Bone broth could be called “nature’s multivitamin.” How so exactly? It’s packed with:
- over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins)
- collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue
- nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health
Did you get that? Bone broth benefits literally every part of your body, from your gut to your brain, from your muscles to your ligaments.
It’s also relatively low in calories yet very high in minerals and other chemical compounds that many people are lacking. There’s no doubt that bone broth makes a great everyday addition to your diet.
Here are six of the key nutritional compounds found in bone broth that help provide all these wonderful bone broth benefits.
1. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG)
Glycosaminoglycans have the primary role of maintaining and supporting collagen and elastin that take up the spaces between bones and various fibers. GAGs are supportive for digestive health since they help restore the intestinal lining, which is why a deficiency in these nutrients has been linked to digestive challenges. (12)
Several important GAGs are found in bone broth, including glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate.
There are two main types of naturally occurring glucosamine: hydrochloride and sulfate. Both help keep up the integrity of cartilage, which is the rubbery substance within joints that acts like a natural cushion. Studies show that glucosamine can become depleted as we get older, so supplements are often used to support joint health.
An easy and relatively inexpensive way to obtain glucosamine naturally is from drinking more bone broth, which helps support the loss of cartilage health, acting as an alternative to pricey glucosamine supplements. (13) Consuming more glucosamine can help support joint health, flexibility and comfort.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Found throughout connective, epithelial (skin) and neural tissues, hyaluronic acid contributes to cell proliferation, differentiation and mitigation, allowing our cells to perform various functions throughout the body as needed. It offers support for multiple skin types and promotes healthy aging, cell rejuvenation and skin firmness. (14)
4. Chondroitin Sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate is a beneficial glycosaminoglycan found in the cartilage within the joints of all animals. It’s often used to support joint health and comfort, especially in combination with glucosamines.
Studies have found that supplementing with chondroitin supports healthy inflammation response as well as cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health and healthy cholesterol levels. (15)
5. Minerals and Electrolytes
Bone broth provides essential minerals, including electrolytes, all provided in an easy-to-absorb form. Electrolytes found within bone broth include calcium, magnesium and potassium (not to mention many other minerals, such as phosphorus), which are important for supporting healthy circulation, bone density, nerve signaling functions, heart health and digestive health. When added sodium levels are kept low, bone broth contains an ideal balance of sodium and potassium to support cellular health and efficiency.
Collagen is the main structural protein found within the human body that helps form connective tissue and “seals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s also the gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, allowing us to glide and move freely.
Irritation within the gut that impairs normal digestive functions and causes permeability, allowing particles to pass into the bloodstream, known as leaky gut.
As a rich source of gelatin, bone broth protects and seals the mucosal lining of the GI tract, which means it improves nutrient absorption and also helps keep particles from leaching out where they shouldn’t be.