Everything you need to know about bone broth

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From what it is, to what it does and why you need it in your diet

While bone broth has been around and enjoyed for centuries, the brew has certainly been experiencing a renaissance in recent years, with everyone from nutritionists to celebrity chefs hailing it as a magic edible elixir that can remedy a huge range of digestive issues.

To find out what all the fuss is about, we spoke to two leading health experts, Kim Holmes and Melissa Morphet, for their professional opinion on the superfood.

What is bone broth?

According to nutritionist and owner of The Healthy Little B Nutrition and Wellness, Kim Holmes, bone broth “is an ancient wonder food. To put it simply, bone broth is a solution of simmering the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish with the addition of apple cider vinegar and your choice of vegetables and herbs over a period of time.”

What are the benefits?

It turns out the hype behind bone broth’s benefits stack up. Holmes says, “bone broth contains a huge amount of nutrients that offer so many holistic benefits to the human body. In fact, it would take pages of information to shared them all.” Put simply however, Holmes reveals that bone broth’s main benefits are its ability to improve skin and hair health, joint health, gut health and immune health.

Skin and hair health

Bone broth boosts the health and strength of hair and nails, as it is rich in collagen. As Holmes explains, collagen is “one of the main structural proteins in our body that plays a very important role in giving the skin its smoothness, moisture and elasticity”.

Joint health

According to Holmes, “various studies have shown that diets rich in chondroitin and glucosamine provide relief from joint pain and inflammation.” Bone broth is rich in these two nutrients, which can help to alleviate pain for both ageing joints and athletes.

Gut health

One of the main benefits of bone broth is its positive impact on the gut and digestive system. This is the case as it is “highly anti-inflammatory and reduces irritation and mucus in the gut – where many diseases can begin,” says Holmes.

Additionally, Holmes explains that gelatin (found in abundance in bone broth) also assists in healing the lining and improving the integrity of the gut.

Immune health

As a large portion of our immune system lies in the gut, when your gut is healthy and functioning efficiently, so too will your immune system. This is because “gut-healing nutrients such as glutamine, glycine and proline reduce intestinal inflammation and allow the immune system to work as well as it can,” Holmes explains.

Does bone broth promote weight loss?

“Bone broth can play a role in a weight loss program,” reveals Holmes. As the brew is rich in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), it can be incorporated into the diet as a nutrient-rich and fairly low calorie snack that helps you stay full for longer.

How do you make bone broth?

Melissa Morphet, CEO and founder of Be Wellbeing Broth says making your own bone broth is actually simple and requires only a few ingredients: bones, vegetables, apple cider vinegar and water.

However, Morphet admits the challenging part is the time it takes to make the broth. “Once you’ve allowed the mixture to sit and cook for an hour, the best bone broths are reduced to simmer and cooked between 12-24 hours,” she explains.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to make your own batch, you can pick up Be Wellbeing Broth from your local Woolworths. And if you’re concerned that the broths available in your supermarket aisle may be jam-packed full of preservatives, fear not. According to Morphet, “Be Wellbeing Broth doesn’t differ from homemade bone broths as our philosophy is to bring you a bone broth that is 100 per cent full of goodness with no preservatives or added nasties.” She continues, “the only difference is the Be Broth removes the fat from the top of the broth as it cools whereas many homemade recipes tend to keep the fat in the product.”

How does bone broth differ from stock?

You would be forgiven for thinking that bone broth possesses some similar qualities to stock (they are both made from the simmering of animal bones after all). However, Morphet explains that that’s where the similarities end. “Firstly, broth is a finished, clean and nutritious product, which can be consumed on its own, whereas stock is a liquid that is left unseasoned for cooking. Additionally, stock is commonly packed with added preservatives to enhance flavour and lifespan.”

If you’re on a health kick and want to know how to improve your diet and overall health, then check out the top six foods you should be eating for better skin.

Are you a bone broth addict? If so, let us know your favourite recipe in the comments below.

Image credit: @karliekloss