We all want to find the secret formula that will help us live forever. In this search for eternal youth and eternal life, people tend to cycle in an out of trends, using miracle foods and fat-busting exercises to obtain optimal health.
Over the last few weeks, bone broth has become the latest trend in a long history of health fads and crazes.
That’s right: bone broth. The product that used to just be the base of your grandma’s soup is now hitting grocery store shelves with inflated price tags, being used in pricy protein powders and making its way across the internet like crazy. Think Goop, Quartz and, of course, Instagram.
Don’t believe us? In 2016 alone, bone broth sales more than tripled. The wide range of bone broth products and companies doesn’t lie; one of them just raised $100 million.
Yes, bone broth is most certainly trending.
But bone broth really isn’t much more than your basic stock, made of high-quality bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, skin and veggies, simmered for up to 48 hours over a low flame and strained of all the non-broth elements. With the long, slow cook time, the final bone broth has far more nutrients than your typical beef stock.
It sounds good enough, but is this really a trend you should get on board with? To answer your question, we’ve got the scoop on all things bone broth.
Who’s jumping into the bone broth trend?
With the rise of diets like Paleo and Whole30, bone broth has made a major leap among health-conscious consumers, fitness enthusiasts and dieters alike. But today, with companies and bone broth proponents promising miraculous results, bone broth is hitting the mainstream. And it may just keep spreading. Some athletes, like members of the LA Lakers, are even using it as a sports recovery drink. Providing electrolytes as well as a dose of protein, bone broth is being touted as a relaxing, reviving post-game drink.
Is bone broth really a good protein source?
Bone broth is purported to be high in protein. This protein is made of collagen, an essential part of a well-working body. Bone broth supplementation increases your collagen intake and is said to improve everything from your skin to your all-over health. When you consume collagen, it’s broken down in the body into its individual amino acids, which are then sent throughout the body as needed. But don’t get fixated on the fact that you’re eating a lot of collagen, because ingesting collagen doesn’t mean a quick collagen fix and cure-all.
However, amino acids are still the building blocks of life. And bone broth does a great job at delivering a hearty source of protein, with 6 to 12 grams of it per cup. That’s one reason why you’re seeing bone broth protein powders all over the place.
Benefits of bone broth supplements
Bone broth enthusiasts swear by this fad for its ability to increase energy, boost motivation and improve your skin from the inside out. To many, bone broth is the latest superfood, or the “new coffee” that promises to treat you right. Bone broth has also been recommended for gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) patients, as well as for patients with autism and ADHD. But there’s little scientific evidence for its fountain of youth, anti-wrinkle miracle, immunity booster and bone-strengthening qualities.
Bone broth is not the cure-all it’s been hyped up to be. But don’t be too disappointed; bone broth does have some great health benefits. Not only does it provide you with certain vitamins and minerals from the vegetables used to make it, but it can also be an effective weight-loss drink. Plus, it tastes really good, especially on a cold winter’s day.
Some research has shown promising benefits of bone broth, even if they aren’t the benefits everyone is raving about and spending their money for. Bone broth was shown in one study to effectively clear nasal passages, and another study in the medical journal Chest suggested it has benefits for fighting inflammation. That might just make it a preventative measure against diseases like arthritis.
From warming you up from the inside out to providing a boost of protein, helping with nasal congestion and aiding in weight loss, this trend is still worth trying out.
Is bone broth safe?
Trends come and go. And when it comes to bone broth, it’s just a new iteration of an older trend. Up until 2014, stock was what was up. And bone broth, as a more nutritious form of stock, has many benefits for your health.
One study found that bone broth contained almost 10 times the lead found in water, thanks to the animal bones. However, take that with a grain of salt, because another study tested this notion to see if the presence of toxic metals in bone broth was something to be concerned about. Results showed that the amount of toxic metals in bone broth was minimal, as was the associated risk of heavy-metal consumption.
Bone broth is on the up and up in wellness communities, and with the wide range of benefits it provides, we bet this trend will keep on growing. While you should never jump on one health fad at the expense of a comprehensive, real-food (and supplement) regimen, bone broth can be beneficial for your health to some extent.
Bone broth aside, check out these top-rated, high-protein supplements to boost your protein intake even more.