What Are The Benefits Of Bone Broth? - Ask a Nutritionist

January 19, 2023

If you haven't heard of bone broth and its many benefits, get ready. Looking to get better sleep? Want to strengthen your skins elasticity? Need an easy source of protein? Try some bone broth. Listen in to this episode of Ask a Nutritionist to learn about how you can improve your health by adding bone broth to your diet.

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TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition's new midweek segment called “Ask a Nutritionist”. My name is Teresa Wagner. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian for Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And on today's show I will be answering a couple of questions we have received from our Dishing Up Nutrition listeners. The first question we are going to cover today is from a listener who saw an ad about bone broth. The ad mentioned that bone broth would improve skin health. It would help with sleep. It would, you know, help with weight loss and muscle tone, and they want to know if these are all true benefits. And if there's other ways to accomplish these benefits without the bone broth.

Sleep benefits


So yes, bone broth is one of nature's gems. Let's go through some of the individual benefits and how bone broth helps. For sleep, bone broth contains glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that supports the central nervous system. Studies show that glycine may support better sleep quality. It's even more effective when it's paired with magnesium and calcium minerals that are also found in bone broth.

Skin benefits


For skin, bone broth is a great source of collagen. Collagen plays a role in strengthening the skin as well as elasticity and hydration. As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles.

Is there a weight correlation?


As far as weight is concerned, drinking bone broth is not going to magically result in weight loss, but it can be helpful for weight loss because it's high in protein and it's filling. Having a cup of bone broth as a snack will fill you up without filling you out. One of the best ways that you can support your muscle tone is through exercise and eating adequate protein, and bone broth is a great source of protein. Drinking bone broth is a great way to boost your protein intake. In fact, one cup of bone broth contains 10 grams of protein.

Healthy joints and intestinal health correlation


And a couple other things that bone broth is known to help with that, I'm going to address here too, because other people might be thinking about it: healthy joints and intestinal health.  So bone broth can be great for helping with healthy joints because it contains the nutrients that are actually found in our joints. What better way to nourish your joints than to actually feed them the nutrients that they're made out of; including hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, magnesium, all found in bone broth.

Plus it contains several amino acids that support joint mobility like glycine and proline. And for supporting intestinal health and digestion, bone broth has that collagen we talked about, and it also has L-glutamine, an amino acid. Both that amino acid and that collagen are well known for their ability to help to rebuild and support the cells of the intestinal track. So maybe bone broth is a magic elixir.

Can I accomplish these health benefits without drinking bone broth?


Our listener also asked if there are other ways to accomplish these health benefits. I'm assuming it's because they're not interested in drinking the bone broth straight. So perhaps adding it to food would help. A couple ideas for this is when browning ground meats, you can add some of the bone broth to the pan and the water of the bone broth will evaporate away, but the nutrients will stay in that ground meat. I do this when I'm making tacos, so I brown up the ground beef and then when I'm adding the spices, instead of using water, I will use bone broth in that recipe. If you make rice or quinoa, you can always replace half of the water that you're going to use with bone broth. Or, I mean, you can use bone broth for the entire liquid amount if you're making soups or stews. Bone broth is great to use as a replacement for just stock.

Otherwise, if you're not interested in making bone broth or you don't want to buy a quality  brand of bone broth, eating enough animal protein will help as, as can, taking a quality collagen supplement like our Key Collagen, or even taking some supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. But bone broth, it has these extra nutrients that come from the actual bones, from the cartilage and from the connective tissue; parts of the animal that we don't actually eat. And because the bone broth is simmered for an extended period of time, usually 20 hours or longer, those amino acids, the minerals, the gelatin, the collagen, the hyaluronic acid, the glucosamine, the chondroitin, all those nutrients can be extracted and in that bone broth. So that's why bone broth in and of itself is special compared to just eating animal protein.

Bone broth is a wonderful food and I highly recommend anyone eat it if they're interested in any of the health benefits or just as a part of a healthy diet. Thank you so much for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition's “Ask a Nutritionist”. If you have any nutrition questions that you would like us to answer, we invite you to join our Dishing Up Nutrition Facebook community by searching Dishing Up Nutrition on Facebook. This private group is moderated by nutritionists, dietitians, nutrition educators, and provides Dishing Up Nutrition listeners a safe and supportive community to ask questions, share ideas, and get inspired.

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Once you're a member of our community, we invite you to join the conversation and share your questions with us. Don't be shy. If you have a question, just let us know. We, we really look forward to hearing from you. As always, our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. Thank you for listening today and enjoy your day.

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