Given the many purported health benefits of bone broth, it’s not surprising that it has become very popular again recently. Bone broth is a traditional remedy that has been used by cultures for colds and flu and illness for thousands of years.
Many people claim that this broth is especially beneficial for those who are on a low carb diet, which is why it’s often used by keto dieters.
Different types of bones are used in preparing the broth. It can be made from beef bones, lamb bones, chicken carcasses and even fish bones. In the case of animal bones they should be from organic and grass fed animals.
The bones are usually simmered for 24 hours with added vegetables for flavor, but it can be longer. Collagen is drawn out of the bones which thicken it so it’s more of a stock and not like a broth soup. When left to cool the broth should set like jelly if it’s been cooked properly.
The broth is sometimes used as an ingredient for some keto-friendly dishes and is often very popular during the cold winter months. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of bone broth especially for the keto diet.
Related reading: How to Make Bone Broth for Keto
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
1. Aids in Weight Loss
The main goal of most keto dieters is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. By supplementing your keto diet with bone broth, you could easily achieve your goal of losing weight.
Many people following a ketogenic lifestyle combine intermittent fasting with the keto diet to boost weight loss but find it difficult. Bone broth is the perfect drink when you fast because it is very sustaining, is low in calories and has virtually no carbs.
It contains amino acids which help to satisfy hunger while you are fasting. It helps to make you feel full longer and prevent unhealthy cravings. If you’re on the keto diet, then you no doubt know that protein is an important component of your diet
Having the right amount of protein on your keto diet is important. If your protein consumption is not enough, you will find it difficult to achieve your goal to lose weight.
Consuming bone broth is a good way to add protein to your diet without adding calories. It helps you feel satisfied so you won’t end up consuming too many calories that could wreak havoc to your keto diet.
A 2017 study that was published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition has revealed that the average cup of bone broth that’s made from chicken bones contain more protein compared to the regular chicken broth.
Dr Kellyann’s 21 Day Bone Broth Diet
Dr Kellyann, a naturopathic doctor has a range of bone broths that you can use for her 21 Day Bone Broth Diet. The diet couples her delicious bone broth with powerful fat-burning foods and intermittent fasting which she maintains results in “spectacular weight loss and more youthful-looking skin in just 21 days”. Click here to check it out.
2. Supports your Immune System
Having a well functioning immune system is important whether you’re on keto or not but it’s especially at the moment while we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bone broth is believed to help support your immune system.
Collagen, gelatin and the amino acids found in bone broth, such as cysteine, arginine, and glutamine, may help to boost immunity in both animals and humans. These substances also stimulate the production of immune cells, such as B cells, T cells and macrophages.
The majority of the immune system is in your gut and we will talk in the next paragraph about the benefits of bone broth for the gut.
A healthy immune system will work tirelessly in hunting down pathogenic cells and will make sure to destroy them before it could cause damage in your health. This explains why people who have a poor immune system often get sick easily.
Related reading: Immune System Boosting Foods For Keto
3. Reduces Inflammation and Heals the Gut
The amino acids present in bone broth are beneficial for the digestive system. Glycine and arginine, have strong anti-inflammatory effects and glutamine seems to be very promising in terms of healing the gut when damaged.
Leaky gut syndrome (intestinal permeability) happens when your digestive tract becomes damaged or inflamed. This is often seen in celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and people who drink an excessive amount of alcohol or take a lot of aspirin.
Although there is some controversy over the existence of the condition it’s thought that larger than usual gaps between the cells of the intestinal lining develop allowing larger molecules of food and toxic substances to get into the blood stream. The effect of this is thought to contribute to various symptoms in the body.
A leaky gut may be involved in inflammatory bowel conditions and irritable bowel syndrome, and result in bloating, diarrhea, upset stomach, and constipation.
Bone broth is a great source of collagen, making it effective in treating leaky gut. The collagen from the bone broth can heal your gut tissues and minimize inflammation that causes you to suffer from uncomfortable symptoms.
4. Health Benefits of Bone Broth For Better Sleep
Insomnia can be a side effect of the keto diet. Thankfully, one of the health benefits of bone broth is in promoting better sleep. Studies show that the amino acids found in bone broth may help some people to get better sleep.
In a 2015 study, it was reported that the amino acid glycine is a safe therapeutic option for improving sleep. Keri Gans, a registered dietitian, and spokesperson for The American Dietetic Association have said that bone broth works like a decaffeinated tea or milk. According to her,
“Just like a cup of decaffeinated tea or warm milk helps some individuals to sleep better, a mug of bone broth can have the same ritualistic effect.”
People who take glycine before bedtime could enjoy better sleep and won’t feel fatigued the following day. The best way to take glycine is to sip bone broth at dinner. And since glycine can reduce daytime sleepiness because of good night time sleep, you’ll have improved mental function and memory.
5. Strengthens Bones and Joints
One of the purported health benefits of bone broth is in supporting your joint health. When you consume bone broth, the gelatin it contains will be broken down into collagen and eventually amino acids in your body which may then be used for your bones and joints.
The cartilage in our joints often gets worn down with continued use. It will shrink as time goes by and will cause more stress to your joints.
The added pressure of the weight of the body and stress on the joints cause them to become damaged. Adding bone broth into your diet may help prevent this from happening although all the studies have been done on collagen supplements and not bone broth.
Related reading: How A Keto Diet Can Ease Joint Pain
Bone broth contains the amino acids proline and glycine. Both are important in supporting joint health. Your body uses them in building its own connective tissues. These include the tendons, which connect muscles to your ligaments and bones.
Additionally bone broth contains glycosaminoglycans which make up connective tissue such as tendons and cartilage and are also a component of the fluid that lubricates joints.
6. Helps in the Growth of Healthy Skin
As we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and that’s when wrinkles start to appear. One of the health benefits of bone broth is to help our skin to grow healthy and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. That’s because the collagen from the bones can help to slow down the process of aging.
Collagen is the protein that’s responsible for keeping our skin to stay young and healthy. If you supplement your skin with a healthy dose of collagen from bone broth, it can maintain its elasticity and prevent wrinkles from appearing.
Related reading: Why a Keto Diet Can Make You Look Younger
Collagen will not only benefit your skin but your nails too. Studies show that collagen can help to prevent nails from breakage or becoming brittle. In a study done on 25 participants who were asked to take collagen, they were found to have a 12% increase in nail growth at the end of the study.
There is a lot of controversy over the health benefits of bone broth. Many authorities maintain that they have been overblown and the current trend for drinking it is just another fad.
However, Sally Fallon Morell, a respected researcher, and Kaayla T. Daniel state in their book Nourishing Broth : An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World that bone broth can help with a variety of ailments from improving joint function and rebuilding bones with collagen to modulating the immune system.
Adding bone broth to your keto diet is probably a good idea. Aside from the things above, there is speculation that there may be several other health benefits of bone broth that experts are yet to uncover.
Image by Allyson Meylor