As we are entering the Fall/Winter seasons, along with the cold/flu season, I want to share one of my essential and tasty food groups – Bone Broth.
Considered to be one of the most ancient and remarkably nutritional substances on the planet, bone broth is a beneficial “elixir” made from simmering animal bones until they turn into nutrient-rich “liquid gold”. Remember…Bone broth can never substitute a rich and balanced diet.
The History of Bone Broth
Various cultures around the world have been making bone broth for thousands of years now.
More than 2,500 years ago, in Chinese medicine, the bone broth was used to strengthen the kidneys and support digestive health. It subsequently became a staple of traditional Asian meals, and nowadays it is frequently used as the base for various Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese soups. (My favorite is the signature soup of Vietnam – Pho).
In ancient Greece, the father of medicine Hippocrates was also recommending it for cleansing and digestive issues.
A South American proverb which holds that “a good broth can resurrect the dead” also explains the rich bone broth history.
General Information on Bone Broth
Bone broth has been around forever but has really had a resurgence in the past five or so years because it complements many of the current diet trends, such as Paleo and Keto; and the lifestyle of Intermittent Fasting.
Not only does bone broth taste great and provide numerous nutrients and beneficial compounds, but it’s versatile and easy to use in many recipes.
Bone broth isn’t just broth. And it isn’t just soup. It’s concentrated healing.
Yet the vast majority of the general public passes up the opportunity to boost its health with bone broth, often unaware of how incredibly good it is for you. Instead, if any broth is consumed, it’s often the store-bought, processed, sodium-filled, nutritionally-bankrupt version.
The Valuable Nutritional Components of Bone Broth
Bone broth is a great place to find valuable nutritional components, many of which can’t be obtained easily from other commonly eaten foods.
Amino Acids, particularly Glycine, Proline, Arginine
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Trace Minerals, i.e., Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus
Importance of Amino Acids in the Diet
Amino acids are molecules used by all living things to make proteins. Your body needs 20 different amino acids to function correctly. Nine of these amino acids are called essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be consumed through the food you eat. Essential amino acids can be found in a variety of foods, including bone broth, beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy (not my favorite).
Out of the 20 amino acids, your body produces the 11 amino acids you need. These are called nonessential amino acids. The nonessential amino acids are alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine.
Some nonessential amino acids are classified as ‘conditional’. This means they’re only considered essential when you’re ill or stressed. Conditional amino acids include arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline and serine. The 9 essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Amino acids are involved in many important roles in your body, and they include:
Break down food (digestion)
Grow and repair body tissue
Make hormones and brain chemicals (neurotransmitters)
Provide an energy source
Maintain healthy skin, hair and nails
Boost your immune system
Importance of Collagen in the Diet
Collagen is a protein and is the most abundant protein in the body. It accounts for about one-third of the body’s protein composition, thus providing structure and support.
As a protein, collagen is one of the major building blocks of skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones. In addition, it is also found in many other body parts, including eyes, teeth, gut and blood vessels. Depending upon the degree of mineralization, collagen tissues may be rigid (bone) or compliant (tendon) or have a gradient from rigid to compliant (cartilage).
Review my August 2021 LOLA Magazine article on collagen: readlola.com/2021/08/collagen-101
Importance of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in the Diet
Hyaluronic acid is a gooey, slippery substance that your body produces naturally. It is found throughout the body, especially in eyes, joints and skin. Hyaluronic acid is a remarkable substance because of all the benefits and uses it has in your body, such as helping things move smoothly (think joints), keeping things hydrated (think great water retainer), and making your skin flexible (think beautiful wrinkleless skin).
Importance of Chondroitin Sulfate in the Diet
Chondroitin sulfate is a compound present naturally in the body as an essential part of hyaline cartilage, a tissue that cushions your joints. People commonly use it to help combat the symptoms of Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage at the ends of your bones wears down, causing pain and increasing the risk of fracture.
Importance of Glucosamine in the Diet
Glucosamine is a compound that occurs naturally in your body, and it’s classified as an amino sugar. Glucosamine is primarily recognized for its role in developing and maintaining the cartilage within your joints. Thus, it is frequently used in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate, to treat and prevent joint disorders like Osteoarthritis (OA).
Importance of Gelatin in the Diet
Gelatin is a protein product derived from collagen. It has important health benefits due to its unique combination of amino acids. Gelatin has been shown to play a role in joint health and brain function and may improve the appearance of skin and hair.
Importance of Protein in the Diet
Your body needs protein to stay healthy and work the way it should. Protein has so many important functions and here are a few:
Reduces appetite and hunger levels, including cravings and desire for late-night snacking
Boosts metabolism and increases fat burning, thus helps maintain weight loss
Increases muscle mass and strength, and is good for your bones
Aids your body repair itself after injury
Helps you stay fit as you age
Lowers your blood pressure
Does not harm healthy kidneys
Helps make antibodies that fight off infections
Importance of Minerals, i.e., Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus in the Diet
Mineral salts are responsible for structural functions involving the skeleton and soft tissues, and for regulatory functions including neuromuscular transmission, blood clotting, oxygen transport, and enzymatic activity. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are required in relatively large amounts and are designated as macrominerals.
Minerals needed in smaller amounts are called trace / micro minerals, and they include iron, zinc, fluoride, selenium, copper, chromium, iodine, manganese, and molybdenum.
With the knowledge of the valuable nutritional components of bone broth, here are the Major Benefits of Bone Broth:
Supports Bone Health
Aids in Metabolism (Energy), and thus Promotes Anabolism (Muscle Building)
Maintain Healthy Skin
Excellent for the Gut
Boosts Detoxification, particularly Liver Detox and protecting Kidney Function
Supports Immune System Function
The Bottom Line
Bone broth contains many important nutrients, some of which are known to have incredible health benefits.
However, the research on bone broth itself is still emerging.
What is known for sure is that bone broth is highly nutritious, and by adding it to your diet may provide a whole host of health benefits.
If I can be of any further service either in Shreveport (pairO’docs Bio-Rejuvenis) or the Greater New Orleans Area (Bopp Dermatology & Facial Plastic Surgery), please reach out to me by completing the Healthspan Quiz at www.drkarenpendleton.com
Dr. Karen’s Chicken Bone Broth
Calories 2775 / Carbs 228 g / Protein / 147 g / Fat 150 g / Fluid 245 fl oz
The listed ingredients are the starting point. Other vegetables can be added per one’s taste.
Seasoning is also variable. Salt to taste. Consider star of anise and Thai chili peppers for unique flavorings.
Chicken thigh with bone 6 thigh
Yellow onion 2 whole
Turnips, raw 1 medium
Rutabagas, raw 1 large
Jicama 1 medium
Celery 4 large stalk
Garlic 6 clove
Beet greens raw 3 Cup(s)
Dandelion greens raw 8 oz
Parsley 12 sprigs
Extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp
Drinking water 16 Cup(s)
Carrots 3 large
Vinegar apple cider unfiltered organic by spectrum ½ Cup(s)
Tumeric root 4 grams (0 oz)
1. Chop one onion
2. Divide the turnip, rutabaga and jicama into quarters
3. Spilt the celery and carrots into sticks
4. In a large stock pot with lid, add the oil and bring to high heat. When hot (check by spraying water into the oil), add the chopped onion. Caramelize for 3-5 minutes (until clear)
5. Add the garlic and cook for one minute
6. Add the chicken thighs
7. Add 3 cups of water
8. Add apple cider vinegar
9. Keep covered and on high heat for ten minutes
10. Add vegetables and keep covered and on high heat for ten minutes
DISCLAIMER: All of the information found in this article is based on the opinion of the author Karen M. Pendleton, M.D. The information is meant to motivate readers to make their own health decisions after consulting with their own health care providers. All readers should consult a doctor before making a health change, especially those that are related to a specific diagnosis or health condition. No information in this article should be relied on in determining a diet, making a medical diagnosis, or determining a treatment for a medical condition. The information in this article is not intended to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare practitioner and is not intended as medical advice. No information in this article should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.