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Benefits of Bone Broth

Posted 1/26/2018 by UHBlog

Is bone broth the souper bowl of healthy foods? Ask us.

Bowl of bone broth

It turns out chicken soup is not only good for your soul, it may also be good for your overall health.

“The benefits of bone broth have been making headlines because it’s believed bone broth has special nutritional properties,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic. “The bone broth rage includes claims that it reduces inflammation, improves immunity and joint function, helps wounds heal faster, fights food sensitivities and rebuilds bones with collagen.”

Even though there is not a lot of evidence-based research that bone broth is the secret to good health, “this does not mean bone broth is unhealthy, it just isn’t the cure all for everything that ails you,” says Jamieson-Petonic.

So, what exactly is bone broth? It turns out the terms broth, stock and bone broth are now typically used interchangeably. Bone broth, broth and stock are built on the same basic recipe of water, meat or bones (or both), vegetables and seasonings.

There is nothing new about bone broth because chefs and home cooks have been using feet, knuckles, tendons and bones of all sizes from poultry, beef, pig and fish to make rich, nourishing broths forever.

“There’s seolleongtang in Korea, sopa de lima in the Yucatán and ‘Jewish penicillin’ (chicken soup with matzo balls), to name a few,” Jamieson-Petonic says. “Many cultures have long regarded broth as a healing food, especially if you consider the tradition of eating chicken soup when you're sick with a cold or the flu. A steaming bowl of chicken soup filled with vegetables reduces inflammation in nasal passages and improves healing from a cold. So your grandmother was right. Eat your chicken soup. It’s good for you.”

Packaged or canned broth is readily available in supermarkets, but anyone who can boil water can easily make bone broth at home.

“If you read the labels you will see prepared broth is high in sodium, which may be okay for healthy adults, but is not good for people with high blood pressure or kidney problems,” she says. “That’s why I tell my clients to get back into the kitchen to improve their health. When you make your own broth, you use fresh ingredients and can season the broth to suit your own taste.”

The good thing about homemade broth is that you can use any part of an animal, including feet, heads, necks and backs, knuckles or tails. After letting the broth simmer for up to 24 hours, the stock will have a clear, rich color ranging from translucent (fish bones) to golden-yellow (chicken bones) to deep brown (ruminant bones). If you added vegetables, this may affect the color as well; for example, beets will turn the broth red.

For a delicious, substantial soup to be enjoyed during Northeast Ohio’s cold winter months, Jamieson-Petonic recommends one of the following recipes for either a hearty bone broth made with beef bones or a nourishing vegetarian stock for people on a meat-free diet.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Serves 8


  • 3 pounds beef bones, or more to taste
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorn 2 bay leaves
  • cold water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; spread beef bones out on prepared baking sheet.
  2. Roast bones in preheated oven until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Place roasted bones over vegetables; pour in enough cold water to cover bones. Add apple cider vinegar and kosher salt.
  4. Cook on low for eight hours. Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and discard any strained solids.
  5. Cook’s Notes:
    • You can skim the froth that forms at the surface of a stock as it cooks, but there's no real reason to do so. Do this only if you must have a clear broth. Otherwise, keep it in and garner the health benefits.
    • You can also remove the congealed fat that forms at the top when the stock is cooled. If the bones are from grass fed and pastured animals, the fat will be healthy for you. Your call.

Source: Allrecipes

Vegan Bone Broth

Makes about 3 quarts


  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil like avocado, grapeseed, or safflower
  • 2 cups celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup golden beets, thinly sliced in strips
  • Small handful of dried wakame reconstituted in a bowl of water
  • 4 cups mix of fresh chopped spinach and kale
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu soy sauce
  • ¼ cup organic light miso paste
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12-16 cups of water or veggie broth
  • *Optional: 1/2 chunk of fresh turmeric, finely chopped, 1 cup chopped onion and 1-2 cloves garlic minced.
  1. In a large stock pot, sauté celery in oil over medium-low heat. (If you’re adding turmeric, onion and garlic, add them now as well).
  2. Once celery is tender – about 5 minutes – add bay leaf, beets, water or veggie broth and soy sauce. Increase heat to medium flame and cover the pot.
  3. Drain the excess water off of the wakame and add it to the pot. Bring to a near boil and reduce heat to low, letting broth simmer for about 45 minutes. Add spinach and kale, parsley and miso paste, stirring until miso dissolves.
  4. Strain off vegetables and use broth or serve with veggies for a light soup.

Traditional bone broth is simmered for as long as 24 hours. If that long cooking extraction method speaks to you, these ingredients (except for miso paste) can all go into a slow cooker. Once the broth is ready, add miso paste just before serving.

Source: Organic Authority

Amy Jamieson-Petonic, M.Ed., RDN, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Jamieson-Petonic or any other health care professional online.

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