Tuesday, June 06, 2023
Web Desk

Is bone broth good for health? Spoilers ahead

Web Desk
A representational image o a bone broth can be seen. — minimalistbaker/File
A representational image o a bone broth can be seen. — minimalistbaker/File

Celebrities and influencers have been putting a lot of flesh on the health benefits of drinking bone broth regularly, but experts and dietitians have served some points that may spoil the soup for the fans of this concoction.

Laura Ligos, a registered dietitian nutritionist and specialist in sports dietetics, also said bone broth has been a trend for a while, first gaining popularity when keto and paleo diets were on the rise.

"There has not been some earth-shattering research that has emerged telling us that bone broth is the cure-all," Ligos said.

According to CBS News, here are some commonly asked questions about consuming bone broth.

Is it good for you?

Made by simmering animal bones in water for a long time with vegetables and sometimes other ingredients, bone broth can be "part of the puzzle, but is not a quick-fix," Ligos said.

She noted that "the goal is to help to pull out important nutrients from the bones, like collagen, gelatin, amino acids like glycine as well as minerals like calcium and magnesium."

"It's these nutrients that are extracted from the bones that have been shown to be helpful with gut, skin, hair, and nail health and there is some truth to that. That being said, we need more than just bone broth to be able to improve overall health."

The benefits include strengthening of muscle and bones, said Jenna Litt, a registered dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

"Specifically, bone broth is rich in collagen and certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, fat-soluble vitamins, zinc and other trace minerals. Collagen and fat-soluble vitamins are known to improve hair, skin and nail health," she added.

Currently, there is not enough research to support the benefits or detriments of bone broth on gut health, Litt noted.

Weight loss

"The use of bone broth daily has been shown to decrease appetite due to the high protein content, thus many have noticed weight loss as a side effect," Litt underlined.

“However, for this reason, bone broth should not be used daily by children and pregnant women,” she added.

Big picture

Ligos said that while almost anyone can try it, it's important to zoom out and look at the big picture when thinking about nutrition.

Ligos opined that as we “need a combination of things to support our health, bone broth can certainly be a part of that — but not the only part of that."

For example, if you're interested in improving skin, nail and hair health, simply increasing protein intake in your diet can yield results, Litt said, pointing out that "the use of bone broth is not required."

When to drink it?

Ligos remarked that for most people it's neither "realistic nor enjoyable to just sip on broth all day, every day, instead you can get its benefits by using it in cooking things like stews, chilis, soups and risotto.

Litt underlined that people should consult with a doctor prior to starting any new supplements to ensure there are no contraindications of use.