Bone broth has been popular in recent years, but it’s an age-old food use for many centuries. Still, some wonder if the nutrition is really there, or if it was just an old-fashioned way of not wasting anything. Read on to learn how this superfood can benefit your keto diet.
What is Bone Broth?
Made from simmering bones or the leftover carcass of things like whole chickens that have been roasted, bone broth is more than just soup stock. It is made by adding water, an acid like apple cider vinegar, vegetables, scraps, herbs, and spices to soup or meat bones and simmered on a low temperature for a long period of time, usually 24 hours or longer if done on the stove or in a slow cooker. Bone broth may be made faster in a pressure cooker, in as little as a few hours.
So why is everyone so keen on bone broth? It’s packed with nutrients and has all the same benefits of regular soup stock, too.
Nutrients in Bone Broth
It’s important to keep in mind that nutrients in bone broth can vary. It is dependent on what type of bones were used, how long it was cooked, how much acidic substance was used (because it helps extract nutrients from the bones), and more.
But the general nutritional profile for bone broth is as follows:
- 0 grams of fat
- 0 grams of carbohydrates
- 0 grams of fiber
- 10 grams of protein
In addition to protein, bone broth contains some other important nutrients that increase health benefits. These include:
- Collagen and gelatin
There are more micronutrients in bone broth, but these are the ones it is reliably known for. The actual amounts per batch and per serving, especially when homemade, are hard to determine. These nutrients, mostly amino acids and minerals, are found in high enough amounts to offer per-serving benefits.
Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth has plenty of health benefits, mostly due to well-researched effects of collagen, gelatin, antioxidants, and amino acids.
Collagen and gelatin can support good joint health in athletes and people with chronic disorders. It can help alleviate pain and promote better cushioning between tendons and joints. (1) They can also promote healthy skin, protect and support the proper function of gastrointestinal tissue and cells, and are even therapeutic in chronic disorders like inflammatory bowel disease. (2, 3, 4)
Glutathione, also known as the “mother of all antioxidants” in the human body, supports metabolism, cellular health, and can even protect DNA. (5)
- Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, et al. 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;24(5):1485–1496. doi:10.1185/030079908×291967
- Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47–55. doi:10.1159/000351376
- Frasca, G., Cardile, V., Puglia, C., Bonina, C., & Bonina, F. (2012). Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clinical and experimental gastroenterology, 5, 61–67. https://doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S28792
- Koutroubakis IE, Petinaki E, Dimoulios P, et al. Serum laminin and collagen IV in inflammatory bowel disease. J Clin Pathol. 2003;56(11):817–820. doi:10.1136/jcp.56.11.817
- Wu G, Fang YZ, Yang S, Lupton JR, Turner ND. Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health. J Nutr. 2004;134(3):489–492. doi:10.1093/jn/134.3.489