I Had Bone Broth Every Day for a Week—Here’s What Happened
A board-certified holistic nutritionist explains the health, beauty and weight loss reasons bone broth has made such a splash the past few years. Plus, get dibs on her favorite bone broth recipe, fortified with immune-boosting ingredients.
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Bone broth has become a huge wellness trend over the past few years—and with the pandemic inspiring a lot of us to take a little better care of ourselves, the bone broth buzz is probably no wonder. As a nutritionist, for years I’ve been drinking bone broth as one of my weekly staples. There are tons of healthy nutrients in one cup of bone broth that are beneficial for your gut and healthy skin.
I find a good bone broth recipe super nourishing—especially in the afternoon as a little pick-me-up. This winter, my favorite bone broth recipe (which I’ll share here) has been a constant in our household after a series of sicknesses took over our house, starting with a bug that my toddlers brought home that then progressed into cold after cold. Here’s what happened when I drank bone broth every day—a practice I love to recommend to many of my nutrition clients who are struggling with immunity, gut symptoms, depression, low energy, excess weight and more.
Bone broth benefits
I spoke with registered dietitian Erika Jacobson, MS, RD, CDN, about the hype around bone broth and what its biggest health benefits are. “There are limited studies specifically looking at the effects of bone broth itself, however the components found within it may certainly offer health benefits that support its regular use,” Jacobson says.
Jacobson explained that the ingredients in bone broth can especially support your digestive health and skin. “Gelatin and the amino acid glycine may protect against LPS (lipopolysaccharide), which are inflammatory endotoxins released by gut bacteria.” She adds that bone broth also contains glutamine, “which helps to strengthen the integrity of the intestinal barrier and may prevent or support healing of intestinal permeability, or leaky gut.”
Jacobson says bone broth can also benefit the skin, explaining that glycine—along with proline and hyaluronic acid—support collagen production. Collagen is essential for skin health, as it helps with skin elasticity and hydration, she says.
What I noticed after a week of drinking bone broth
My experiment with drinking bone broth every day reminded me of why I started loving it in the first place. My digestion slightly improved, I noticed a slight reduction in bloating and I didn’t need a little afternoon snack because it kept me feeling satiated. Plus, as I officially near my mid-forties next month, I’m also hoping that the collagen in bone broth continues to support the elasticity in my skin!
Jacobson shares how adding in bone broth every day might help you feel. “After drinking bone broth for a week, you might feel more energetic, hydrated, and with smoother digestion,” she says. “However, it’s important to note that bone broth alone isn’t a miracle solution—it merely supports your overall nutrition and lifestyle habits.” So, unless you’re eating clean in general, “even if you faithfully drink bone broth for an entire week, there’s a strong possibility that you won’t experience any of the touted benefits.”
To be honest, I hadn’t previously considered bone broth as an option for extra hydration, but I discovered that I wasn’t as thirsty after my workouts during my week-long experiment. Jacobson explained why this might be. “My clients have found that drinking bone broth is a great way to boost hydration and energy levels due to its content of minerals like sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, ” she says. (Sodium and potassium are electrolytes that help the body effectively absorb water.) “In addition, bone broth contains easily digestible protein and amino acids that support the gut lining, making it ideal to calm symptoms during a digestive flare.”
An important caution to consider if you are thinking about drinking bone broth every day is if you have histamine intolerance.
Jacobson also recommends being mindful that some store-bought bone broth varieties can be high in sodium: “So check the label or make it homemade if you need a salt-free version.” (The Healthy @Reader’s Digest’s Medical Review Board co-chair Latoya Julce agrees this is a must!)
Why I’m continuing my daily bone broth routine
I am going to be more mindful of drinking bone broth on a daily basis. I just love the way bone broth makes me feel, plus knowing that I’m also supporting my skin health with the benefits of collagen.
If you’d like to make bone broth at home, below is my recipe, originally published on my website. If you don’t have the time, my favorite bone broth brands you can purchase at the grocery store are Epic and Kettle & Fire. Jacobson says she often recommends FOND.
Epic Bone Broth
Epic bone broth is much thicker and feels even more nourishing than other bone broth brands I’ve tried. It’s also jarred, so it’s not in a plastic container, which I personally like too. I love to wash then re-use the jars for batches of my own bone broth recipe, which you’ll find below.
Kettle & Fire Bone Broth
Kettle & Fire bone broth is organic, the chicken is free-range, and the beef is grass-fed, which is why I like this brand. They also don’t contain preservatives or additives, but the key for me is organic. (When it’s within your budget, eating organic anytime your food comes from an animal can lessen your exposure to growth hormones and antibiotics.)
FOND Bone Broth
FOND‘s branding explains that the L-glutamine protein in their bone broth may aid in weight loss because it’s been shown to reduce Firmicutes in the gut. Firmicutes are a type of bacterium that the brand says “are heavily linked with obesity.”
My favorite bone broth recipe to make at home
Recipe credit Katie Bressack, INHC, AADP
- the biggest pot you own, or a slow-cooker
- two large bones from a beef or bison cut (you can use smaller bones if you have poultry, such as from leftover turkey after Thanksgiving). Try your best to get organic bones.
- 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 8-10 cups of filtered water (depending on the size of your pot/slow-cooker)
- a few cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
- 3-4 large organic carrots, peeled
- 3-4 stalks of organic celery, sliced
- fresh parsley, rosemary or your favorite spices
- A dash of sea salt
- A dash of pepper
- 1 medium-sized ginger root, sliced into pieces. (You can peel your ginger if you love ginger flavor.)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet, bake the bones for 15 minutes. Add them to the pot or slow-cooker. (My family uses a CrockPot for around half of our meals!)
- Add water nearly to the top of the pot or slow-cooker along, with the apple cider vinegar, spices, carrots, onion, ginger and garlic.
- Bring broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. In a pot, cook at a low simmer for 12 to 24 hours. In a slow-cooker, cook on low 24 hours. Keep a close eye on your broth batch as it’s cooking.
- Once the bone broth has finished cooking, let it cool and strain it using a food-grade cheesecloth. (This cheesecloth is 100% unbleached and is sold by a verified seller.)
- You can place the broth into Mason jars or ice trays. A reminder that liquid expands when it freezes—so make sure you leave some room at the top of the Mason jar. Add the jars or ice trays to your fridge or freezer. (I like to keep one jar of broth in my fridge, and keep the remaining in the freezer. This ice tray was specifically designed for freezing broth. It comes with a cover so your broth stays fresh and protected in the freezer, and it freezes your broth into easy one-cup portions.)