Bone broth is a stock made up primarily from the bones or connective tissue of an animal or fish. This broth has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for runners.
You make bone broth by combining bones of your choice with vegetables, usually carrots, onions, garlic and herbs, and cooking for roughly 10 hours. Once cooked, the broth is filled with collagen which is the structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues.
Making bone broth is time consuming, but very cheap. Save the bones from your meat dishes and easily have a nutrient rich broth to add to other dishes or consume on its own. The broth is a staple in many anti-inflammatory diets.
Melissa Piercell, ND, says that health fads come and go, and bone broth may not be quite as incredible as we think. However, the ingredient still has its merits. “People used to go crazy over açai berry or bulletproof coffee – health fads come and go. Essentially what you’re doing with bone broth is making a soup or broth that pulls out the collagen from the joints.”
Piercell explains that collagen is the connective tissue that makes up many things, including your joints. Healthy joints are key for runners. “The body has to have some sort of shock-absorbent. To some degree, we will all have osteoarthritis one day. Collagen is lovely for delaying that. You can add more to your diet through supplements, pills, powder or bone broth.”
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There’s one catch with collagen – on its own, it isn’t a complete protein. “Collagen itself has 19 amino acids, but a complete protein needs 20. With that in mind, any good company would put tryptophan in their collagen to make it a complete protein. A typical serving of collagen would give you a complete 10 grams of protein, but that’s with the tryptophan added.” Piercell says that while bone broth on its own isn’t a complete protein, turning it into a soup, or adding it to a meal will surely add that final amino acid.
On top of being good for joint health, Piercell says that bone broth is alkaline, meaning that it can reduce your body’s inflammation levels. “When your body becomes inflamed, it creates a more acidic environment. Alkaline foods, leafy greens or bone broth for example, can help to balance that acidic pH.”
Like most foods, bone broth isn’t a cure-all, but it is a healthy option to consider trying in your diet.