For all the kitchen nerds, bone broth is basically stock. Beef stock, chicken stock – you get the point.
And what is stock? Stock is a soup base made from roasted and boiled bones that extracts all the nutrients and benefits from the bones, into a liquid form we can consume.
If you’ve ever eaten soup, you’ve had stock.
Why are people calling it bone broth? Bone broth is soup stock on steroids.
The bones (chicken, beef, or pork usually) are roasted first, to improve the flavor. But then, unlike normal stock, bone broths are simmered for a very long period of time (often for 8 hours, and sometimes more than 24 hours), with the purpose being not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release a trace minerals from bones.
At the end of cooking, the bones themselves should crumble when pressed lightly between your fingers – proof that all the goodness has been cooked out of the bones, into the liquid.
If you’ve ever eaten had delicious Vietnamese beef noodle soup, Pho, that’s an example of just how good bone broth can get. It’s slow-cooked and has amazing depth of flavor.
Bone broth is trending hard these days, because people are realizing and experiencing the health benefits of collagen and gelatin, two things lacking in out fast food culture and lack of nose-to-tail eating. In NYC, land of food trends in action, there’s even a bone broth take-out joint!
Bone broth is a premium source of gelatin, which supports skin health and digestive health, and helps heal leaky gut syndrome.
For some women, leaky gut syndrome may be the root cause of hair loss and inflammation in the body: hair growth recovery follows gut recovery.
Bone broths are high in other key proteins and minerals. Glycine supports the body’s detoxification process and is used during the synthesis of hemoglobin.
Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when combined with vitamin C, supports skin health.
One of the most important advantages of bone broth is also one of the most important parts of our skin Collagen is a group of proteins that make up our hair, joints, nails, and skin, and the heating of water helps to leach the collagen peptides from animal bones.
Collagen can become depleted if you are deficient in protein. If you aren’t consuming enough protein to replenish the vital tissues, a triage reaction will take collagen destined for your skin or hair and transfer it to the repairing of your vital tissues.
Elastin is another protein that’s super important for our skin as it allows a muscle to return to its original shape after being stretched or shifted.
One of the major problems with simply saying, get more protein into your diet, is that protein comes from any sources, not all of which have equal value.
Bioavailability is a pharmacological/nutritional term which describes how much of a given substance enters into circulation by your body and is available for use. A food that has a low bioavailable value means that less of the stated amount of nutrients is actually being absorbed for use by the body.
Sources of protein are a good example of how not all food delivers the goods equally.
Lysine and leucine are the names of two separate essential amino-acids (proteins) which the body needs to keep skin healthy.
The overwhelmingly significant sources of lysine and leucine are red meat. The amounts of protein in something like beans, lentils, eggs, and nuts, are comparable with the protein content of meat, but the bioavailability of those proteins are not 1 to 1 in ratio.
You’d likely have to eat far more nuts or lentils to get the equivalent amount of lysine and leucine which you could get from a piece of steak or pork shoulder roast.
One of the reasons this might be is that proteins locked within a food item’s molecular skeleton may be unreachable before the food is discarded through the fecal matter.
So while you may be getting enough protein in theory from snacking on nuts and seeds with lunch and eating spinach and lentils for dinner, you could be getting far less than what you think.