What's the Fuss About Bone Broth?

What's the Fuss About Bone Broth?

Contributed by Eve Persak, Nutrition Advisor, MS RD CNSC CSSD

Bone broths may seem like the latest health food trend, but in reality they're not new at all. For centuries, bone broths have been used as both homeopathic remedies as well as the primary ingredients in traditional ethnic dishes.

Their recent re-emergence - initially limited within wellness circles - is causing quite a stir with the general public. So much so that households worldwide have pots simmering on stovetops, people are toting thermos flasks of broth as they do with cups of coffee and specialty bone broth shops have started sprouting almost everywhere.

What exactly is bone broth?
Simply put, it is a more complex and labour-intensive variation of a standard soup stock.  While regular broths or stocks are boiled for up to six hours, bone broths require the bones to be roasted before simmering - sometimes with vegetables, herbs and spices - for up to 24 hours. 

Depending on the recipe, the nutritional composition of each bone broth can vary - but in general, these clear flavourful broths are:

  • Low in calories, with less than 100 kcal in a 240ml serving 
  • Modest in fats and carbohydrates 
  • High in protein, with some boasting up to 10g per serving  
  • Rich in an attractive array of micronutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc  

Why all this culinary effort for a liquefied dose of protein and minerals? Why not just drink a cup of water and take a supplement, you ask? The use of low temperature and slow simmering for a long duration allows the bones and connective tissues to soften, releasing amino acids and minerals in their most bioavailable form into the broth. This makes it easy for the body to absorb these nutrients. Also, because only nature-made whole foods are used and the method involves cooking at a low temperature, the potency of nutrients is not compromised.

What benefits do bone broths offer?
As this is a more traditional homeopathic remedy, conventional scientific research is limited, but nutritive elements of bone broths are believed beneficial for:

  • Restoring and maintaining digestive health
  • Alleviating cold or flu symptoms, and boosting immunity
  • Preserving joint integrity and relieving pain associated with chronic wear and tear, injury or arthritis
  • Improving skin health 

Now simmering at SuperNature
Don't have 24 hours to spare? Chicken bone broth is available for purchase from the SuperNature To-Go Café by the glass or for takeaway. If you'd like something more substantial, try the cafe's Chicken Soup with Buckwheat Noodles.