Would you drink bone broth? I thought it was a little crazy until one week threw me into desperate measures…
In that week, my toddler got pneumonia, my second grader threw up, my preschooler coughed for days on end, my husband coughed…and I would get a tickle of a sore throat now and then.
I knew about the health benefits of bone broth, but I always just used it in soup, not a cuppa.
RELATED: Natural Pneumonia Remedies.
But I knew other people just poured themselves a mug, and since I didn’t have soup on the menu plan, I decided to try it. Funny thing about that throat tickle – it went away.
I almost always have bone broth on hand – either recently made or saved in the freezer – because it’s a way for me to stretch my chicken and make a nourishing food that is super frugal.
My friend Tiffany of Don’t Waste the Crumbs shares:
We made a commitment last September to buy only organic, free-range chicken. It didn’t take long – oh, say 2 minutes of browsing the weekly grocery circulars – to realize that paying $6.99/lb for breasts was simply not in my grocery budget. Seeing the $2.49/lb price tag was already a significant change to the 79¢ per pound price that I was accustomed to. The only way to soothe my pocketbook was to maximize the chicken in every way possible by:
1. Buy whole chickens and butcher them yourself.
2. Save ALL your bones.
3. Reuse the bones until you can’t. Bones can be reused to make several batches of broth and like number two above, why throw them away if they still have something to offer?
10 Reasons to Drink Bone Broth
1. Immunity Boosting Fat
Chicken stock has long been thought to have special immune-boosting powers.
While there isn’t much science to back up this claim (don’t worry, I won’t tell your grandma), a 2000 study found that, in a lab environment, chicken soup had an inflammation-reducing effect which might account for its ability to kick colds and other minor bugs to the curb. 1
2. Warm Liquid is Soothing
It’s okay to mention the obvious.
There are plenty of other immune-boosting strategies, like apple cider vinegar water, using lots of raw garlic, and taking cod liver oil, but the soothing feel of a warm liquid on a cold day can’t be beat.
Super Mineral Boost (Uh-Oh…check the update!)
Bone broth contains minerals from the bones that are not only abundant but easy to assimilate into our bodies (unlike the whole mess with whole grains and phytic acid and such – see the soaking grains series for more info on that). Minerals that will help you stay in optimal health include:
- other trace minerals
But if you can’t find the time (or the well-sourced bones) to make your own, it’s hard to find commercial stock that actually uses bones, the key to all these benefits. Pacific Organic is one, found here at Thrive Market.
Was this just something people accepted on common sense assumptions? “If bones have calcium, it must therefore come out into the broth.” That’s a pretty big assumption.
I browsed around to some authority sites, but not one of them cites any research or real data. I know it’s more difficult to get nutritional info on homemade traditional foods, but all the real food blogs who talk about broth link to each other or to the Weston A. Price Foundation.
It goes in circles.
I do question the pressure cooking for 7 hours (!!!) that the guy doing the analysis did – although the fact that minerals went up when he doubled the time is interesting.
I wish he would have long, slow simmered for 12-24 hours and/or pressure cooked for 1 hour. Maybe it would have been the same result, but I’m a questioner. I want it to be true! But I’m also now a skeptic. Darn.
I guess there’s really only 9 reasons I drink broth now! 😉
Note: I emailed for more info as the article suggested and got no reply. Does that just mean this guy is tired of inquiries and doesn’t have time, or does it call into question the validity of his claims? I have seen elsewhere since that bone broth is NOT high in minerals. Shame.
4. Better Carrier for Garlic and Cayenne than Tea
Fresh garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper are great immunity-boosting foods to eat as well, and while ginger makes a decent tea, it’s just weird to sip tea with garlic and cayenne.
They taste awesome in broth though…
5. Gelatin for Joint Health
One of the incredible benefits of real bone broth made with the vinegar soak, all the cartilage from the animal, and the actual bones is that your finished stock should have a good amount of.
Gelatin is the cooked form of, which makes up about one-third of the protein in our bodies.
Gelatin provides glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and ultimately aids in avoiding joint pain.2
Could a cup a day keep the acetaminophen away? DIY broth is super inexpensive, and even buying it online (from the right sources that use bones and have a high gelatin content!) may cost less than doctor’s visits!
And, of course, you CAN buy gelatin or collagen in powdered form to add to your broth, cuppa joe, smoothie (collagen only), or make spoonable gelatin or gummies with 100% fruit juice. Use the code KS10 for 10% off!
6. Hair, Skin, and Nail Vibrancy
Collagen is great for your skin as it increases the elasticity of that organ – meaning fewer wrinkles and more supple skin. It also strengthens fingernails and can make your hair healthier.3
7. Aids Digestion
Yet another benefit of gelatin, bone broth helps your system digest more efficiently, especially milk, meat, beans, and grains. It serves to basically “seal” the gut from problems and can help people heal from leaky gut issues.
That’s likely why it’s used in GAPS and other gut healing diets. Who doesn’t need a little help digesting everything in our day and age?
It’s also why I included broth as the “B” in my redone BRATY diet for kids for feeding victims of tummy bugs.
8. Battles Stress? Improves Sleep?
Our bodies can create glycine on their own, which is why it’s not an “essential” amino acid that we must get from eating. However, we don’t always produce in the right balance, especially if we don’t eat in the right balance.
When we eat only animal meat, the amino acids delivered mimic those that our bodies create under stress. When our bodies are under stress cortisol excess can trigger the breakdown of our muscles to provide energy and material for repair.
Consuming gelatin is thought to counteract all that, can promote sleep, and may improve memory and learning behavior. The same function could even resist cancer and tumor growth.
This fun fact is a new one for me, but I can’t wait to try it the next time someone I know has insomnia. Warm milk, chamomile tea – move over, broth is coming through!
9. Frugal in More Ways than One
Bone broth is an incredibly frugal food, and every time I make a pot, I know I’m saving in the double digits compared to purchasing commercial stock or broth, plus the nutrition of the homemade is leaps and bounds ahead of anything in the store.
Besides that, yet another benefit of gelatin is that it acts as a “protein sparer,” meaning that any protein you eat in a meal with bone broth is used more efficiently in the body.
You can include less meat in your soup and thus less in your budget – I don’t know about you, but meat and other protein products are by far the most expensive line item on a real food budget. It’s nice to get a break sometimes.
RELATED: Is Lamb Healthy?
10. Delivery System for Nourishing Salt
Other than the salted caramel latte I’ve seen advertised recently, which I’m sure is fraught with its own sugary issues, salting your coffee or tea would just be a little weird.
When you drink bone broth, you can use Real Salt and replace electrolytes and over 60 trace minerals that your body needs.
Add all that to fact that you can still look cool like all the coffee drinkers with your mug, and you must ask yourself: Why not start the habit today?
I admit, I wasn’t so sure on my first cup. But it wasn’t long before I could honestly say I craved it.
It grows on you.
Give it a shot.
Kids Can Make Broth
It’s never too early to teach your kids about the amazing benefits of bone broth! Both for your health and your budget. Watch my kids make it on their own.
Need More Information?
Here are the how-to posts here at KS:
- The big one: The Encyclopedia of Chicken Stock! Improve your method, think outside the box, and get broth with serious gel!
- How many times can you use chicken bones for broth/stock? The best frugal tip — reuse the bones!
- Make Bone Broth in the Instant Pot
Other Natural Health Posts:
- What are Natural Antibiotics?
- Are Hand Sanitizers Safe?
- Get Rid of Warts Naturally
- Natural Remedies for Ear Infections
- Real Food BRATY Diet
- How We Kicked Whooping Cough
- You Probably Need a Parasite Cleanse
- Natural Pneumonia Treatments For Toddlers
- Natural Remedies for Croup
- Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI. Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.4.1150. PMID: 11035691.
- Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908×291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.
- Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24401291.