Bioavailability — How Bone Broth Is Easily Absorbed for Maximum Nutrition
Could you be eating the right foods, but not actually absorbing the important nutrients your body needs? What you eat is just one component of a healthy diet. A range of factors influence how your body actually processes and uses that food, including how the food is prepared and your own personal physiology. All of these factors help determine the bioavailability of a food or a nutrient.
What is bioavailability?
Bioavailability refers to how well a substance is absorbed by the body’s circulatory system. Foods that are highly bioavailable are those that your body can digest and absorb quickly and efficiently. They are generally easier to digest and don’t require a lot of work by the digestive system to process.
Bioavailability is an important consideration because even if you eat the right foods, your body won’t get the nutrients it needs to build and maintain good health if it isn’t able to absorb those nutrients.
What factors influence bioavailability?
The manner in which a food is prepared can make nutrients more bioavailable. Cooked vegetables are generally easier to break down and digest than raw vegetables. However, some nutrients can be lost during the cooking process, so it’s best for most people to include a variety of cooked and raw vegetables in their diets. For example, cooking spinach increases the bioavailability of the iron, but raw spinach is high in vitamin C and fiber.
Advanced age can also influence the bioavailability of certain nutrients. Elderly people often have health conditions that impair their ability to absorb the nutrients in their food. One of these conditions is atrophic gastritis, which is chronic inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Individuals with atrophic gastritis may have difficulty absorbing nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and beta-carotene.
Other common health conditions can also impair nutrient absorption. Intestinal permeability, also referred to as leaky gut syndrome, occurs when the barrier of the intestines is dysfunctional, allowing substances such as undigested food particles and toxins to pass from the intestines into the bloodstream.
How You Can Increase the Bioavailability of Your Food
Most nutrients are best absorbed from food, so while taking supplements can help fill in gaps in your diet where you may need more nutrients, it’s best to work towards improving the bioavailability of the nutrients in your food. Cooking certain vegetables, or using them to make juices and smoothies, is one way to accomplish this.
Consuming bone broth is another. Bone broth is often cited as a nutrient-dense food that is easily absorbed for maximum nutrition. Bone broth, which is made by slowing simmering animal bones, meat, tendons, and ligaments, is rich in important nutrients such as collagen, essential amino acids, vitamin B12, and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Not only is bone broth a high bioavailable food in itself, but it can also help increase the bioavailability of other foods in your diet by helping to seal the lining of the gut, reducing harmful bacteria overgrowth, and reducing chronic inflammation.
What to Look for in Bone Broth
Use caution when purchasing bone broth. Many commercial broths are prepared with ingredients such as artificial flavors and MSG, and provide little nutritional value.
There are shelf stable bone broths which are made to sit on a shelf for a really long time. The high temperatures used to create shelf-stable bone broth destroy the fragile gelatin (protein denaturation), leaving behind a liquid similar to water.
There are also bone broth collagen powders do not have the benefits of a slow simmer for 24+ hours like traditional recipes. Often, these collagen powders are derived from hides of animals, mainly cows to form collagen, which is then powdered. And this typically won’t contain all the macronutrients that traditional bone broth will have.
To experience the healing properties of bone broth, look for products that are made with organic ingredients and are free of antibiotics, added hormones, and other artificial additives. Make sure the bone broth is slowly simmered to maintain the integrity of the gelatin and nutrients.
Osso Good is proud to offer bone broths made with ingredients that go beyond organic. We use only organic herbs and vegetables; pasture-raised, grass-fed beef; and organic, pasture-raised chicken. Our bone broths are gluten free, dairy free, Whole30 approved, and Certified Paleo. We make our bone broth in small, controlled batches to ensure the quality is always consistent.
Detoxifying Bone Broth Soup
Bone broth can be sipped by itself throughout the day, or used to make a nourishing, detoxifying soup. Try this satisfying bone broth soup: In a large pot, sauté 2 leeks and 1 bunch of asparagus in olive oil until vegetables are soft. Add bone broth, several handfuls of fresh spinach, and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves. For even greater bioavailability, puree soup with an immersion blender.