Remember when you were little and your mum would make a big pot of
chicken soup to cure your ailments? Turns out, your mum really does know
best (and there’s science behind it, too).
Before we get into why bone broth is such a nutritional immune-boosting powerhouse, I want to explain what it is – essentially; a broth is made by slowly cooking bones, with a selection of vegetables (usually onion, carrot, celery) to create a rich stock. This cooking process, which can take anywhere from 2 to 48 hours, extracts essential nutrients vitamins from the bones and bone marrow.
Now, there isn’t just one mineral or nutrient that makes bone broth a natural immune booster, it’s actually several working together:
1. Bone broth contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, as well as vitamins which the body can absorb easily which, in turn, assist the immune system.
2. Bone broth is also a rich source of amino acids, which is one of the major players in making broth a nutritional powerhouse. It is gelatine that contains high amounts of amino acids, in particular glycine and proline, keep reading to find out why these two are a boon to your health.
3. Our bodies do already produce enough glycine alone, which is why this is a non-essential amino acid however, in a Japanese study, glycine was proven helpful in promoting natural sleep and as an anti-stress substance. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids.
4. Proline is useful for cell protection and preventing cell damage. It is needed for the production of collagen and cartilage so it could possibly be supportive with everything from joint health to improved skin (particularly when consumed with vitamin C).
5. Magnesium is an important micronutrient in bone broth. Magnesium helps to control hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. It also helps regulate blood pressure, strengthen muscles and bones, keep the immune system strong and it supports cardiac and brain function.
6. And back to Mum’s chicken soup. Broth has been proven to inhibit neutrophil migration; that is, it helps to mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections.
However, it is important to point out that all these nutritional benefits are based on how much gelatin and other vitamins and minerals are actually in the broth you are drinking. Like all things, quality does matter. A bowl of broth a day, may well keep the doctor away.