Are you looking for a healthy way to add more protein to your diet? If so then you should consider the ancient food bone broth. Humans have been producing this since early human history. Fun Fact: The use of bone broth in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back to 2500 years. This superfood is made by simmering animal bones for 12 to 24 hours, which releases nutrients like protein collagen and connective tissue from the bones to make the broth. Today a similar process is followed to produce the amino acids in bone broth. There are also other forms like protein powders that have become popular as a convenient way to consume food.
The process of making bone broth is very complex. It’s a lot different from purchasing a can of chicken soup at the grocery store. The main part of the process is slow-cooking the bones so more of the nutrients are released. Besides that, there are other techniques to use to get the best results. For example, even the types of bones you use can affect the nutritional value of the broth. So it’s important to know the best steps to take to get the results you want.
What Exactly Is Bone Broth?
The explanation of what it is a little more complex than it might seem at first. Bone broth is made from the bones/tissues of different animals including cows, fish, and chickens. It’s also produced using different bones as well as connective tissue from the animal.
This is an ancient food that was probably made when early humans first used hot rocks to remove the nutrients from the bones. Then later when metal pots/pans were first made water and simmering were added to the process.
Today diets like Paleo are bringing backbone broth. It’s become a popular food/product and you can even find bone broth protein powders and capsules on the market. Ironically you can get nutrients from the healthy food in a capsule form.
There are many claimed benefits of bone broth including gut health, healthy skin/hair, improved joint function, and so on. It’s not surprising due to the nutrients found in the food and collagen in particular. Fun Fact: Collagen makes up 80% of human skin and is also found in other body parts like hair.
The bone broth includes lots of stuff from the hot soup. This explains why it’s important to prepare the broth properly. This involves simmering to get the best results. It also is why you should consider making real bone broth instead of a mass-produced soup stock found on supermarket shelves.
People have their tips and tricks for producing the best bone broth. One of them is adding a little vinegar to help release nutrients that are trapped within the bones’ marrow. This process helps to release other nutrients into the water for a super-healthy food.
You can also add other ingredients like veggies and herbs/spices to make the broth even better. However, the key ingredient is the broth itself for the basic reason the food contains nutrients that can be tough to get from other sources.
Amino Acids in Bone Broth
One of the main benefits of bone broth is it’s a “complete protein.” In other words, you get all 9 essential amino acids found in food, which is important for good health. These are the building blocks of protein.
Speaking of which, bone broth is also an outstanding source of protein. You can often get more protein than regular soup because of the cooking method that goes into making the food. The slow-cooking helps to release more nutrients.
It’s this process that makes the soup a superfood. For example, you can get different types of collagen, as well as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and so on. Does this mean you should stop eating chicken soup? It doesn’t but it helps to explain why bone broth is a superfood.
You can even get similar results from bone broth powder. One serving contains 20g of protein. This is a complete protein since it has all the aminos you need for the day.
One caveat about making this food is the number of individual nutrients will differ with each batch. That’s due to the different bones/tissue that can be used.
It also helps to explain why it’s good to eat different kinds of animal protein. The different options like pork, beef, chicken, fish, and shellfish have different amino acid profiles. So why it’s generally better to minimize red meat you can still get more of certain aminos when eating beef, pork, and so on.
You get lots of different nutrients in the broth including:
- Amino Acids
- Fatty Acids
These are all important for a healthy and well-balanced diet. Any bone broth batch can have these nutrients and the amounts will differ. This explains why it’s critical to make stuff using the right techniques.
Top Tips for Making/Using Bone Broth
1. Know where to get the bones
You can get them from different sources. This includes ones from your cooking like roasts and other home-cooked meals. This will help you to save a small fortune. Another option is to buy bones from your local butcher/farm. They’re sometimes free although other times you’ll have to shell out some money.
You can even have the bones shipped to your home sometimes. This adds more convenience since you won’t have to spend time searching for bones for broth.
2. Use the right water and cooking methods
The best water to consider is filtered. This seems to produce good results compared to others. You should also make sure to fill up the pot with enough water. This will help to ensure that all eh bones are covered and get cooked thoroughly. You should even add some extra water because over time it will boil down.
The types of bones you use will also make the cooking process easier. For example, you can push down chicken bones after cooking a while since they’ll soften after a while. This is a plus over many pork/beef bones.
3. It’s an art and a science
On one hand, it’s critical to follow some basic guidelines about how to prepare the broth. That involves issues like which bones to pick, how long to simmer the bones/connective tissue (12+ hours), and other must-know info.
However, cooking the broth is also an art. For example, you’ll find out which combination works best in terms of animal types and body parts. You also might develop your recipe of herbs/spices to improve the flavor.
4. Mix and match bones
Consider a combination of different ones like beef ribs, chicken bones, etc. Taking this approach can help you get the most nutritional value from the food after learning about amino acids in bone broth.