I may be getting on the bone broth train a little late but I’m ready to say it:
I’m in love with broth.
Pret a Manger just started selling bone broth by the cup (yeah, it comes in a little coffee cup hehe) and it has changed my life.
Besides the fact that it’s actually just glorified stock (broth actually is usually made specifically without bones), bone broth is just really good!
I’ll admit that bone broth has gotten a little over hyped though.
Let’s do some rumour control for a second.
Here are all the claims about broth that just aren’t true:
+ it’s more nutritious than most food
The nutrients in bone broth act no differently that those found in any other foods
+ it has the same amount of protein as chicken/beef/whatever
It’s worth noting that broth doesn’t contain the same amount of protein as it’s whole food (ie. chicken broth only has about .5% of the protein actual chicken does). It does have gelatin which is a protein but we’ll come back to that later…
+ it’s more hydrating than water
No. Literally nothing is more hydrating than water. This claim comes from the amount of electrolytes found in broth but in terms of hydration, the often high levels of sodium in broth definitely negate any hydrating effect.
(Sorry for the lack of images in this post. Bone is simply not very photogenic or sexy).
Why bother with broth?
So obviously there are a lot of claims about broth that just aren’t true. Let’s be real: there will never be one magical health drink.
But broth does come pretty close to being magical. Here are just some of the studied benefits:
+ placibo effect of making more healthy choices
This is a cheeky one but it’s pretty much common knowledge that one healthy choice can be a catalyst for more. Drinking broth means more healthy choices which means a healthier you.
+ low carb and low calorie but filling
Maybe it’s just that meaty taste but I’d honestly accept a cup’o’broth over a burger any day (does that make me a weirdo? Probably). There only 50 cal in Pret’s cup of broth which is pretty good compared to a 250 cal latte.
+ helps with fighting infection
I was seriously expecting this to be fake but there have seriously been studies done that say broth and chicken noodle soup really do help ward off colds.
+ improves digestion
Because of all the sketchy stuff in food today, our guts are confused little things. Broth has glutamine which apparently helps line and protect your gut from those funking substances.
+boosts your mood
Even though it seems like pretty much anything is a mood booster, broth is a special one. When your tummy is happy, it sends up happy signals to your brain. But when it’s sad, it sends sad signal to your brain causing low key anxiety. Because broth helps your tummy (well, your gut really) do its thing, broth indirectly keeps you happy.
+ shiny hair and nails
Because gelatin is awesome, broth can also boost shiny hair and nails. So many health gurus (and bloggers) swear by gelatin.
Pretty awesome right?
And even though I said it’s all magical, there is actually an explanation for how all of those benefits come into being. But I’m no nutritionist so I’ll leave that to the pros.
Most of the magic-workers in broth are various amino acids. If you’re still reading at this point and actually want to know more, broth has: gluathione, cysteine (the antioxidant), gelatin (the shiny-making one), glycine (the detoxing one) and L-Glutamine.
I just wanna give some love to the Glutamine in broth for a second here.
This little guy helps fix the lining of your gut. I’m especially interested in this one since some studies show it reverses the effects of Celiac disease (yeah, I’m one of those).
Some athletes even take it to speed up recovery (but taking too much of it, like everything else, can be a bad thing). Apparently it can even help you kick addictions and limit fat and sugar cravings. It even has to do with the colouring of white wine.
I think I have a new favourite amino acid (… not that I had one before I suppose).
So. Allllllllllll this being said about broth, it’s important to remember that there are different benefits (and drawbacks) to store bought vs. homemade vs. broth-in-a-cup (I love you, Pret).
The main thing I’d recommend is keeping an eye on sodium content as some bone broths have a crazy amount added to them for flavour boosting.
As for making bone broth, I’m no chef so I’ll have to leave you on your own to find recipes but it seems pretty easy. Something like just throw some bones, veggies and spices in a slow cook and leave it alone for five hours.
I’ve been drinking the Pret bone broth at least once a day.
I may be addicted.
But hey, there are worse things, right?
Have you tried/been converted to broth? Where do you get yours from?