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Food Matters

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The Science Behind Health-Food Trends: Bone Broth

Just in case it wasn’t clear, bone broth isn’t anything new: Chefs and cooks across the globe have been using otherwise wasted bits of vegetables, livestock and wild game to create nutritious broths for centuries. Yet, more modern claims about bone broth’s cure-all abilities, such as its anti-aging properties, seem far-fetched to scientists.

Although bone broth does contain gelatin and collagen, both of which are found in beauty supplements, there is currently little evidence to support the idea that bone broth will improve skin, hair and nail health. Paired with the numerous recipes for making bone broth, different types of bones used and various cooking methods, it’s hard to say with any certainty that all bone broths are created equal.

jars of homemade bone broth
Photo by Adobe Stock/casanisa.

As delicious and simple as these broths are to make, it appears that their healing properties may be limited. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthy of being added to a well-balanced, wholesome diet. So, what can bone broth do for your health?

Support Healthy Immune Function

Bone broth—especially one made with chicken bones—may boost the immune system. A study published in Chest, found that participants with upper respiratory infections saw a reduction in inflammation after eating chicken soup.  Your grandma wasn’t feeding you an old-wives tale, after all.

Post-Workout Rehydration & Healing

The LA Lakers include bone broth as part of the team’s dietary plan. Why? The broth alone, or soups made using it, can rehydrate the body and replace sodium lost through exercise. The amino acids present in bone broth also aid in rebuilding muscle, which may improve the recovery time needed in-between workouts.

While bone broth certainly isn’t unhealthful, relying on it—or any health-food trend—to treat a litany of ailments is likely to leave you still looking for answers. The best way to enjoy the benefits of these foods is by creating a nutritious, well-balanced that includes them and to educate yourself on what they can truly help combat.

, try this easy-to-make recipe as a base for soups or a cooking liquid for grains and beans.