As the name suggests, bone broth is a nutrient dense stock made by simmering bones and connective tissue of animals, it can be used in soups, sauces, or drank alone. Animal bones are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, collagen, among other nutrients. However, many people don’t get enough of these nutrients from their diet and bone broth has been becoming a popular way to get more of them and acquire amazing health benefits.
The gelatin in the bone broth can support healthy digestion because it can bind to water in the digestive tract, which helps foods move through the gut easily; it can also protect and heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. L-glutamine is also an important amino acid found in bone broth, it has been shown to support intestinal lining when faced with inflammation from food sensitivities or any inflammatory responses.
The amino acids proline and glycine found in bone broth are essential for hormone production and the detoxification process. They aid in excess estrogen detoxification to avoid imbalances like estrogen dominance that can drive PCOS, endometriosis, and infertility. As mentioned before, bone broth can improve gut bacteria and microbiome, creating an optimal environment of bacteria that can metabolize and balance hormones.
Some amino acids, specifically glycine and arginine can have anti-inflammatory effects; they act on macrophages to suppress the formation of free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in cells, combating inflammation.
All of the animal parts contain collagen, it is the main protein found in bones, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen turns into gelatin when cooked to provide important amino acids, these include glucosamine and chondroitin. These are natural compounds found in cartilage which help support joint health and reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis.
The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can also aid in relaxation. Glycine can help increase blood flow to extremities which reduces the core body temperature, a key part of the body’s progression to sleep. It also increases serotonin levels, promoting calming effects on the brain which can enhance the quality of sleep and support healthy brain function.
Both beef and chicken bone broths are great sources of amino acids, collagen, gelatin, and other nutrients. Since beef bone broth is more dense, it has a richer and bolder taste. On the contrary, chicken bone broth is lighter and may be easier to digest for some people. In addition to this, since they have different nutritional content, they also have different benefits in our bodies.
Beef bones are denser than chicken bones. Because of this, the beef bone broth yields a higher concentration of minerals and collagen than chicken. People usually report experiencing a greater energy boost when drinking beef broth due to higher concentrations of minerals.
1 cup of beef bone broth provides approximately 40 calories, 10g of protein, and 7g of collagen; compared to chicken bone broth that provides about 45 calories, 10g protein, and 4g of collagen.
Beef bone broth is more beneficial for gut health because it contains more of the amino acid glycine which fights inflammation in the gut by laying down new connective tissue. This new tissue protects the mucosal lining in our GI tract making our body more resilient to inflammatory foods.
Chicken bone broth is better for joint and tendon pain because its amino acid profile is mostly type II collagen, which is commonly used to treat osteoarthritis, joint and tendon pain. Type II collagen has also been proven to reduce visible signs of aging like wrinkles, while increasing hydration in skin, hair teeth and nails; this happens because collagen and hyaluronic acid in skin is increased.
Both bone broths are great sources of vitamins and nutrients, choose whichever one is more convenient for you and the one you enjoy the most. The brand that I like is Kettle & Fire, it contains no artificial flavorings or added preservatives. You can save 20% with this link here.
The most basic way to enjoy bone broth is to drink it straight like a cup of tea, however, bone broth can be consumed in many different ways. You can use it to make soup by using it in any soup recipe that calls for stock or broth. It could also be substituted for water when making rice, quinoa or pasta, or use it to sauté or stir fry veggies. You can browse all of Kettle & Fire’s broth recipes here. I also enjoy sharing about how I use it in recipes on my instagram @nutritionwithlo. Follow me for this and many more tips!
Written by: Mariana Lozano
Zhong, Zhi et al. “L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care vol. 6,2 (2003): 229-40. doi:10.1097/00075197-200303000-00013
“5 Bone Broth Benefits to Support Your Skin, Joints & More.” Kettle & Fire, https://www.kettleandfire.com/pages/bone-broth-benefits.
Meakin, Connor. “Chicken vs. Beef Bone Broth: Which Is Better for You.” Bluebird Provisions, Bluebird Provisions, 30 Mar. 2020, https://bluebirdprovisions.co/blogs/news/best-bone-broth
McDonell, Kayla. “Here Are 6 Reasons to Drink Bone Broth.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 30 Nov. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bone-broth#what-bone-broth-is.