Bioavailability — How Bone Broth Is Easily Absorbed for Maximum Nutrition
Even if you’re merrily eating all the right foods, your body may not be just as merrily absorbing all the important nutrients it needs. Huh?! That’s right. The food 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 incredibly important consideration, as it’s how your body gets what it needs to thrive. What we said earlier is so worth repeating: 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?
One of the factors that has an impact on bioavailability is how your food is prepared. Certain preparation methods can make nutrients more bioavailable — or not.
For instance, cooked vegetables are generally easier to break down and digest than raw vegetables. But some nutrients can be lost during the cooking process. This is why it’s best for most people to include a variety of cooked and raw vegetables in their diets. A good example comes from spinach, where you’ll get the highest benefits by eating both raw and cooked options. That’s because cooking spinach increases the bioavailability of the iron, but raw spinach is high in vitamin C and fiber.
Getting older can also influence the bioavailability of certain nutrients. Elderly people often have health conditions that impair their ability to absorb 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, is one of them. This condition 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. While taking supplements can help fill in gaps in your diet where you may need more nutrients, it’s best to work toward improving the bioavailability of the nutrients in your food. One way to do this is by cooking certain vegetables, or using them to make juices and smoothies.
Consuming bone broth is another. Bone broth packs a double punch for optimum health. It’s a nutrient-dense food that’s also easily absorbed for maximum nutrition. Bone broth is made by slowing simmering animal bones, meat, tendons, and ligaments. This makes it extremely rich in important nutrients such as collagen, essential amino acids and vitamin B12. It’s also packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and other minerals.
Not only is bone broth a highly bioavailable food in itself, but it can likewise help increase the bioavailability of other foods in your diet. It does this by helping to seal the lining of the gut, reducing harmful bacteria overgrowth, and reducing chronic inflammation. Nice.
What to Look for in Bone Broth
Not all bone broth is created equal, so you want to use caution when you’re purchasing it. The most nutritious bone broth is one that contains a slew of organic ingredients and is meant to be consumed rather quickly, with a short shelf life. This indicates the bone broth is wholesome and natural, not riddled with preservatives or degraded by the preservation process.
Many commercial broths are prepared with ingredients such as artificial flavors and MSG, and they 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. These do not have the benefits of traditional bone broths that are typically set at a slow simmer for at least 24 hours. These collagen powders are often derived from hides of animals, mainly cows. Hides are processed form collagen, which is then powdered. These collagen powders typically won’t contain all the macronutrients that traditional bone broth has.
To experience the maximum healing properties of bone broth, look for bone broth made with organic ingredients. Also ensure it’s free of antibiotics, added hormones and other artificial additives. Your final checkpoint is to make sure the bone broth has been slowly simmered to maintain the integrity of the gelatin and nutrients. In short, go for Osso Good bone broth.
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 and finished beef; and organic, pasture-raised chicken. Our bone broths are gluten free, dairy free, Whole30 approved, and Certified Paleo. Quality control is also at the top of our list. We make our bone broth in small, controlled batches to ensure the quality is always consistent, and always top-notch.
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 recipe:
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.
Now that you know what bioavailability is, and why it matters, you also know how important it is to include foods like Osso Good bone broth in your daily diet.