The Anatomy of Bone Broth
By now, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of what bone broth does for your body. With healing capabilities ranging from strengthening your bones and promoting joint health to helping heal leaky gut and encouraging healthy skin and hair, there are bone broth converts the world over. But you still might be asking yourself just how does it work? What’s so magical about this steaming liquid that it can actually impact your body in this way?
This is one case where the sum is greater than the parts. It’s the synergistic nature of all the components that make up bone broth and that help it pack such a powerful punch. However, by breaking those components down we can understand just what is happening to our bodies when we drink our favorite “elixir”.
Let’s dig in to bone broths’ top players:
Bones are packed full of minerals, and once you start the cooking process, they leach into the broth. Minerals you can expect to find in your bone broth include calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, and silicon.
You may have heard of hyaluronic acid from your knee doctor. As a major component of synovial fluid, it is often used in injections into the knee to help with osteoarthritis. Then again, you may be familiar with the role hyaluronic acid plays in skin, where it is involved in tissue repair. Either way, hyaluronic acid is a key component of bone broth, and one your body will be happy to absorb.
Are you already taking a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement for joint health? Well you can kick that to the curb if you are consuming bone broth regularly! Bone broth contains glucosamine in adequate quantities to suggest it can help your joints from the inside-out.
Glycine is a major player when it comes to bone broth. First off, it helps fat digestion in the small intestine (hello gut health!) and thus helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. It also helps boost the liver’s detoxification function and enhances the production of internally produced antioxidants (goodbye juice fast!) Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it helps you relax, and, possibly, get a good night’s sleep. Finally glycine balances out methionine, an amino acid that can deplete your body’s B vitamins.
Proline is like the twin brother to glycine. Another powerful amino acid, it helps repair and heal the gut, supports digestion, boosts muscle repair and aids the nervous system.
Have you heard of leaky gut? Perhaps you are suffering from it yourself. When your intestinal wall comes under attack from pesticides, foods you may be intolerant of, medications and so much more, the result can be inflammation, food allergies, and even autoimmune disease. Glutamine is a powerhouse for those treating leaky gut. It helps maintain and repair the integrity of your intestinal wall and, ultimately, keeps your inflammation in check. (To find out more about how your gut health impacts your overall well-being, check out our article here.)
We aren’t just talking good ol’ fashioned Jello here (although that does contain gelatin.) Gelatin is the result of collagen being broken down. It’s gelatinous in nature (which is why, when you make bone broth at home, it will congeal in the fridge after a period of time) and it helps build connective tissue. This can improve the appearance of your skin and hair, and can calm inflammation. It’s even said to help people suffering from autoimmune diseases.
Impressed yet? Convinced you are making a great choice each time you fill your mug with steaming, nutritious bone broth? And this isn’t even everything you will find in that mug of ancestral goodness (but we think it’s probably enough to get your wheels turning for now!)
And who knows, maybe next time you reach for your mid-morning coffee, you might just ask yourself...Can it do all of the above?