Bone broth has grown in popularity in the last number of years, and the trend shows no sign of abating- in fact, newspaper articles earlier this year reported that the price of bones has increased due to increasing demand for bone broth.
What is it?
Bone broth is similar to regular broth in ingredients, however the difference lies in the cooking methods. Broth is produced by simmering bones and vegetables a few hours hours. Bone broth is produced by simmering the same ingredients, but for a longer period of time. This helps the bones to break down and release more nutrients.
Bone broth is championed as being a great source of nutrients, however this should be looked at in the context of the whole diet. The level of nutrients in bone broth depends on the manufacturer. A generic cup of chicken bone broth is said to contain 50 calories and 10g of protein per cup, which is satisfactory. The levels of other nutrients such as calcium or iron are low however, meaning they would likely not contribute much to the diet.
Bone broth is said to help with rheumatoid arthritis, due to the collagen content. While there have been studies examining the effects of collagen supplements on rheumatoid arthritis, they have not proven conclusively that supplements have an effect, and there have been no studies looking at if bone health specifically can help.
Bone broth has also been recommended to those with disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder, however this is not based on any scientific studies, and should not be recommended.
While bone broth’s benefits are likely over exaggerated, there doesn’t seem to be any risks associated with consuming it. A study published in 2017 showed that previous concerns about heavy metal concentrations were not an issue.
It appears from this research that bone broth is fine to drink if you enjoy it, however there is no real evidence to back up it’s superfood health status. To make it more nutritious, try enjoying it with meat and vegetables,which will provide you with a more balanced diet, and a wide variety of micronutrients.