It’s a waste to toss out the bones after sucking the meat clean. Instead of throwing them out or giving them to your dog, why not save them for making bone broth? Throw in some grass-fed meat and your choice of vegetables, and you have a hearty soup dish that is tasty, nutritious and in-line with a muscle-building diet.
What Is Bone Broth?
Broth is simply any type of soup with meat, veggies and other added ingredients. In a bone broth recipe, you simply add cattle, chicken or fish bone and let it simmer in the soup.
Broth is often confused for stock. The two terms are more or less interchangeable. Broth tends to contain meat as a base ingredient with a smaller amount of bones. Stock is the opposite with mostly bone and meat as a secondary add-on. With stock, the bones are usually roasted, giving the soup a more pronounced texture than broth.
When making your own broth, you may add bare bones or bones with some meat still attached.
How Does Bone Broth Improve Your Health?
Obviously, we wouldn’t be dedicating an entire post on broth unless there were some benefits. The benefits are aplenty, and bone broth is perfect as part of a lean muscle building diet.
Bone Broth Protein
For starters, broth is a rich source of protein. That’s right, protein doesn’t just come from the meat. It should be noted, however, that bone broth protein only contains three essential amino acids, making it an incomplete protein. That means the protein doesn’t count as part of your daily intake.
However, the broth does contain the amino acid glycine, which is used to make other amino acids. All the scientific jargon aside, just know that your body uses glycine for energy. Ample glycine stores means your body will use this amino acid instead of breaking down protein to acquire the energy. This makes a bone broth diet compatible as part of a muscle building or fat loss plan.
Aside from preserving protein, glycine has also been shown to protect collagen, thus protecting joints and fighting off arthritis. It’s also good for the brain, promoting memory retention and cognitive function.
Other Health Benefits
- Broth cleanses the body and is especially known to detoxify the liver.
- It’s a good source of collagen, which prevents vitamin C deficiency and promotes cartilage repair.
- It’s rich in gelatin. This aids the body in meat and grain digestion. Gelatin also fights off ulcers, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Broth contains a jellylike substance known as chondroitin sulfate. This is commonly sold as a supplement and improves the lining in the blood vessels. This helps lower bad cholesterol levels and improves heart health.
- It increases testosterone. Broth contains osteocalcin. This regulates the endocrine system, which in turn regulates the testes. If you want to up your fertility and virility, give broth a try.
The Perfect Bone Broth Recipe
There are as many bone broth recipes as there are ways to make fudge brownies. We can write an entire e-book on how to make bone broth and listing the countless recipes. Rather, we included the basic bone broth recipe, which you can customize to your liking.
Beef Bone Broth
- 3-4 lbs bone marrow and knuckle from beef
- 2 lbs bones with attached meat. Short ribs are a good choice
- 4 qts filtered water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- sea salt
- Add everything but the salt and vegetables into a crockpot and let the contents sit for one hour. The vinegar will leach the minerals and nutrients out of the bones.
- Bring the pot to a boil and add the vegetables
- Turn down the heat to a slow simmer and let it cook overnight for 24 hours
- Cool the broth and strain it. If prepared correctly, you should see frothing on top of the pot
- Add the salt and any other choice of seasoning
- Enjoy or store it in the freezer for up to seven days
Feel free to add any additional flavoring and herbs. We do caution against using any seasoning with salt. An otherwise healthy bone broth soup can be partially ruined with a high sodium content. Healthy and natural seasonings include pepper, paprika, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, garlic powder and tarragon.
To turn your soup into a bone broth 2.0 elixir, consider these additional ingredients:
- Turmeric (rich in anti-inflammatory properties)
- Ginger (relieves stomach issues)
- Ghee butter (good source of vitamins A, D and E)
- Cardamom (prevents lipid surge and also has anti-depressant properties)
Can You Buy Bone Broth?
If you’re one of those people that does all the cooking via microwave, then the above recipe can seem pretty daunting, especially since simmering is a day-long process. If so, you can always buy ready-made broth from the store. With this option, no simmering is required; just pour it in boiling water, add your choice of additional ingredients and bon appetit.
If you decide to go this route, we recommend sticking to an unflavored variety. The ones that come seasoned typically have a high sodium count. For an even healthier option, look for an organic brand, preferably one made from grass-fed livestock.
If you don’t particularly like broth or just don’t like soup in general, you can always buy a bone broth protein supplement. This tastes like your ordinary protein shake with all the aforementioned broth benefits.
Make Bone Broth a Regular Weekly Meal
Bone broth is one of nature’s healthiest foods. Sure, it requires some preparation, but you can always buy them at the store to forgo the lengthy cooking process. Bone broth soup is a nice addition to your diet if you need a deviation from the typical brown rice, chicken breast and steam broccoli dinner.