Are you perplexed or tongue-tied when your friends are discussing the latest wellness trends? It can be hard to keep up with what’s a genuinely good product that promotes wellness and what is a useless product made by unscrupulous vendors to make a quick buck. If you become fatigued from investigating the particular merits of whatever is being advocated, then the chances are that you will miss out on some genuine opportunities to improve your health, well-being, and quality of life. This is the reason why we are writing to answer the question: what is bone broth? We think, as far as wellness trends go, this particular product has one of the most extensive track records and universal agreement that it contains essential nutrients that are hard to find in the typical American 21st-century diet. 

Bone Broth Predates, Well Pretty Much Everything

Human beings harnessed fire, and very shortly after that, they made bone broth. Evidence from indigenous peoples in North America and elsewhere suggest that entirely using any animal that was hunted was a central cultural value for many tribes. Some of the common bones that are used are beef bone, chicken bone, oxtail bone, or even bone marrow. The utility of using bones for broth was likely evident well before agriculture transformed the way the human race interacted with its environment. The process of boiling the nutrients out of bones and connective tissues that may be hard to get elsewhere has long yielded positive results and produced a product high in nutritional content. Unlike many health and wellness trends or manias, bone broth has been safely and reliably used since the dawn of civilization, or even before. So as long as you don’t consume it excessively and you do you due diligence (more on that later) in cooking or shopping at the farmers market or grocery store for your bone broth, there’s no reason to believe it is anything but safe. However, if you consume too much bone broth, it is possible that heavy metals or other toxins could have made their way into animal bones in trace amounts. You can ensure this doesn’t happen by acting reasonably. It may be helpful to select only USDA certified organic bone broth, or if you are using bone broth to help with symptoms of an immune system disorder and are under an Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet then ensure your bone broth is AIP compliant

Is Bone Broth The Same As Soup? Or Soup Stock?

Bone broth is not the same as soup. You also should not expect it to taste exactly like soup or stock. Stock is usually a watery consistency and is cooked for less time. Typically, people cooking stock compensate for the low cooking time with flavorings and spices, particularly sea salt or bay leaves. If you’re expecting bone broth to taste like Campbell’s Chicken Soup, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. This is because not only does bone broth have a subtler, more delicate taste than a typical soup or stock, it also has a very different texture and consistency. The fatty acids, amino acids, and collagen in bone broth emulsify with the hot water to create a creamy and rich texture. This is why bone broth can be thought of more as a staple rather than a flavoring in itself. The best bone broth is delicious when it is added to soups because it adds an abundant textural element that can elevate any dish. Bone broth preparation is much longer than stock preparation and uses most, if not all, bones and connective tissues instead of just being meaty, which is used in stock. While some meat may be used in bone broth, depending on the particular recipe, it’s presence is secondary. Bone broth typically cooks for at least 12 hours, but some cookbook recipes recommend cooking times of up to 48 hours! Broth can be made in a large pot on the stovetop, instant pot, pressure cooker, or slow cooker. Goop magazine recommends 18-24 hours of cooking time for an expert bone broth.

Does Bone Broth Have Health Benefits?

This is a complicated question. All things being equal, if you consume bone broth in a responsible way, it contains nutrients that help your body in a lot of ways because there are many benefits of bone broth. However, it is essential to remember that bone broth is not a magic elixir or cure-all. It is not, by itself, a medicine or intended to cure any disease. It may be part of a diet that will be very good for your health, with the addition of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Food that is free of pollutants is right for your body generally. The nutrients in bone broth are challenging to find in mainstream American diet sources, and thus bone broth has become very sought after. Due to the nutrients present in bone broth, it is possible that bone broth could have the following positive effects on your health. 

  • Digestive System Health- Bone broth contains Collagen and Glycine, and if it’s cooked long enough, it will also contain gelatin. All three of these substances are thought to have a positive effect on digestive health and healing in general. A 2017 study in Current Opinion in Nutrition and Metabolic Care found that glutamine, which is in bone broth, can help with symptoms of leaky gut and generally promote digestive health.
  • Osteoarthritis and Joint Health- This is a pretty intuitive connection. Since you are consuming the nutrients that are needed for your body to maintain healthy joints without joint pain, drinking bone broth is considered positive for arthritis or joint health. Collagen, in particular, is present and necessary in all our joints and connective tissue and can be viewed as a sort of mortar that holds the bricks of the body together! A 2016 study in the Nutrition Journal found that the addition of collagen from whole chickens helped subjects reduce pain and stiffness in their knees that resulted from osteoarthritis.
  • Inflammation- So many issues are caused by or exacerbated by inflammation. Particularly for persons suffering from autoimmune disorders, inflammation can be one of the most devastating effects. In the journal Nutrients, a study found that amino acids, a plethora of which are found in bone broth, may be anti-inflammatory and help reduce the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Insomnia- Not sleeping can become a devastating issue if it is not rectified. Those who have had insomnia and extended periods of little or no sleep will be particularly keen on the potential benefit of making it easier to sleep. Some of the nutrients in bone broth promote better sleep, and if you combine that with a proper diet and exercise, the result will likely be better. A study found that glycine, which is found in bone broth, can help reduce the symptoms of insomnia and can help promote healthier sleep. 

Will I Like Bone Broth?

Of course, only you can determine for sure whether or not you like bone broth. However, we believe we can help correctly set your expectations, particularly if you are inquiring about bone broth due to its health benefits; you can still consume it even if you’re not the biggest fan of its taste by itself. Bone broth has a rich and creamy texture that is caused by the high content of vital nutrients like minerals, amino acids, proteins, and collagen. This may be off-putting to someone who first tried bone broth and expects it to taste and feel like regular soup stock. The taste of bone broth is also, as a general rule, a bit more subtle and bland than typical stock. You can spice up bone broth in several ways, or mix it with several things if you don’t particularly fancy the taste of it on its own. 

  • Mix it with something you do like such as soups, pasta sauce, cook mashed potatoes or veggies or rice in it, put it in a smoothie, or even put it in a salad dressing with apple cider vinegar!
  • Spice it up- Because bone broth has less flavor then stock, it is a perfect way to highlight other flavors that you do like. Mix it with your favorite blend of spices and experiment until you find just the right one. If you don’t trust your own exertions in the kitchen, then you can find AMAZING tasting bone broth recipes from Osso Good Bones, like their Spicy Pork Broth! 
  • How to Make Bone Broths ‘From Around the World’- In the cooking process use some Herbes De Provence, Butter, Lemon Juice, and Pepper to create a French Bone Broth. Use Tapatillo and tortilla strips to create a Mexican themed bone broth. Use lime juice and coconut milk to create a Thai inspired bone broth. You can even make a Chinese inspired egg-drop soup with bone broth!

So, the important thing is that also if you don’t like bone broth alone, there is a way you can consume it that you will like it! It just may take some time to find your favorite style. Osso Good Bones can be an excellent place to start. Their extensive selection of specialty bone broths gives everyone from the beginner to the veteran bone broth aficionado what they’re looking for!

Bone broth is not a sweeping health food craze. It has been around since before civilization and has been a crucial and consistent source of nourishment for humanity. Add it to your health and wellness routine today. Please use caution in the kitchen!