Bone broth is becoming a major diet trend, even though it’s not a weight loss solution. Instead, the benefits of bone broth have more to do with your overall health and even the way you look.

If you’re curious about the major bone broth benefits, find out what the advocates of this food, including GAPS and Paleo diet supporters, have to say about this. From the nutritional benefits of bone broth to the right way to cook it, here’s what you need to know about it.

What Is Bone Broth?

Made by boiling animal bones on low heat for a long time, bone broth comes highly recommended by many nutritionists. The benefits of bone broth stem from the fact that the animal bones, usually poultry or beef, start breaking down, releasing important nutrients. Gelatin from bones makes the bone broth jiggly when cooled down.

Bone Broth Nutritional Benefits

Calcium phosphate and collagen are among the most important nutrients released when you cook animal bones for a long time, but the most important nutritional benefit of this food is the fact that all the minerals extracted from bones are very easy to absorb. Bone broth benefits don’t just include minerals, since the bones also release collagen, along with compounds that reduce inflammation.

Improved Digestion

If you’re having digestion problems, the bone broth diet might help you when it comes to a healthy gut. Amino acids like proline and glycine can have a very beneficial effect on your digestive tract, helping your body absorb more nutrients, reducing bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Healthier Bones

Since you’re getting minerals from animal bones, one of the most important bone broth benefits is the fact that it can also contribute to stronger and healthier bones, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and gelatin found in animal bones lead to healthy bone formation in humans.

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Joint Pain Relief

Glucosamine, a dietary supplement that can reduce joint pain, is available in a more natural form in bone broth. However, cooking animals bones for the right amount of time produces a broth that’s also rich in other compounds that help relieve joint pain, including hyaluronic acid and chondroitin. By helping the production of collagen in joints, a diet that includes bone broth can even improve your flexibility.

Health Benefits Of Bone Broth

Fighting Allergies and Autoimmune Conditions

Since autoimmune health issues and allergies have a connection to a “leaky gut” (high intestinal permeability), one of the major bone broth benefits is the fact that it promotes a healthier gut. The intestinal barrier is strengthened by bone broth, which can mean significant improvement for people who suffer from food allergies or autoimmune conditions.

Reducing Inflammation

Because inflammation has been linked to the development of cancer, treating it the right way is very important. If you’re suffering from an inflammatory condition, beef bones are probably the right choice for a bone broth, since they include omega-3 fatty acids and other compounds that play an important part in reducing inflammation.

Beauty Benefits

Even if you don’t care about the multiple bone broth benefits that impact your health, you should know that the collagen from animal bones can also have a good effect on your hair and nail growth. The same thing gives the bone broth its jiggly consistency can also have a great effect on your skin.

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Lead Toxicity Concerns

A study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses has raised warning signs about lead toxicity in bone broth. However, all studies so far have shown that the lead levels in animals bones are under the EPA established safe upper limit for drinking water. Of course, you’ll maximize the health benefits and reduce the potential lead toxicity by optin for bones from pasture-raised poultry or grass-fed beef.

How Long Should You Cook the Bones?

In order to maximize the bone broth benefits, chicken bones should be cooked in a slow cooker between 8 to 24 hours, while cow bones need more time, from 12 to 48 hours. Whatever recipe you choose, it should also include apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons for every 4 quarts water, because their acidity helps extract more minerals from bones.