Organic bone broth has a host of benefits from strengthening the integrity of your gut lining to supporting your joints. With something that’s so good for you, you might be wondering how much bone broth should you drink daily.

There’s really no such thing as too much bone broth, but you can tailor your bone broth consumption for your specific health goals. For muscle gain and weight loss drink 2-6 cups daily. For gut health, try at least 2 cups of bone broth each day. For skin conditions and/or joint health, drink 2-4 cups per day.

In this article you will learn:

  • How much bone broth you should drink for muscle gain and weight loss
  • How much bone broth you should drink for gut health and inflammation
  • How much bone broth you should drink for skin, hair, and nails
  • How much bone broth you should drink for joint pain
  • How to make real bone broth in 30 seconds or less

Drink Bone Broth for Muscle Gain and Weight Loss

Protein aids in the building and repair of everything from tissues to hormones to neurotransmitters. It’s also excellent for fat loss and muscle gain since protein stabilizes blood sugar and can keep you feeling full for hours.

In general, you’ll want about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maintain muscle and supply your body with the amino acids you need to keep all systems running smoothly. For an example, a 140-pound woman should get about 70 grams of protein per day.

If you’re looking to build muscle or you’re training hard, you’ll want a bit more– about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

If you find it difficult to eat enough protein throughout your day, organic bone broth is an excellent complete protein source. That means it contains a full spectrum of amino acids – even the 9 essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own.

For context, if one cup of cooked chicken breast is about 40 grams of protein, you could easily drink a cup or two of bone broth in addition to your regular meals to reach your protein needs.

For weight loss and muscle maintenance: Drink 2-6 cups of bone broth daily, along with protein at every meal. Or if you’re using bone broth powder, take 1-3 servings daily.

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Drink Bone Broth for Gut Health and Inflammation

The gelatin and amino acids in bone broth are excellent for the delicate tissue that lines your gut.

Amino acids in bone broth like cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, and proline are known for their gut healing abilities. They work together to keep the integrity of your gut lining strong and can even help heal leaky gut syndrome and ulcers.

Cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine work together to make your body’s master antioxidant, glutathione, which can lower inflammation and fight free radicals, which is great news for gut health and inflammation.

For gut health and inflammation: Drink at least 2 cups of bone broth daily. Or if you’re using bone broth powder, take 1 serving daily.

Drink Bone Broth for Your Skin, Hair, and Nails

Your body produces collagen protein to keep hair, skin, and nails strong. The catch is that you stop producing as much collagen as you age. Things like stress, smoking, processed food, and sugar can also dramatically decrease collagen production.

One way to keep your youthful glow and maintain shining hair and nails is to consume the amino acids your body needs to keep producing collagen on its own. Since bone broth contains all the amino acids necessary to make more collagen and hyaluronic acid (another compound that increases your skin’s water content), it’s the perfect food for keeping skin vibrant.

Bone broth is also great for gut health, which can have a profoundly positive impact on skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

For skin, hair, and nails: Drink 2-4 cups of bone broth daily to improve and maintain skin hydration, elasticity, and hair and nail strength. Or if using bone broth powder, take 1-2 servings daily.

Drink Bone Broth for Joint Pain

Joint pain is usually the result of overuse, inflammation, or something more complex like an inflammatory or degenerative disease. Bone broth may not cure your joint pain, but it can certainly help!

Methionine, an essential amino acid found in bone broth, can help maintain and form new cartilage, the connective tissue that protects your joints. Methionine in therapeutic doses can even help alleviate pain from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes your body to attack your joint tissue.

In general, the amino acids in bone broth can help repair tissue and calm inflammation. Taking this daily, in addition to a low-inflammatory diet can do wonders for pain.

For joint pain and inflammation: 2-4 cups per day. You may want to consider even larger amounts – up to 32 ounces per day for 1-2 weeks to dramatically lower inflammation in a short period of time. If using bone broth powder, take 1-2 servings daily.

Wish You Could Make Real Bone Broth in 30 Seconds or Less?

Making homemade bone broth used to be a time consuming process. Some recipes can literally take all day! But we’ve changed that. Now you can make real organic bone broth in seconds by combining 1 scoop of our Unflavored Organic Bone Broth Protein with two cups of hot water. It’s that easy!

Or if you want a more complex flavor with just a little more prep work, try our recipe How to Make Bone Broth in Just 30 Minutes or Less!

Our Organic Bone Broth Powder is literally dehydrated bone broth so it comes from boiled pasture-raised, grass-fed bones and meat, not cowhides or conventionally raised chicken bones like some other bone broth powders. That means it contains all of the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals of real bone broth – and they’re listed right there on the label!

Every serving of Organic Bone Broth Powder contains 20 grams of complete protein, along with types I, II, and III collagen, gelatin, calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin. That’s a ton of nutrition in one scoop.

The best part? Our Organic Bone Broth Powder is versatile and convenient with four different flavors that taste amazing in everything from soup to smoothies.

Check out the many ways you can get more organic bone broth into your day here: 9 Sweet & Savory Bone Broth Protein Powder Recipes to Get You Started.

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Leaky Gut Bone Broth

Bone broth (or stock) is fabulous for healing intestinal permeability. It contains collagen, which nourishes the intestinal lining and reduces inflammation. Plus, it’s easy for a damaged gut to digest and reap the benefits of its protein and minerals. Our version contains added gut superfoods that will take its gut-restoring potential to the next level. The vegetables add prebiotic, anti-inflammatory, flavonoid and nutrient properties, and the spices we use have been specifically shown to improve gut integrity. If you suffer with increased intestinal permeability or one of the many conditions associated with leaky gut, this is a must-have in your regular culinary repertoire.

Conditions associated with leaky gut include: Acne, allergies, brain god, Celiac disease, constipation, Crohn’s disease, depression, diarrhea, eczema, fatigue, food intolerance, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hives, IBS, migraines, overweight/obesity, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea, ulcerative colitis.

Side note: broth is also inherently calming, consoling and restorative, which if it helps reduce your stress levels is also going to help your gut. To learn more about leaky gut, including other factors that can help heal it, read our article here.

The “dance of methylation” extends far beyond supplementing with B12 and methylated folate. Indeed, long term outcome studies using this approach are lacking, and research suggests caution is advised with regard to imbalanced hypermethylation. However, much can be done to safely support methylation balance.

Sparing “methyl donor drain” through appropriate lifestyle interventions, including reducing total body inflammation, augmenting the microbiome and promoting exercise, stress reduction and sufficient sleep, along with a careful dietary prescription that supports methyl donor reserve is a safe, nuanced approach which allows the complex, homeodynamic process of methylation to take place.

To learn more about how to eat and live your way to methylation health, click here for articles and our eBook, which contains over 40 exclusive recipes, free of gluten and dairy as well as dietary plans and lifestyle interventions.

Leaky Gut Bone Broth

Leaky Gut Bone Broth

  • Course Bone Broth
  • Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 2 Lbs Poultry, fish, shellfish, beef or lamb bones Options include: cooked bone with a previous meal, with or without skin mean; raw bones with or without skin and meat (can also be browned first for flavor); use a whole carcass or just parts (good choices include feet, ribs, necks and knuckles)
  • 4 Cups Cold water Or enough to cover the bones
  • 1-2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Medium onion Peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 Cloves garlic Peeled and sliced in half
  • 1/4 Cup Dried wild mushrooms Such as shitake
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric powder Or 1 fresh turmeric rhizome, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 Slices Fresh ginger root Peeled
  • 1 Tbsp Dried oregano
  • Handful Fresh parsley Only add the parsley for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Servings: Units:

Ingredients

  • 2 Lbs Poultry, fish, shellfish, beef or lamb bones Options include: cooked bone with a previous meal, with or without skin mean; raw bones with or without skin and meat (can also be browned first for flavor); use a whole carcass or just parts (good choices include feet, ribs, necks and knuckles)
  • 4 Cups Cold water Or enough to cover the bones
  • 1-2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Medium onion Peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 Cloves garlic Peeled and sliced in half
  • 1/4 Cup Dried wild mushrooms Such as shitake
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric powder Or 1 fresh turmeric rhizome, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 Slices Fresh ginger root Peeled
  • 1 Tbsp Dried oregano
  • Handful Fresh parsley Only add the parsley for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Servings: Units:

  • Course Bone Broth
  • Cuisine American

Instructions

  1. Combine bones, water and vinegar in a pot, bring to a boil, remove any scum that has risen to the top and reduce heat.
  2. Simmer 4-6 hours for fish or shellfish, 6-48 hrs for poultry, 12-72 hrs for beef or lamb, the longer the better so that more gelatin and nutrients are released into the liquid.
  3. Add the vegetables, spices and herbs for the last hour of cooking.
  4. Strain through a sieve and discard the bones and vegetables. If uncooked meat was used to start with, you may reserve the meat for soup or salads. If you wish to remove the fat, use a gravy separator while the broth is warm, or skim the fat off the top once refrigerated.
  5. Cold broth will gel when sufficient gelatin is present. Broth may be frozen for months, or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
  6. Broth can be used in soups, stews, braised dishes, sauces, or gravies.
  7. It can also be sipped as a warm drink, especially nice with a squeeze of lemon and a little sea salt.

Print Recipe

The first time I heard the words “bone broth” I wrinkled my nose, scrunched up my face, and thought “What? Ew. Why? What?”

I didn’t know what it was, just that it sounded a little anatomically graphic and a little gross. (I’m a person who has a hard time eating blood sausage, based solely on the name.) But then I kept hearing about it, again and again, from food bloggers, wellness sites, and overall trendspotters like the ones here at TODAY.com, who answered the critical question back in December: “What the heck is bone broth?”

Test drive: Is bone broth the new green juice?

Jan. 23, 201504:20

Here’s the deal: bone broth is just dressed-up stock. You can make it with any animal bones — beef, chicken, turkey, whatever — which you roast and then simmer with vegetables for hours. It’s not exactly a new food (grandmothers have been making it for ages), but those who swear by it say the vitamins and minerals you get from the broken-down bones have powerful healing properties, and can help to alleviate joint and gut pain, boost your immune system, brighten skin and even make your hair shiny.

With everyone from The New York Times to chef Tom Colicchio to Al Roker climbing aboard the bone broth train, I decided to try an experiment: I would drink a cup every day for at least a week to see what it was all about, and if I could reap any of its magical health benefits. If Al Roker’s already on board, there’s no excuse.

Here’s my diary of how it went.

The line for broth at Brodo.Rebecca Davis / TODAY

Getting ready

To find out what I can expect, health-wise, I go to dietitian and nutrition expert Bonnie Taub-Dix to get her expert take. “It’s not like you swallow it and it knows how to go directly to puff up your cheeks or smooth out your eyelids,” she says. “Could it help cellulite? Could it make your hair shiny? If you are otherwise having candy bars in the afternoon and you start drinking bone broth instead, yeah, maybe.”

I make a note to myself to eat less candy bars. I also swing by Brodo, the bone-broth-only take-out window in New York’s East Village, opened in the fall by chef Marco Canora (a small cup of Hearth broth is $4.50, and it goes up from there). Canora tells me he started drinking broth regularly as part of an overall shift toward a healthier lifestyle, after being rough on his body for decades. “It’s my version of comfort food,” he says. Now at the epicenter of the trend, he says he fully believes in all the purported health benefits, and drinks “tons of it every day.”

When I tell him he’s basically Gwyneth Paltrow, he looks surprised: “I haven’t heard that one.” I tell him to take it as my highest compliment.

Day 1

I take the subway from my apartment in Brooklyn back to Brodo, where I stand in line and try not to feel silly. Why isn’t there a bone broth bar in Brooklyn yet? Pffft. Brooklyn, I feel like I don’t even know you anymore. Here are some sample conversations I overhear from the customers in front of me:

“Is this dinner?”

“No, it’s just the broth.”

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“It’s good for you!”

Despite my skepticism, it’s so cold outside I can’t feel my hands, so as I get up to the window, I start to get really excited about a warm cup of broth. It’s a little disconcerting to be served soup in a coffee cup, particularly because as you tip the cup to your mouth, your nose is essentially infused with soup. The sheer meatiness of the smell is off-putting, but as soon as the broth hits my tongue, I’m a believer. “F— that’s good,” I say, out loud, to myself. I instantly feel energized to walk the six blocks I need to travel instead of taking the train, just so I can continue to sip my soup against the icy air: making me healthier already!

Bone broth storage at Brodo.Rebecca Davis / TODAY

Day 2

I bring home a massive jar of to-go broth from Brodo to last me a few days, but I just can’t get excited about having it on day two. I keep talking about drinking it and putting it off, until finally I get around to microwaving a mug after dinner, almost as a dessert course. The overwhelming smell is a little much, but I add some salt and chug it down.

Day 3

On the way to meet some friends for dinner, I go the BYOBroth route, filling up my thermos with broth and trying not to be weirded out by the fact that my coffee receptacle now smells (maybe permanently?) like soup. The broth is surprisingly delicious, but unfortunately, not such a hit with my dinner companions.

“That smells so strong,” says one.

“That smells like a kennel,” says a second friend, who is less diplomatic.

“It tastes great!” offers the first.

Nobody carries soup around in a thermos to a restaurant,” says the second, who is right.

Day 4

In the hallway at work, I strike up a conversation with a near-stranger, who tells me his wife has been drinking bone soup for months following surgery on the recommendation of a health professional, and has “definitely” noticed a difference.

Even though it’s sitting on my desk, I don’t touch my broth today — but nor do I eat my normal afternoon snack of Whatever Is On The Free Table. “I happen to love the placebo effect,” Taub-Dix tells me, when I ask if the simple act of adding the soup to my diet could help me make healthier choices. “It might be more of what you’re not eating and replacing the soup with than the magical properties of the soup.” Maybe the soup works as a weight-loss tool because you don’t want to drink it so you just don’t eat anything.

On the way to a friend’s house, someone gets on the subway next to me smelling like McDonald’s. Or is that bone soup? They smell very similar. When I take my golden jar of broth out of my bag, my friend’s husband says, “That looks like what I made last week… After a rough night on the toilet.”

Day 5

Cold broth is the worst broth. I have what feels like the makings of a giant zit under my nose, so I don’t know how much stock to put in this whole “makes your skin bright” claim. Chug chug chug.

These bones were made for brothing.Rebecca Davis / TODAY

Day 6

Everyone keeps telling me how easy it is to make, so I buy the surprisingly simple ingredients (onions, carrots, celery, thyme, canned tomatoes, garlic, etc.) on the way home from work, but neglect to read the instructions all the way through. After roasting the bones for half an hour and then simmering them with veggies, I realize around 11 p.m. that the recipe calls for me to leave the pot on the stove for a few hours or overnight to fully simmer. Broth all-nighter!

Meena Duerson / TODAY

Brodo Chef Marco Canora’s Chicken and Beef Bone Broth

Marco Canora

Day 7

“I’m really proud of myself for making this broth at home,” I say to my husband, after waking up to find that I have not burned our house down overnight. “Are you even listening to me?”

I ladle the broth into three giant Tupperware tubs and stick it in the fridge, where Canora promised it will be good for up to a week (you can also freeze it indefinitely). On the way to work, I sip my broth from my thermos for the last time. I can’t wait to wash it out and fill it with coffee.

The aftermath

Nothing noticeable has changed, except that I have no desire to drink broth ever again. “It’s kind of shiny,” someone says, when I tell them it was supposed to improve my hair.

While I didn’t get any tangible benefits, on the plus side, I observed almost no negatives to drinking the broth — and Taub-Dix told me that it likely has no downside unless you’re ingesting a lot of added sodium. So if you’re someone who likes soup, this is a trend I can definitely recommend.

Because guess what? That’s what it is. Spoiler alert! The hottest food trend of the year … is just soup. You’re welcome.

Are There Any Benefits in Eating Chicken Feet?

Do People Eat Chicken Feet?

Eating chicken feet may sound gross to you, but it is a delicacy with the Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Korean.

But they are not the only ones. Even non-Asians are eating chicken feet. The Jamaican, South African, Trinidadian, and South American have their own versions of chicken feet recipes.

What is so special about chicken feet?

Some say the reason people eat chicken feet is to avoid wasting any edible parts of the chicken. This could be true as most ethnic groups that ate chicken feet were traditionally from the lower income groups.

Others say chicken feet are good for health.

Chicken Feet for Clear Complexion

One of the positive, health-related benefits of eating chicken feet is a good, clear complexion. Research by the Department of Animal Science of National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan showed that chicken feet contained a lot of collagen. Collagen, as you know is the ingredient for youthful-looking skin.

Chicken Feet and Collagen

The research at this Taiwanese University also confirmed chicken feet are good alternative sources for collagen. The usual sources for collagen are from bovine, pig and marine fish. But the production cost from these sources is very expensive.

It is not only rich in collagen, but also a good source of hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate. Hyaluronic acid is touted as the fountain of youth i.e. it can prevent the effects of aging. Chondroitin sulfate is good for osteoarthritis, hence good for people with joint problems.

What are Collagen and What Are Its Benefits?

Collagen can simply be described as a protein that acts as a glue that ‘holds our body together’. The benefits are not only for the skin but also for the heart and can even improve athletic performance. Other benefits of taking collagen are:

-Healthier and younger looking skin
-Rich in calcium and protein, without the carbohydrates
-Improves blood supply by strengthening the blood vessels
-Assist the body in metabolizing fats, therefore good for weight loss
-Slows the effect of arthritis
-Reduce pain and swelling (inflammation)

Most collagen, or collagen supplements, are expensive. So, why should you pay so much when you can have a cheap or almost free alternative?

Use chicken feet in your soups, broths, and cooking to enjoy the benefits of collagen.

Drink Ingestible Collagens for Smoother and Firmer Skin?

For centuries, Asians have been taking certain foods and drinks to keep their complexion glowing. Now, beauty and pharmaceutical companies have started marketing beauty-from-within products and this includes collagen drinks.

Do they work?

Dr. Stefanie Williams, a dermatologist & medical director of European Dermatology London, says that some collagen drinks actually live up to their claims of providing better-looking skin.

Do you want to try?

Beauty Product That Uses Chicken Feet

BioCell Collagen, an American product that promotes younger-looking skin and active joints, makes their collagen peptide complex from chicken feet cartilage.

I have not tried this product yet but based on Amazon.com reviews by users, 67% gave it a 5-star rating and 5% gave a 1-star rating. This is from 392 reviewers.

Click on the Amazon advertisement (on the right) to read detail comments from these users.

Chicken Cartilage for Arthritis

Chicken feet consists of bones, skin, and tendons, but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, collagen, and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. These are the essential nutrients required for good joint movement to minimize arthritis and joint pain.

Instead of buying supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin, use chicken feet in your soup or broth and enjoy a cheaper option for joint health.

This is why Chinese martial art experts like chicken feet so much!

Source:

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Why Chicken Feet is Extremely Good For You

Chicken feet have long been part of many of the world’s cuisines — in Asia, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand are just some countries that have their own special ways of preparing it.

But not everyone in these places eats chicken, let alone its feet. Why some do is puzzling for those who don’t — after all, a chicken only has one pair, so it’s unlikely an everyday dish.

As it turns out, consuming chicken feet happens to have several health benefits, thanks to its key component: collagen.

Researchers at the Department of Animal Science of National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan found that chicken feet are rich in collagen, which contributes to young-looking skin.

According to the National Library of Medicine, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total protein mass. It provides strength to bones, ligaments, tendons, and scaffolding for skin wounds to heal.

However, chicken feet is not only a good source of collagen. It is also rich in hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, which both provide health benefits. Hyaluronic acid has a significant role in retaining skin moisture, which ultimately helps prevent skin aging.

On the other hand, chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage retain water. As such, its role in the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint problems has since been determined.

Interestingly, a veterinarian named Harry Robertson also studied the potential of chicken feet to regenerate neurons, bones, muscles, and tissues. The result of this research was a wound-healing product called Revital, which was eventually recalled from the market by the FDA over bacterial contamination.

With its supposed benefits, chicken feet has long been part of local cuisines, attracting newbies to give it a try. Sam, a Canadian citizen, wrote on Quora:

“This was my breakfast in my recent trip to China, Chicken feet are in the white container, very well cooked garnished with tasty sauce, and in green herb. In my view there is nothing wrong with it, and unless you try at least one piece please do not condemn it.”

See also Ryan General·February 8, 2019

Still, there are those who are happy to pass. Asked why they don’t eat chicken feet, users in this old forum replied:

“Probably for the same reason I don’t eat chicken heads. No really, is there even any meat there?”

“I’m Asian and I don’t like eating chicken feet because I’m not a big fan of skin. But I know loads of Asian and non-Asian people who love it. It’s an acquired taste.”

“Can’t people respect animals, bad enough you ate it, now you gotta eat his feet too, so maybe he’s hopping on stumps in heaven.”

If anything, chicken feet is an alternative to Korean boys’ foreskin when you’re trying to look younger.

Chicken Feet Bone Broth Recipe

Instructions

  1. Set your stock pot on your stove and put 2-4 lbs of chicken feet in pot, if frozen, that is fine… now pour over the chicken feet the apple cider vinegar and let sit (with no flame) for about 45 minutes. This step pulls out all the nutrients from the bones.
  2. Now fill the pot with filtered water about 2 inches above the bone and throw in the veggies.
  3. Turn to a simmer and put lid on pot and let it simmer for 18-24 hours.
  4. Turn off and let cool for about an hour, then lift out all the bones/veggies with your Asian strainer into a bowl.
  5. Now take another large bowl or a large pot with a lid and put the fine mesh strainer over the top and pour the broth through strainer to filter out all the grit.
  6. Put lid on or plastic wrap if it is in a bowl and put in refrigerator to cool down and the fat will separate and rise to the top. I let mine cool for about 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Take broth out of fridge and skim off the fat with a large metal spoon. The broth will be like jelly which is GOOD, means it is loaded with collagen and gelatin.
  8. Set about four or five 1 quart mason jars on counter and put the wide mouth funnel over one and scoop out the broth with a ladle and put in the jars… Put 3 days worth of broth in fridge and freeze the rest.. it only stays fresh for about 3-4 days. But you can freeze it for up to one year.
  9. IMPORTANT: Only fill mason jars for the freezer 75% full to have room to expand when frozen or the jar will crack! To serve yourself a nice warm mug of bone broth to enjoy, this is what I do: Put 1/2 of the 1 quart mason jar of broth into a saucepan on stove and warm up on medium heat, add 2 scoops of collagen peptides, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt, then pour into a large mug and squeeze 1/4 of a lemon into broth and mix.. ENJOY! I am addicted!

For thousands of years, there have been traditional foods like fermented vegetables and cultured dairy that have been touted for their health benefits. But one common healing food that is now being recognized for its incredible health benefits is bone broth— so trendy that it’s a staple of the Paleo diet and even bone broth shops exist now!

Indeed, bone broth benefits are numerous and extensive. To make it even better, there are many different kinds of bone broths (chicken, beef, fish, from bone broth powder and more) that you can make, all bringing new health benefits to the table.

With that in mind, let me share a few ancient secrets with you on what makes bone broth benefits so remarkable and explain exactly what is bone broth.

What Is Bone Broth?

Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul. There’s a reason that it’s prescribed by doctors and mothers alike when you feel under the weather. All bone broths — beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more — are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and the basis of all fine cuisine. They’re also now a staple in the Paleo diet and the keto diet. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and boost healing.

Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal. Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days. This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.

Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. They contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.

A study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center wondered what it was in the soup that made it so beneficial for colds and flu. Researchers found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. Also, research proves it can also boost the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma and arthritis.

Fallon explains that most store-bought “stock and “broth” today aren’t “REAL.” Instead, companies use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup and sauce mixes. Also, manufacturers began using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor but in reality is a neurotoxin.

If you want real bone broth and real bone broth benefits, you can make it yourself at home. If you don’t want to spend that time or effort, you can also purchase protein powder made with bone broth. It’s a very popular supplement (with many different flavors) that can be used in smoothies, baked goods and more — and there are plenty of bone broth protein benefits.

To make beef bone broth properly at home, you need to get grass-fed bones from your local farmers market or from an online health food store. For a chicken bone broth, simply use the carcass and bones from your already cooked chicken.

Bone broth stock is a great place to find all of the valuable amino acids, collagen, gelatin and trace minerals. In fact, there are dozens of different nutrients found within bone broth, many of which can’t be obtained easily from other commonly eaten foods. That’s partly why there are so many incredible bone broth benefits.

By regularly drinking bone broth or using it in recipes, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation. It is so healthy that bone broth for dogs can even be beneficial.

Related: 6 Grass-Fed Beef Nutrition Benefits that May Surprise You

Health Benefits

What is bone broth good for? I have found bone broth stock to be the No. 1 thing you can consume to:

  • Treat leaky gut syndrome
  • Overcome food intolerances and allergies
  • Improve joint health
  • Reduce cellulite
  • Boost immune system

Here are some of the benefits you can get from drinking bone broth:

1. Protects Joints

Bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen, the protein found in vertebrae animals — in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible.

Why does that matter? As we age, cartilage diminishes as it gets attacked by antibodies (age-related degradation of joint cartilage). As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorbable to help restore cartilage.

One of the most valuable components of bone broth stock is gelatin. Gelatin acts like a soft cushion between bones that helps them “glide” without friction. It also provides us with building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones. This helps take pressure off of aging joints and supports healthy bone mineral density.

Research done by the Department of Nutrition and Sports Nutrition for Athletics at Penn State University found that when athletes supplemented with collagen over the course of 24 weeks, the majority showed significant improvements in joint comfort and a decrease in factors that negatively impacted athletic performance.

2. Good for the Gut

Studies show that gelatin is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as to wheat or dairy). It also helps with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut and supports healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract. A report published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that gelatin effectively supports intestinal health and integrity.

Bone broth stock is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system, unlike many other foods, which can be difficult to fully break down. After all, a food is really only useful if we have the means of absorbing its nutrients.

Studies have found that in individuals with digestive imbalances, serum concentrations of collagen are decreased. Because the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and entire gastrointestinal tract, supplementing with collagen can support healthy digestive function.

3. Maintains Healthy Skin

Collagen helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. Collagen integrity is accredited with helping reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging.

Many people report a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen, since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies investigating the age-defending properties of collagen have found that 2.5–5 grams of collagen hydrolysate used among women aged 35–55 once daily for eight weeks supports skin elasticity, skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (dryness) and skin roughness.

At the end of only four weeks, those using collagen showed a statistically significant improvement in comparison to those using a placebo with regard to skin moisture and skin evaporation, plus noticeable decreases in signs of accelerated aging, all with little to no side effects.

4. Supports Immune System Function

One of the most remarkable things about bone broth is its gut-supportive benefits, which as described above actually have a holistic effect on the body and support healthy immune system function.

Leaky gut syndrome occurs when undigested particles from foods seep through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, where the immune system detects them and becomes hyperactive. This increases inflammation and leads to dysfunctions all over. The immune system releases high levels of antibodies that cause an autoimmune-like response and attack healthy tissue.

Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and therefore support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. Collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal these openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity.

Traditionally made bone broths are believed to support healthy inflammatory response and normal immune system function. Bone broth can even promote healthy sleep, boost energy during the day and support a healthy mood.

5. Boosts Detoxification

Today in the Western world, the average person is exposed to an array of environmental toxins, pesticides, artificial ingredients and chemicals of all sorts. While the human body has its own means of detoxifying itself from heavy metals and other toxic exposures, it often has a hard time keeping up when flooded with an overwhelming amount of chemicals.

Bone broth is considered a powerful detoxification agent since it helps the digestive system expel waste and promotes the liver’s ability to remove toxins. It also helps maintain tissue integrity and improves the body’s use of antioxidants.

Bone broth stock contains potassium and glycine, which support both cellular and liver detoxification. Some of the ways in which bone broth boosts detoxification is by supplying sulfur (especially when you add veggies, garlic and herbs to your broth) and glutathione, which is a phase II detoxification agent that lowers oxidative stress.

Glutathione helps with elimination of fat-soluble compounds, especially heavy metals like mercury and lead. It also helps with the absorption of various nutrients, the use of antioxidants and with liver-cleansing functions. Bone broth also increases intake of essential minerals, which act like chelators to remove toxins by stopping heavy metals from attaching to mineral receptor sites.

6. Aids the Metabolism and Promotes Anabolism

Bone broth is a great way to obtain more glutathione. Studies show glutathione plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism and regulation of cellular events. A 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition states that glutathione’s roles and benefits include regulating gene expressions, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production, and immune responses.

Amino acids found in bone broth stock have numerous metabolic roles, including building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting bone mineral density, boosting nutrient absorption and synthesis, and maintaining muscle and connective tissue health. Glycine found within collagen helps form muscle tissue by converting glucose into useable energy.

Plus, it slows cartilage, tissue and muscle loss associated with aging by improving the body’s use of antioxidants. Studies reveal that glycine protects skeletal muscle loss and stops the expression of genes associated with age-related muscle protein breakdown.

Glutamine is another amino acid that’s important for a healthy metabolism. It helps us maintain energy by sending nutrients, including nitrogen, to our cells. Arginine also has the role of breaking down nitric oxide that helps improve circulation and sends blood and nutrients to cells throughout the body. It improves muscle and tissue integrity and promotes normal wound healing.

Nutrition Facts

Bone broth stock could be called “nature’s multivitamin.” How so exactly? Bone broth nutrition is packed with:

  • over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins)
  • collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue
  • nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health

Did you get that? Bone broth benefits literally every part of your body, from your gut to your brain, muscles and ligaments.

It’s also relatively low in calories yet very high in minerals and other chemical compounds that many people lack. There’s no doubt that bone broth makes a great everyday addition to your diet.

Here are six of the key nutritional compounds found in bone broth that help provide all these wonderful bone broth benefits — all for little bone broth calories.

1. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG)

Glycosaminoglycans have the primary role of maintaining and supporting collagen and elastin that take up the spaces between bones and various fibers. GAGs are supportive for digestive health since they help restore the intestinal lining. This is why a deficiency in these nutrients is linked to digestive challenges.

Several important GAGs are found in bone broth, including glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate.

2. Glucosamine

There are two main types of naturally occurring glucosamine: hydrochloride and sulfate. Both help keep up the integrity of cartilage, which is the rubbery substance within joints that acts like a natural cushion. Studies show that glucosamine can become depleted as we get older, so supplements are often used to support joint health.

An easy and relatively inexpensive way to obtain glucosamine naturally is from drinking more bone broth. Bone broth helps support the loss of cartilage health, acting as an alternative to pricey glucosamine supplements. Consuming more glucosamine can help support joint health, flexibility and comfort.

3. Hyaluronic Acid

Found throughout connective, epithelial (skin) and neural tissues, hyaluronic acid contributes to cell proliferation, differentiation and mitigation. This allows our cells to perform various functions throughout the body as needed. It offers support for multiple skin types and promotes healthy aging, cell rejuvenation and skin firmness.

4. Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin sulfate is a beneficial glycosaminoglycan found in the cartilage within the joints of all animals. It’s often used to support joint health and comfort, especially in combination with glucosamines.

Studies have found that supplementing with chondroitin supports healthy inflammation response as well as cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health and healthy cholesterol levels.

5. Minerals and Electrolytes

Bone broth provides essential minerals, including electrolytes, all provided in an easy-to-absorb form. Electrolytes found within bone broth include calcium, magnesium and potassium (not to mention many other minerals, such as phosphorus). These are important for supporting healthy circulation, bone density, nerve signaling functions, heart health and digestive health.

When added sodium levels are kept low, bone broth contains an ideal balance of sodium and potassium to support cellular health and efficiency and prevent electrolyte imbalance.

6. Collagen

Collagen is the main structural protein found within the human body that helps form connective tissue and “seals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s also the gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, allowing us to glide and move freely.

Irritation within the gut impairs normal digestive functions and causes permeability, allowing particles to pass into the bloodstream, known as leaky gut.

As a rich source of gelatin, bone broth protects and seals the mucosal lining of the GI tract. That means it improves nutrient absorption and also helps keep particles from leaching out where they shouldn’t be.

7. Amino Acids

Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline. These amino acids also contribute to stock’s healing properties.

Conditional amino acids are those classified as nonessential amino acids that are essential under some conditions. You don’t produce them very well if you are ill or stressed. Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation points out that unhealthy Western diets, heavy on processed carbohydrates, low in quality grass-fed animal products, and devoid of homemade soups and broths, make it likely that these amino acids are fundamentally essential.

What do these conditional amino acids do?

Arginine

  • Necessary for immune system function and wound healing
  • Needed for the production and release of growth hormone
  • Helps regenerate damaged liver cells
  • Needed for the production of sperm

Glycine

  • Prevents breakdown of protein tissue like muscle
  • Used to make bile salts and glutathione
  • Helps detoxify the body of chemicals and acts as antioxidant
  • Is a neurotransmitter that improves sleep, memory and performance

Proline

  • Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
  • Reduces cellulite and makes skin more supple
  • Helps repair leaky gut

Glutamine

  • Protects gut lining
  • Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
  • Improves metabolism and muscle building

Talk about some incredible bone broth benefits! For these reasons, I have most of my patients consume bone broth as a partial fast, detox or during meals to help heal their guts and detoxify their cells, gut and liver.

How to Make

Wondering how to make bone broth? There are a few important basics to consider when making good stock. You can make bone broth with animal components alone, but studies show that the combination of animal products and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone.

Fallon says that for a quality bone broth recipe, it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store, things like chicken feet and neck.

You also want to buy animal products that you know are pasture-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones in order to truly unlock all the bone broth benefits.

For the classic bone broth recipe, Fallon describes the essentials as bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water. If you’re making beef broth or lamb broth, you should brown any of the leftover meat or organ meat before putting it into a stock pot. Beef bones don’t need to be cooked beforehand. Fish and poultry (chicken or turkey) are fine to put in a pot without browning first. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.

Bone Broth Recipe Directions

Looking to make broth on your own? Here’s how to roast the bones to make your own bone broth, using either chicken or beef broth based on your preference:

  1. Place bones into a large stock pot or slow cooker and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill stock pot or slow cooker with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
  5. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
  6. You can also add in vegetables, such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery, for added nutrient value.

After cooking in the slow cooker, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.

For more details, check out my recipes on how to make Chicken Bone Broth (great for chicken soup and for getting all the benefits of chicken bone broth nutrition!) and Beef Bone Broth to take advantage of all the wonder beef bone broth benefits.

You can, of course, make soups and other recipes with bone broth, including chicken soup, beef soup, bone marrow soup,x and an array of other bone soup and other recipes.

Amid the Paleo diet craze, you can also buy bone broth these days, such as at a broth shop where people sip bone broth rather than coffee or at certain gourmet grocery stores. Or you can buy bone broth supplements. For supplements, you want to make sure they are properly sourced (without antibiotics, for example). Nonetheless, the best bone broth is often made at home.

Final Thoughts

Remember, bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The best part is you can make broth right at home and take advantage of bone broth health benefits.

The collagen in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation. In addition, collagen supports healthy skin and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Also, the glycine in bone broth can detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function.

How much bone broth should you drink per day? I recommend consuming eight ounces one to two times daily as a bone broth soup, a plain beverage or doing a bone broth fast to get all these wonderful bone broth benefits. You can even embark on a bone broth diet plan.

I typically drink eight ounces upon waking every morning and recommend drinking bone broth daily.

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I love making the most amazing bone broths and soups to help support and nourish my digestive and immune system. I have always been making my own broths and stocks using my usual 10 litre stainless steel stock pot – but now it’s so easy I just set and forget. Making your bone broth is as easy as making a bowl of porridge – it’s that simple.

Bone broth is not only a winter staple meal, it’s also a key ingredient in gut health. It can be enjoyed as a healing elixir, soup, or a welcome addition to casseroles. I love adding seasonal vegetables of the moment, which makes them more into a complete meal as well as taste purely delicious.

While generally made from organic chicken or beef bones, my full proof version uses grass fed oxtail that provides loads of nutritional benefits that come from its gelatin and mineral rich properties. I remember my grandparents and mum constantly making oxtail or chicken soup for us when we were young – especially when we were unwell. The tradition has been carried on by yours truly and it’s a staple in my kitchen all year round.

WHAT IS BONE BROTH?

Unlike regular chicken or beef stock, bone broth is usually simmered for 24 – 48 hours, giving the stock enough time to extract all the nutrients from the bones to create a magical elixir that does wonders for your health. As a young chef, I remember the saucier at our restaurant used to start his stocks beginning of the week and he would simmer over a gentle heat for around about 2 – 3 days, making sure to extract all the goodness from the bones, meat and vegetables used.

Incorporating grass fed beef in your diet will help you build a strong immune system due to its high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. Grass fed beef contains significantly more antioxidants and healthy fats than grain fed beef, which helps support healthy cell membranes and function.

When slow cooked as in this recipe, this succulent and rich protein source creates a potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting dish that’s brimming with essential minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.

4 HEALING PROPERTIES OF BONE BROTH

1. Bone broth is anti-ageing

Bone broth contains high amounts of collagen that forms the structural building blocks of strong skin, giving you a youthful glow. Collagen also supports hair growth, skin regeneration and assists in keeping your nails strong.

2. Bone broth is bone building

Vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in bone broth is important to help create and maintain strong and healthy bones.

3. Bone broth supports your gut

Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in gelatin. Gelatin is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or leaky gut syndrome.

4. Bone broth is anti-inflammatory

The long cooking time for bone broth breaks down cartilage and tendons releasing anti-inflammatory compounds, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, that are found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. These compounds keep your joints young and flexible.

HOW TO MAKE MY SIMPLE BONE BROTH

1.8 kg grass fed oxtail, chopped

6 litres water

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 onions, halved

1 leek, sliced

1 bunch parsley stalks

3 black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

6 sprigs thyme

Preheat your oven to 200 / 400 F.

Place oxtail into a baking dish and brown in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.

Remove oxtail from the oven and carefully place them into the stockpot.

Add onion, carrot, celery, leek and water to the pot.

Fill the pot with water and place over a medium heat.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Add parsley stalks, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme.

Cover the pot partially and allow the slow simmering to begin.

Simmer partially covered over a low heat for a minimum of 6 hours ( the more the better) If you have a slow cooker simmer for 24 – 48 hours, skimming the broth regularly to remove any surface fat and scum. Add more water if necessary.

Remove the oxtail and strain the bone broth through a sieve or muslin.

Discard the solids.

Refrigerate the bone broth overnight and remove all the excess fat that solidifies over the top. Your cold broth should look like a jelly at this stage and be full of goodness.

Heat the broth over a stove and enjoy “au naturel” or as a base for soups or sauces.

Notes + Inspiration

    • Add 3 star anis, 3 cloves, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves garlic and 2 sticks of cinnamon and a little tamari to your bone broth when simmering and use as a base for a delicious Pho soup. All you need to do is add oxtail meat from the bone, spring onion, noodles and coriander.
    • Use as a base for the most delicious French Onion Soup.
    • I don’t add vinegar as it will make the stock cloudy.
    • Stock will keep for for 4 days in the fridge.

And that’s it! This bone broth is ready to heal your gut, flavour your favourite risotto or saute your veggies!

Want to know how to heal your gut and re-discover perfect digestive health? Perfect Digestive Health is available from The Healthy Chef eStore HERE.

Another autumn, another slew of fawning stories about bone broth. According to Dr. Oz, adherents of the paleo diet, and the whole-milk-guzzling folks over at the Weston A. Price Foundation, the superfood du jour has a host of mystical powers. It can detoxify your liver, lubricate your stiff joints, patch up the holes in your gut, and erase your wrinkles, to name just a few of its supposed party tricks. Kobe Bryant claims drinking bone broth fixed his ruptured Achilles tendon.

Kobe Bryant claims drinking bone broth fixed his ruptured Achilles tendon.

All the more impressive when you consider how simple it is to make. Recipes vary, but most require simmering bones and veggies for at least eight hours on the stovetop. (Don’t confuse it with regular broth or stock, fans warn on the internet—those cook for only a few hours.) The result: a fragrant liquid that, if you do it right, will turn gelatinous when chilled, thanks to the collagen that leaches out of the bones.

Don’t have time to simmer? Don’t worry: The bone-broth-only New York City restaurant Brodo will sell you a 16-ounce serving for $6.75 to $9.00 (depending on the type of broth). A company called Bare Bones Broth will ship you six cups in vacuum packs for $29.99.

Yikes! Could the broth really be worth such prices—and such hype? Partly out of curiosity, but mostly because I’m tired of listening to people gush about bone broth, I asked scientists and nutrition experts to evaluate some of the most common claims.

Claim #1: Science has shown that bone broth is good for you. False. There’s been very little actual research into bone broth’s nutritional benefits. Kamal Patel, director of Examine, a scientific group that investigates nutritional claims about food and supplements, says the only actual study of bone broth he’s found is this one—from 1934. What’s more, says nutritionist Andy Bellatti, “There are so many different ways to do it that it’s hard to make claims about bone broth in general.” The nutritional value depends on many variables, including the kind and amount of bones, the length of time it simmers, and the other ingredients.

The only actual study on bone broth is from 1934.

Claim #2: The collagen in bone broth is good for your joints. Unlikely. Bone broth does contain collagen, a protein that contains amino acids essential for rebuilding bone, connective tissue, and skin. But just because you consume collagen doesn’t mean that your body will use it to build bones. Through digestion, Patel explains, your body will break down the collagen and use its amino acids wherever they are needed. Furthermore, most of the health claims made about collagen in bone broth rely on studies of individual nutrients in supplement form. For example: The website Paleoleap claims that for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, chicken collagen bone broth could “help stop the autoimmune response in its tracks.” But the study the piece links to as proof isn’t about bone broth at all—rather, it’s about patients who were given pills containing pure chicken collagen for three months straight. “You’d have to eat a whole lot of bone broth to get as much collagen as is in supplements,” says Patel.

Claim #3: The glutamine in bone broth can cure your “leaky gut.” Who knows. I’ll explain why in a second, but first, some definitions: Glutamine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks the body uses to build proteins. In theory, leaky gut is a syndrome in which tiny holes in your intestinal lining allow food and other substances to leak, causing your body to mount an immune response that can lead to a variety of conditions, from irritable bowel syndrome to lupus. No one has proven that leaky gut syndrome actually exists, let alone that it causes the health problems some people (such as Dr. Oz) claim it does. None of the experts I talked to were aware of any study showing that glutamine has any effect whatsoever on the human intestinal tract. Most of the studies on glutamine and the gut that bone broth proponents cite were conducted on animals (for example, this one on malnourished rats, and this one on rats with colitis and pacreatitis).

None of the experts I talked to were aware of any study showing that glutamine has any effect whatsoever on the human intestinal tract.

Claim #4: Drinking bone broth will make you look younger. False. “You can find collagen in all kinds of ‘plumping’ products these days, but why stick it on the outside when you can drink it?” gushes Shape magazine. “Not only is drinking it cheaper, but it can make your skin, hair, and nails look just as radiant.” It’s true that some cosmetics that claim to reduce wrinkles contain collagen—there’s even some research showing that collagen supplements may reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But again, supplements deliver way more collagen than broth does. What’s more, Patel says, the collagen in supplements is hydrolyzed, meaning that it’s broken down with heat, acids, and enzymes so your body can process it more efficiently. Collagen in bone broth isn’t hydrolyzed.

Claim #5: Bone broth is a natural way to “detox your liver.” Probably not. Bone-broth promoters often claim that the amino acid glycine—also present in collagen—helps liver rid the body of toxins. But science hasn’t yet proven that anything that we eat or drink can make the liver more efficient, much less glycine alone. A few studies (such as this one) show that the livers of alcoholic rats recovered faster when the animals were fed glycine supplements, but again that’s supplements, not broth—and rats, not humans. “The only thing that bone broth does to ‘detoxify’ is that it’s a source of fluid,” says Doug Kalman, a professor of sports nutrition at Florida International University. “This is not detoxification. This is normal hydration.”

“I get a little peeved when I see it described as a ‘healing food.’”

Claim #6: Bone broth can cure a cold. Maybe! Again, there are no studies on bone broth specifically, but some older research shows that chicken stock can calm cold symptoms. This study from 2000 found that chicken soup stops white blood cells from migrating—the mechanism that causes some of the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. This 1978 study found that chicken soup was better than cold or hot water at moving nasal mucous.

Claim #7: Bone broth is cheap to make regularly at home. Depends on your definition of “cheap.” Bone broth enthusiasts recommend sipping the stuff daily and claim that this practice is affordable. “If you utilize all the bones from the meat you eat, you’ll be getting them free,” says Paleoleap. But unless you’re, oh I don’t know, a lion, you probably don’t have enough bones to support a daily broth habit. This Epicurious recipe, which yields eight cups, calls for four pounds of beef bones, which usually run $3 to $5 a pound. Add a little more for the veggies, and you’re looking at around $2 to $3 a serving. Monthly, your bone broth fix would cost around $75.

Claim #8: Bone broth tastes good. Yeah, sure. It’s warm and comforting and pleasantly savory—plus it makes a great base for all kinds of soups and sauces. Which leads to another of Bellatti’s points: This stuff is by no means new—cultures around the world have been slow-simmering bones in liquid for a long time. “This is something that has been around for centuries that is now being repackaged as this bold new food,” he says. But “I get a little peeved when I see it described as a ‘healing food’—it just sets people up for high expectations.”

Benefits of bone broth

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