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Bone Broth – Super Food or Super Fad?

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I keep seeing pins and articles touting bone broth as a super food cure for everything from arthritis to poor skin to weight loss. Ever the skeptic, I’ve done a little research on the subject and want to share what I’ve found with our lovely readers.

Bone Broth – Super Food or Super Fad?

First of all… what the heck is bone broth? Believe it or not, bone broth is actually stock, which is used as a starting point for plenty of recipes and soups or stews. Here is a fairly typical recipe:

Ingredients:

1 – 2 lbs of Bones (usually beef, pork or chicken)

Celery

Carrots

Garlic cloves

Onion

1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Seasonings: Thyme, pepper, salt and any other favorite

Directions:

Roast bones in the oven at 375 degrees until they are browned.

Add bones to your slow cooker and add just enough water to cover.

Mix in remaining ingredients and set the slow cooker to low.

For poultry or fish bones you should cook a minimum of 4 hours. For any other type of bone let it cook for 6 hours. Most people will let this simmer all night to help intensify the flavor.

Bone Broth – Fact or Fad?

Everyone from celebrities and professional athletes to Paleo dieting gurus are touting it as a super food that helps with digestion, skin and hair health and joint pain due to the protien that bone broth contains. This protein comes mostly from the breakdown of collagen in the bones due to the cooking process. It makes sense that consuming protein rendered from collagen would mean that it would be used by your body to repair and rebuild the collagen-needy areas, right? Mmmm, not necessarily.

Your body takes protein and breaks it down into amino acids, which are absorbed in your intestines, then sent out to the areas of your body that protein is needed. These amino acids are the building blocks of protein and your body does not earmark them for a specific purpose. So, the protein you consume by eating lentil beans has the same likelihood of ending up as collagen in your body as the protein you consume drinking bone broth. And while there are nutrients in the broth that come from the vegetables, you are much better off actually eating the vegetables you throw in the recipe because you will absorb more of the nutrients.

But Wait…

While bone broth may not be the super food people thought it was, it can do you some good. Drinking a steaming cup of broth is a great way to soothe sore throats, lift your mood and reduce stress. Bone broth can also help you lose weight if you are using it to replace high calorie snacks or meals. Plus! Having delicious, homemade broth available means you will most likely cook more homemade meals and eat better (that’s what I tell myself anyway).

So What’s the Verdict?

As a soup lover from way back I have to say I was disappointed that the bone broth hype didn’t live up to its reputation. Personally, I’ve used it to help settle upset stomachs for years, but never thought about using it for weight loss. Instead of grabbing hyper-processed protein powders and bars, I think I’ll try cooking up a batch of bone broth instead. It’s a much cleaner and natural approach to a balanced diet.

*If you’re a bone broth believer please drop us line and let us know what benefits you are seeing.

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