Your search for a powerful food that has the ability to fight signs of aging (inside and out) and relieve pain ends here. As it turns out, bone broth is one miracle food that can pretty much do it all. Considered to be the most robust type of collagen protein, bone broth — made from boiling the bones of healthy animals — is a mineral-rich liquid that works to protect your joints, alleviate pain, support your immune system, and can even make you look younger!
Curious to know more? We tapped wellness expert and marketing and education director for Vital Proteins, Traci Danielson Mitchell to find out more on the incredible ways bone broth can support your health, plus how to incorporate bone broth into your daily diet. See what she had to say, ahead.
1. It’s naturally anti-aging
Unlike other forms of collagen protein, bone broth contains hyaluronic acid. As the skin’s natural hydrator, the humectant works to draw moisture from the air into your skin and houses the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. And that’s not all. The combination of collagen protein and hyaluronic acid in bone broth work from the inside out to improve moisture levels in the skin — which decline with age — diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and promote a youthful inner glow.
2. It contains chondroitin sulfate … which helps relieve pain
In addition to collagen and hyaluronic acid, bone broth also contains chondroitin sulfate. “Chondroitin sulfate has received accolades for years as a pain reliever,” says Mitchell. “The same can be said for chondroitin sulfate in bone broth,” she adds.
3. It’s unlike any other collagen protein
If bone broth and collagen peptides were to arm wrestle … bone broth would win every single time. That’s because its unique makeup of chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid work together to bind to collagen, reinforcing what we already have.
“Imagine taking a supplement that provides your body with bioavailable collagen while fortifying what you’ve already got,” says Mitchell. “That’s a win for bone broth,” she adds.
4. It improves joint health
In addition to hydrating the skin and promoting anti-aging benefits, the hyaluronic acid found in bone broth can be vital to joint health. “As we age, hyaluronic acid diminishes quite a bit in between our joints and throughout our body,” says Mitchell. “Ingesting hyaluronic acid creates a buffering effect in between joints that helps [make] the bendy parts move better,” she adds.
Whether you sip on a hot cup of bone broth, or indulge in a bowl of pho — or, other other soups made with bone broth — incorporating bone broth into your everyday diet can help ease pain and promote joint health tremendously.
5. It promotes a healthy gut
Another health benefit of bone broth? Gut health. According to Mitchell, bone broth can do the gut some serious good. Enriched with various healing compounds — think: collagen, glycine, proline, and glutamine — bone broth works to reduce inflammation in the intestines and, thanks to its gelatin properties, can heal the gut lining. In fact, research has shown that gelatin has a tremendous impact on intestinal health, as it works to restore gut linings and ward off food sensitivities.
6. It’s not just a broth
According to Mitchell, many people confuse broths with stocks. “A real bone broth takes time and isn’t traditionally made with vegetables [in the way] stocks [are],” says Mitchell. “Broth is simmered for over a day to render the collagen. The Vital Proteins’ process is to then gently dry the broth over a period of time, ensuring all the nutrients are maximized,” she adds.
With that in mind, bone broth is not just a broth. It’s a nutrient-rich liquid that boasts some serious benefits. And while many people believe that the collagen found in bone broth can’t be absorbed, that’s not the case at all. “Not all forms of collagen can be absorbed, but that’s mostly true if the collagen is too large,” says Mitchell. “Bone broth’s molecules are very small and have absolutely no problem getting absorbed and used,” she adds.
7. It can improve your overall health
While bone broth won’t help you lose weight, it will make you healthier. “What bone broth can do is support your body with nutrients it wouldn’t normally get from other forms of protein,” says Mitchell. “Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, and a mother load of mineral and nutrients separate bone broth from just about everything else,” she adds.
What to look out for when shopping for bone broth
When shopping for bone broth, Mitchell suggests keeping two things in mind:
1. Make sure you’re getting a clean source of bone broth
Whether you’re at a local health food store, or shopping online, be sure to read the bone broth labels to find out where the bones are sourced from. “If that’s not totally transparent, I’d put the broth back on the shelf,” says Mitchell.
2. Broth vs. stock
When it comes to shopping for bone broth, deciphering what is broth and what is stock can be tricky. In many cases, bone broth can look the same as bone stock. So, how do you know which is which? “Make sure what you’re getting contains collagen protein from bone stock,” says Mitchell. That’s how you know it’s the real deal.
If you’re feeling stuck on what to buy, consider Vital Proteins Organic Bone Broth Collagen. With two different types to choose from — chicken and beef — the bone broth comes in powder form, which is more convenient and just as easy to use as the liquid variety. What’s more? Since they’re powder, they can easily be blended into any savory dish without changing the flavor. And you don’t have to worry about whether or not the bone broth comes from a clean source. All Vital Proteins’ bone broth options are sourced from USDA organic beef and chicken.
How to incorporate bone broth in your diet
Incorporating bone broth into your diet is actually easier than it seems. You can add the broth to any soup, stew, or gravy. Or, if you really want to get into it, Mitchell suggests drinking a hot cup of it daily. She likes to make a health-boosting tea out of it by adding a little bit of sea salt, turmeric, and pepper.