Bone Broth: WTF?
Welcome to the three-part series: Bone Broth: WTF? For the next three weeks we’ll be taking an Honest look at this recently-trendy Superfood and examining:
- What’s the Hype?
- Tutorial: Bone Broth 101
- Five Favorites: 5 Everyday Recipes Made Better with Bone Broth
Bone Broth: WTF? Part One: What’s the Hype?
When my acupuncturist recently prescribed bone broth once a day to help with a myriad of annoying (but perfectly harmless) health complaints I was pretty…well…annoyed. Bone broth is such a trend. Is it really going to magically solve all my problems? But because I was raised to listen to authority figures like doctors and police officers, I decided that I should at least give it a chance. I mean, simmering some bones and veggies in water and then drinking some every day really couldn’t hurt, could it?
So I started doing some research. First order of business: How to make it. But as I began to research how to make bone broth, I kept stumbling across article after article about THE AMAZING HEALING PROPERTIES OF BONE BROTH. Holy $#*! this stuff has a serious following.
It would seem that in order to find the “HOW?” of bone broth you sort of have to look at the “WHY?”. I sifted through story after story of how adding bone broth into their daily regimen has worked wonders for countless people’s digestive, skin, and bone disorders. How bone broth healed someone’s eczema, digestive issues, and chronic dental pain, someone else’s joint pain vanished after a few months, someone else’s carb and sugar cravings disappeared almost immediately. And the stories go on and on…
All this hype is great, but is it just hype? I decided to dig a little deeper into the world of bone broth to see what evidence supports these miraculous claims. And through my research I have come to realize that bone broth is more than just a trend — it’s actually an ancient healing food.
Bone broth is rich in collagen, gelatin, and elastins that actually benefit skin and joint health issues such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis. The collagen and gelatin specifically help promote the healing of soft tissue and repair cartilage and bone tissue. Amazingly, the collagen in bone broth can repair tiny holes in your digestive tract that have formed over time, allowing small particles of undigested food to enter the bloodstream. When this happens, because it doesn’t recognize recognize the food particles, the body attacks them often resulting in: food allergies, eczema, chronic fatigue, and all kinds of other nasty inflammatory conditions. When the collagen in the bone broth begins to repair these holes, food stops escaping into the bloodstream and the immune system can shift its focus onto the real culprits.
Bone broth is also packed with myeloid lymphoid cells, healthy saturated fats, and the amino acids glycine and proline; a combination which is both strengthening to the immune system, the blood/circulatory system, and the digestive system. Lastly, bone broth contains calcium, silicon, sulfur, magnesium, and phosphorous which work to strengthen the bones, aid in muscle repair and relief, and help repair nerve damage.
Bone Broth has more protein and fewer carbohydrates than smoothies and even properly-made green juice, keeping blood sugar levels stable. Thus, bone broth helps alleviate moodiness, curb cravings, and keeps energy levels steady all day long.
Of course, bone broth has its critics. There are those who say that its claims are unfounded or at the least — exaggerated. There are doctors who say that while bone broth is good for you, its healing powers are limited. And it is true: there have been little-to-no scientific studies conducted on the healing effects of bone broth, and the ones that have been conducted have demonstrated very little in terms of bone broth’s effectiveness.
On the other hand, there are hundreds of doctors, acupuncturists, and nutritionists who have seen thousands of their patients’ health improve over time when incorporating bone broth to an already healthy diet. The anecdotal evidence is pretty staggering.
I think it’s also important to note that Western and Eastern or “Alternative” medicine have long been at odds. When looking into clinical research studies, almost all of them find that acupuncture does not work, that the paleo diet is bollocks, and that eating organic and non-GMO foods is a waste of money. But many of us are living proof that these kinds of interventions work, and work very well.
The Bottom Line
Whether or not bone broth can be scientifically proven as the magical healing food that many claim it is doesn’t particularly matter to me. I’m willing to try anything to make my eczema go away and improve my digestion: even if it means adding a daily dose of bone broth to my diet. If that afternoon mug of salty deliciousness only helps me via the placebo effect, great! And if, in the meantime, I happen to crave less sugar, have more energy, and feel good about taking some time every day to feed myself something I’ve lovingly crafted by hours of simmering bones in water, I won’t mind being called a bone broth believer.