5 Reasons to Add Bone Broth to Your Diet
(With a Recipe)

Bone Broth
By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber

A staple of the human diet for thousands of years, bone broth is enjoying a resurgence of interest due to its powerful health benefits. Bone broth is easy to incorporate in your diet as a base for soups, stews and legumes. Follow our recipe below to make your own fortifying and replenishing broth.

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Bone Broth:

1. Nourish Your Gut

Bone broth is full of gelatin and collagen, which soothes the intestinal tract and helps heal leaky gut, aka intestinal permeability. With stress, diet, alcohol, caffeine and NSAIDS wreaking havoc on our intestines, anything and everything we can do to help repair the gut is beneficial, as a healthy intestinal tract is essential to overall good health.

2. Boost Your Immune System

Yes, Grandma was right about chicken soup. A traditional folk remedy for colds and flus, bone broth provides a rich array of nutrients (especially gelatin) which support your immune system. Cysteine, an amino acid found in chicken, helps to thin mucus so it can be expelled more easily. When fighting a cold, make a chicken broth with added spices or peppers to make it spicy to help keep the mucus moving.

3. Increase Bio-available Minerals

As a result of soil degradation, the mineral content of our foods is reduced, and many of us have compromised absorption due to poor gut health. Yet minerals are critical to so many bodily functions and impact everything from our bones to our mood and our sleep. Supplying calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, sulfur and phosphorous, bone broth provides an excellent means of boosting your mineral intake. 

4. Promote Healthy Skin

A rich source of skin-supporting amino acids glycine and proline, along with collagen, the ultimate skin food, bone broth can improve skin elasticity and fight wrinkles.

5. Reduce Inflammation

Glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and gelatin support your joints, bones, and reduce inflammation throughout your body.

How to Make Bone Broth

Broth is forgiving so exact measurements are not required for success. The essential ingredients are simply bones, water and vinegar, which draws the minerals out from the bones. Vegetables (carrots, garlic, onion), sea salt and herbs improve the flavor and can be added towards the end of the cooking time, if desired.

  • 2 – 4 lbs bones – from poultry, fish, shellfish, beef or lamb (pastured, organic, and grass-fed)
  • 1 gallon water or enough to cover bones (approx. 2 cups of water per 1 pound of bones)
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or other natural vinegar)  

Pour water and vinegar over raw or cooked bones in a large pot (e.g. the remains of a roasted chicken) and let sit for 30 – 60 minutes. Heat the pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim any scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat and allow the broth to simmer gently. Cook on low for at least 6 hours or overnight, to extract the most gelatin and nutrients from the bones. Use your slow cooker if you have one. After several hours of barely simmering, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, strainer or cheesecloth. Use as a base for any type of soup, or drink one cup a day for a health-promoting tonic.

If You Want to Buy Broth

Making broth is not difficult but if you don’t have the time, there are several options to purchase good quality bone broth online.

For national delivery, we love Au Bon Broth, which offers a delicious organic broth which ships frozen. Their broth utilizes a combination of chicken, turkey and beef bones. Another great source of bone broth and many other health foods, is Wise Choice Market.

For New York city dwellers, there are several delivery and subscription options that we love — Bone Deep and Harmony offers interesting flavors and high quality. The Oliver Weston Company makes wonderful broth as well as many other delicious, traditional foods and they deliver in the city and tri-state area, as well as Long Island and Hudson Valley. The excellent chefs at Provenance Meals offer a full meal delivery service, which is healthy and delicious and they also offer bone broth by the quart.

And of course, if you’re in Manhattan, you can visit Marco Canora’s broth takeout shop, Brodo, in the East Village. In Brooklyn, both The Meat Hook in Williamsburg and Fleishers in Park Slope sell organic bone broth. Fleishers also has shops in Kingston, NY and two in Connecticut.

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  • Laura, great post! Bone broth makes an excellent and flavorful stock for soups and stews. I’ve got 3 kids and great natural flavor’s the key to winning over picky eaters. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Les!

  • Jodie Fontenot

    what do you think of collagen hydrolysate from great lakes gelatin? Are there any side effects of adding this to your diet?

  • Ma Barley

    You say bone broth increases Collagen, how will this affect those with Scleroderma? Important to research.

  • Anonymous

    Healing the gut is key for supporting autoimmune diseases, and bone broth is helpful for gut-healing, which should ultimately help your Scleroderma. It is not demonstrated that the relatively small amounts of collagen ingested through bone broth would increase collagen and contribute to the collagen dysfunction associated with Scleroderma although we have not seen studies on this specific issue.
    Be Well health coach, Laura

  • Thanks Laura – Especially for the tip on vinegar, which is important new information for me! We often make broth with whatever remains of a roast chicken but this info will make it even more healthy for all. In addition to using it in soups, we often use the broth when making rice or polenta for the kids.

  • Paul

    Should I remove the fat after refrigeration or are the Nutrients in the fat???

  • Anonymous

    Assuming you are using good quality (pastured and/or organic) meat then we recommend leaving the fat in but certainly you may remove it if you want.

  • Andiemac

    Ma Barley, here is a great book that explains the science behind the healing properties of bone broth. It has a chapter completely dedicated to Scleroderma with some very hopeful information. It also has recipies and a lot of information. http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Broth-Old-Fashioned-Remedy-Modern/dp/1455529222/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

  • Karen

    Is there any problems with oxalates?Are the fats dangerous to heart patients?

  • D Biddle

    How long should a person be eating the bone broth? Daily?

  • laurakraber

    Yes, daily would be ideal but have some as often as you can — 2 to 3 times per week is also great.

  • collagen hydrolysate are the products that will provide the missing
    nutritional links for most dietary supplements. A nitrogen balance is
    maintained for the support of age related collagen loss and cartilage
    damage.It is an excellent product for those with a sedentary lifestyle
    who may suffer from repetitive joint pain or discomfort.

  • Lori Cote

    I’ve always cooked a large batch as described, in slow cooker, but for 24 hours. I was under the impression that was ideal, in your opinion, is that too long?