“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.” Proverbs 15:30
I’ve seen quite a few post about the health benefits of bone broth. This is made when you take chicken or beef bones and cook them with vinegar for an extended amount of time, usually 24 (chicken) to 48 (beef) hours. Are the health benefits really worth investing all that time?
The following are some of the nutrients found in bones/bone broth
- Chondroitin sulfate
- Glucosamine sulfate
Here are some of the health claims I’ve collected from around the web.
- Reduce joint pain and inflammation
- support connective tissue
- Sooth the digestive system
- improve digestion
- Reduce inflammation
- strengthen hair and nails
- rich in protein
- strengthen immune system
- help heal leaky gut
- stimulates new collagen growth
In general all the claims seem to be made based on the ingredients found in bone broth and the positive effect those ingredients have been shown to have. Logically, those pushing bone broth say since bone broth has all these nutrients, it should be a benefit in the same way.
For example, we know that chondroitin and glucosamine are good for your joints and reduce pain and inflammation for some arthritis patients. Logically, since bone broth contains chondroitin and glucosamine it must also be good for your joints.
There are few or no studies specifically on bone broth so there is no proof that any of these claims are true. The studies that have been done are on the individual nutrients. They just happen to be found in bone broth.
However, since there are no studies, really there is no proof that these claims are false either.
So in a nutshell there are no studies showing bone broth doesn’t fulfill these claims, or that they do fulfill them. What you will find are lots of anecdotes from people who say it may or may not have helped them.
So it’s up to the individual to see what works for them.
What do we know about bone broth?
- There has been a study that indicated that the nutrients in bone broth can benefit those with osteoarthritis. Patients showed improvement in mobility and pain relief.
- Chicken broth has been shown to boost the immune system.
- It’s a good source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.
- It has many culinary uses.
- It taste good! Especially on a day like today. A little broth in a mug sounds awfully warming. It definitely taste better than anything you get in a can or carton.
I thought I’d give making some beef broth a try. The hardest part was finding bones. Apparently, some woman was buying up all the beef bones. I went to 3 stores and and the story was always the same. As soon as the shipment came in some woman bought up the whole box. Someone is kicking back with some warming broth today.
It is best to use organic, grass-fed bones, if possible. They are the healthiest option.
I found it was pretty easy to make. The vinegar is important to break down the bones and marrow. I used good bones so it didn’t find that I needed to skim much scum from the top. If you get the scum floating, be sure to remove it.
Before I simmered the bones and vegetables, I roasted them in the oven. This gives them a nice flavor. You can roast them together if you want to but they didn’t all fit on the pan, so I did them separately. I started boiling the bones as the vegetables were roasting and then just added them in.
The vegetables and spices are optional. Add whatever vegetables and flavors you enjoy eating to make your broth a tasty treat. Put your own spin on it.
I was a little nervous about simmering 48 hours. I did leave it on over night and it was fine. However, when we went to church and no one was home I did shut it off when we left and turned it back on when we returned.
Bottom line– I don’t know if it is super good for you like some say. But I am confident that it is not going to hurt me and it was quite yummy.
Beef Bone Broth
- 4 lbs grass fed, organic beef marrow bones
- 4 quarts water
- 3 carrots washed, cut into large pieces
- 2 celery stalks, washed and cut into large pieces
- 1 large onion cut into chunks
- 1 head garlic, cut crosswise
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T peppercorns
- handful fresh parsley
- add other spices you desire for taste
- add salt to taste when done
- large pot with a tight fitting lid.
- Roast the bones in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn halfway through. Place them in a large pot add the 4 quarts of water. Start that boiling.
- Roast the cut up vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway. Add to water.
- Add vinegar, bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 48 hours.
- Add water as necessary to keep the bones and vegetables covered.
- Add parsley, salt and other spices during the last hour.
- Remove the vegetables and bones.
- Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer.
- Let cool. Put in containers to refrigerate or freeze.
- Once cold, you can peel the fat layer off the top, if so desired.
If you are aware of any studies or trials on bone broth, let me know and I’ll try to work them in here.
Do you have any experience with the health claims of bone broth? Let us know.