If you’ve stayed on track with the latest health trends, you may have seen your fair share of new bone broth products. A man-made liquid that has been around for centuries has now made a huge comeback on the market as a health food product, and for good reason. Its nutritional benefits give it an A+ rating.
Bone broth’s popularity can be attributed in part to its purported benefits for gut health, a topic that has stormed the media as further research emphasizes its importance in overall human health. But what exactly does bone broth do for our gut health? Let’s take a deeper look at the topic of bone broth for gut health so you can learn everything you need to know.
What is Gut Health?
Gut health is an all-encompassing term used for anything that supports the variety of healthy microorganisms found within our lower intestines, collectively known as our gut microbiome. These microorganisms range from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and more, and play an essential role in many body functions necessary for human survival.
Recent research has suggested a strong link between the human microbiome and a variety of aspects of human health, including its relationship with digestion, immunity, heart health, brain health, blood sugar management, weight, and more. Although further research on these topics is still underway and the exact mechanisms are not well known, this information has changed the nutrition game.
Now that it is becoming clearer the impact our gut health plays on human health and its relationship to various conditions, more and more gut health-promoting products can be found on the shelves. Consumers are beginning to emphasize probiotic and prebiotic products and doing their own research into how they can best support their gut flora.
Bone Broth and Health Benefits
Now that we can see that gut health is incredibly impactful on the human body in many ways, how does that relate to bone broth? Considering bone broth is not labeled under a prebiotic or probiotic food source, what makes it a beneficial additive for those looking to support their microbiome?
If you aren’t familiar with bone broth, it is a liquid that is created by simmering animal bones and connective tissue many might use for soups, stews, gravies, or just for sipping. Although it is like a regular broth in flavor, it’s considerably more nutritious. The specific nutrient content of the bone broth will depend heavily on the animal used to make it, but they all have a few things in common.
Animal bones, like human bones, are rich in essential minerals for bone health, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. The connective tissue present in animal bones is also a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, known for their support in joint health.
The bone marrow in bone broth presents a myriad of beneficial vitamins and minerals as well as omega 3 fats, which have been suggested by research to reduce inflammation in the body. Lastly, animal bones are a good source of collagen, a protein essential for skin, joint health, bone health, muscle health, and more.
Now that we have an idea of some of the nutritional benefits bone broth brings to the table, let’s take a deeper look at how the nutrients in this age-old concoction benefit our gut microbiome.
Bone Broth for Gut Health
Although bone broth doesn’t contribute to the healthy flora in the microbiome, it helps to create a thriving environment for it. Research suggests bone broth may be beneficial in healing and protecting the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The mucosal lining of our gut is the home and food for our microbiome; therefore, the health of that lining dictates the health of our overall gut. Although research on this is promising, further human trials are needed for more information.
The amino acid glutamine in bone broth is also believed to help reduce inflammation and limit the risk of chronic conditions that affect the gut, such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. It does this by helping to regulate intestinal permeability. This means allowing only the good things in through our mucosal lining of the gut and keeping the bad things out. It is believed this is also helpful in reducing incidences of leaky gut syndrome.
Other amino acids present in bone broth can help reduce inflammation as well. Arginine and glycine are believed to exert a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Although inflammation is a necessary component of survival, chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk for a variety of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Other Benefits of Bone Broth
Aside from creating a healthy environment for our gut microbiome to thrive, bone broth has many other nutritional benefits. One of the most widely studied benefits of bone broth includes its role in bone and joint health. Because it is made from animal bones, connective tissue, and marrow, it is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other compounds needed to support the human frame.
Bone broth is also great for supporting a healthy weight. With low calories and a good dose of protein per serving, bone broth can be incredibly satiating without increasing your overall calorie intake. Because it is rich in protein, bone broth can help build and maintain lean muscle mass as well. This savory liquid may even improve your sleep. Some research suggests glycine present in bone broth can help with relaxation and promote more restful sleep overall.
What to Consider When Choosing Bone Broth
Bone broth can be incredibly easy to make at home with only a few ingredients, however, for those looking to purchase a high-quality bone broth, there are a few things to keep in mind. Always read the ingredients list before purchasing. Although there may be tempting claims on the bone broth label, the ingredients list tells you exactly what is included in their product without any fluff added.
You want a bone broth that contains only the necessary ingredients: animal bones, water, and vinegar. Other ingredients may be added for flavor, such as rosemary, onion, carrots, etc. Be sure the ingredients added are whole and unprocessed. If you are looking for a bone broth that is going to give you the most anti-inflammatory benefit for your buck, choose a grass-fed beef bone broth.
Bear in mind that bone broth often comes with a hefty price tag, especially compared to its more commonly used counterpart, regular broth or stock. A popular brand of bone broth on the market is Kettle & Fire, which will run you about $7.99 for a 16-ounce container depending on where you purchase it. If you are looking to incorporate bone broth into your routine regularly, you might consider trying your hand at making your own.
Best Bone Broth Options
Make Your Own
As mentioned previously, making your own bone broth can be both easy and cost-effective when compared to purchasing it premade in most cases. If you are wanting to incorporate bone broth into your diet regularly, you may consider this option.
To make bone broth, you first need bones. Instead of going out and purchasing these, save them when you make your meals, such as the next time you have a whole chicken. This not only eliminates waste, but it also helps to reduce cost. If you don’t often have these available to you, you can always ask your local butcher for bones.
Once you have your bones, all you need is some water and vinegar. Simply combine these ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer and let them cook for 12-24 hours. Once it is done cooking, cool it, strain it, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For those who don’t plan on eating bone broth too frequently or who simply prefer their bone broth already made, there are quite a few bone broth powder and bone broth protein powder options available. Some options worth considering include Kettle & Fire Bone Broth, Pacifica Foods Organic Bone Broth, Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth, Terra Origin Collage + Protein Bone Broth, and Organixx Organic Bone Broth Protein.
Kettle & Fire
Non-GMO and USDA certified organic, Kettle & Fire Bone Broth is a great choice for those looking for a high-quality bone broth to purchase. Containing only bone broth, vinegar, and seasonings, this product is free of any unnecessary added ingredients and is a favorite among many consumers due to its great taste.GET THE BEST PRICE ON KETTLE & FIRE
Another top pick for high-quality bone broth is Pacific Foods Organic bone broth. Like Kettle & Fire, it is free of unnecessary additives but contains some seasonings to add flavor, such as onions, carrots, and celery. Pacific Foods bone broth is also more budget-friendly when compared to Kettle & Fire, at almost $2 less for a 16-ounce container.GET THE BEST PRICE ON PACIFIC FOODS
Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth
Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth is a popular option in the bone broth space designed by naturopathic physician, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci. This bone broth is available in both liquid and powder form and includes bone broth from organic, pastured meat sources. Additionally, Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth also includes bovine collagen, protein, and fiber as well as other ingredients like Reishi mushroom, turmeric, and cauliflower powder.USE CODE “FITNESSCLONE” FOR $10 OFF DR. KELLYANN BONE BROTH
Terra Origin is a top bone broth option that also adds collagen and protein into its formula. It includes types I and III collagen from bovine sources, bone broth sourced from turkey and chicken sources, and 1.5 grams of MCT. It is worth noting that Terra Origin is lightly sweetened with 200mg of stevia leaf extract. Additionally, it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.GET 10% OFF TERRA ORIGIN
Organixx Organic Bone Broth Protein
One final option worth considering is Organixx Organic Bone Broth Protein. It comes in powder form and is formulated with organic chicken bone broth protein concentrate, organic cocoa powder, organic guar gum, organic stevia leaf extract, and organic monk fruit extract. Organixx’s ingredients are all high-quality and naturally sourced, with no artificial ingredients or preservatives included.SAVE UP TO 15% ON ORGANIXX ORGANIC BONE BROTH PROTEIN
FAQ: Bone Broth for Gut Health
How fast does bone broth improve gut health?
You will begin getting benefits from consuming high-quality bone broth immediately however, the amount of benefit you get from it will only increase with frequency. If you are consuming bone broth for gut health, you may not notice a difference after just one serving.
How often should you drink bone broth?
To get the most benefit it is encouraged to consume bone broth regularly, however, this will vary from person to person due to price and availability. Some sources recommend consuming about 1 cup per day however, at least one serving per week will still provide benefits.
How much bone broth should you drink every day?
You don’t need to consume a large amount of bone broth to get the benefits from it. In fact, it might be challenging to consume a lot of it due to the high protein content which can cause it to be quite filling. About 8-ounces per day is sufficient to provide nutritional benefits.
When is the best time to drink bone broth?
Research has not determined a specific time of day to be more beneficial for consuming bone broth. When it is best to consume this product is going to vary from person to person. If you can find a way to incorporate it into your routine regularly, the time which you take it will not make a difference in its effects.
Is there a specific type of bone broth that is the best for gut health?
There are many different types of bone broth depending on the animal bones it is made from. The best bone broth will contain a variety of different bones. Whether you consume beef, chicken, or fish bone broth, the best option has not yet been determined. In fact, it is recommended to consume a variety of these different animal bone broths to ensure you are getting the most benefit.