on your joints (anything where you have to run or jump on concrete, like basketball or jogging), your knees will thank you for adding a big mug of broth to your recovery routine.
Helps your Liver Detox: Our liver is so overburdened from the toxic and chemical nature of today’s world. Our liver has a huge job to clean all these toxins from the body. The livers ability to detox these toxins efficiently is limited to the amount of glycine available. Can you guess what’s the richest source of glycine? Gelatin rich bone broth! We need to provide ample amounts of glycine to our diet so our liver is able to do it’s job properly.
Improves Quality of Sleep: Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better. So try including a warm glass of broth into your bedtime routine each night!
Heals Leaky Gut: A leaky gut is when your intestinal lining becomes too permeable (leaky) and allows undigested food particles and disease causing bacteria to leak from your gut and into the bloodstream. When this happens your body sees these food particles as a foreign invader and starts to attack itself. Leaky gut shows up in the form of food allergies, digestive disorders, autoimmune conditions, asthma, skin conditions, chronic fatigue and more. Bone broth is excellent for “healing and sealing” your gut, to use Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride term. The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, stimulates the production of stomach acid, thereby supporting proper digestion.
Glycine isn’t the only useful protein for gut health, either. Glutamine, another amino acid found in bone broth, is a natural remedy for “leaky gut,” that unpleasant and dangerous condition where the barrier between your gut and the rest of your body isn’t working properly, allowing molecules that should stay inside the gut to cross over into the bloodstream and potentially set of a cascade of autoimmune reactions. Glutamine helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall, preventing this damage from occurring.
Improves Digestion: Adding to its metabolic virtues, glycine is also an important component of bile acid, which is necessary for fat digestion in the small intestine, and also helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Especially for people who are new to Paleo and switching from a carb-based to a fat-based diet, this has the potential to keep the digestive process running a lot more smoothly.
Glycine helps infants grow properly by improving the digestion of milk and milk products. The gelatin emulsifies the fat, by stabilizing the casein, improving the digestibility and absorption of the fat infants fed gelatin-enriched formulas showed reduced allergic symptoms, vomiting, colic, diarrhea, constipation and respiratory ailments than those on straight cow’s milk.
The digestibility of beans and muscle meats is vastly improved with the addition of gelatin. Many people say that meats found in soups and pot roasts–cooked with bones for a long time in a liquid to which a touch of vinegar has been added–are easier to digest than quickly cooked steaks and chops, and why gelatin-rich gravies are at the heart of many culinary traditions.
Fights Colds and Flu: Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. Processed, canned soups will not work as well as the homemade version made from slow-cooked bone broth. Also, eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.
Promotes Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nail Growth: Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, constituting between 25 and 35 percent of the body’s total protein, and needed for building healthy bones, cartilage, skin, arteries, corneas, placentas and just about every other structure in the body. Collagen production in the body slows down with age and ill health, causing skin, joints and bones to become drier, less pliant, thinner and weaker. Think sagging skin, creaky joints and the brittle bones of osteoporosis.
Improves Thyroid and Iodine Levels: Fish head stock is rich in fat-soluble vitamins. It also contains the all-important thyroid gland. Basically, when you simmer a fish head, the thyroid gland disintegrates and becomes part of your stock. The thyroid gland supplies the body with the thyroid hormone – whose main purpose in life is to run the body’s metabolism. Iodine is required by the thyroid gland to produce various hormones (particularly those related to metabolism).
Cost Effective: Bone broth provides you with a variety of important nutrients—such as magnesium, chondroitin, glucosamine, and arginine—that you may otherwise be spending a good deal of money on in the form of supplements.