How to Choose the Best Bone Broth for You
You might think that choosing between all the different brands of bone broth is just a matter of personal taste. I’m here to tell you that there is a big difference and it’s not just between flavors such as beef bone broth and chicken bone broth! There are a lot of bone broth choices now and the number grows more each month, yet it can be really difficult to find clean, high-quality sources of chicken bone broth and beef bone broth.
As with most things you put into your body, choosing the best bone broth starts with the source. I always want to know where my food and supplements come from and for bone broth that comes down to the type of collagen used.
Collagen is the glue that holds your body together. After the age of 25, your body’s natural production of collagen begins to slow down. Once you hit 40, the decline is dramatic. The great news is that you can easily support your body’s production of collagen with a delicious cup of beef bone broth or chicken bone broth.
I love bone broth! In fact, it’s so good for pretty much every part of your body that I drink at least a cup each day — sometimes two! However, it’s so time-consuming to make bone broth from scratch in our busy lives, not to mention making enough to last you weeks. If you can relate, I have some exciting news for you!
After I show you all the amazing benefits of bone broth, I will tell you how you can enjoy a cup of chicken or beef bone broth every single day without having to go through the lengthy process of making it from scratch.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a nutrient-dense, collagen-rich liquid made from animal bones. In the food industry, bone broth is commonly known as beef or chicken stock. It’s made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of an animal, after the meat has been used in other recipes, in water for several hours – typically 12 hours.
This process pulls the nutrients and collagen from the bones, marrow, and connective tissue into the broth. When you drink a cup of beef or chicken broth you’re getting all the important nutrients from these rich animal bones, marrow, and connective tissue without actually having to eat those parts. Let’s take a look at what nutrients they bring to the table.
The bone itself is rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium.1
You’ve likely been told that calcium is essential for healthy bones. However, did you know this mineral also promotes cardiovascular health, and enables your muscles to contract. Magnesium and potassium also support your muscles and heart health.
The marrow in the bone is full of vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and minerals. The marrow from beef also contains CLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, that facilitates fat metabolism and improves lean muscle tone.2 Vitamin A supports bone health and promotes a healthy immune system response, while vitamin K2 and omega-3 promotes healthy blood clotting and supports heart health.
The connective tissue in the bones is loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint health and facilitates a healthy inflammatory response.3
Most of us cannot get enough collagen from our diets alone. Even those of us eating an organic, Paleo-inspired diet have trouble getting enough collagen. That’s because most of us in the United States don’t eat the same collagen-rich tendons and organ meat that our ancestors did. These just aren’t a part of our typical diet anymore.
There are many ways you can supplement collagen. One of my favorite ways to supplement collagen is with bone broth. Yet, how do you know which is the best bone broth? Remember, chicken bone broth and beef bone broth are different in more than just taste and the animal source they come from. Chicken bone broth and beef bone broth are rich in different types of collagen so they provide different benefits.
Beef Bone Broth vs. Chicken Bone Broth
You know that beef bone broth is made from the bones of a cow, or bovine, and chicken bone broth is made from chickens. That seems pretty obvious, right? Yet did you know that choosing the best bone broth comes down to which type of collagen you’re trying to supplement?
Bovine collagen is a great source of type I and type III collagen. Type I collagen is the most abundant type of collagen in your body. It plays a key role in the elasticity and hydration of your skin and helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Type III collagen is essential for gut health and is found in your intestines, muscles, blood vessels and the uterus in women. Beef bone broth is a great source of bovine collagen.
Chicken collagen is naturally produced in chickens and is rich in type II collagen. This type of collagen promotes a healthy inflammatory response and is crucial for healthy joints, cartilage, and ligaments.
Remember your mother or grandmother feeding you chicken soup when you were sick? That’s because chicken soup is a nutritional powerhouse, and thankfully, it’s also delicious! Drinking chicken bone broth is a great way to get chicken collagen.
Let me tell you more about the benefits of bone broth.
The Benefits of Bone Broth
There isn’t anyone who wouldn’t benefit from bone broth. Even my daughter Elle likes a delicious cup on a chilly evening. Here’s a few additional benefits:
- A great source of amino acids: Amino acids support your joints and promote a healthy inflammatory response.
- Supports gut health: Bone broth is great for those with a leaky gut. The collagen from bone broth is full of peptides that help maintain and promote optimal gut lining health.
- Promotes a healthy immune system response: Eighty percent of your immune system is located in your gut. As you heal your gut, you are also boosting your immune system.
- Facilitates healthy hair, skin and nails: The collagen in bone broth is a building block for your hair, skin, and nails.
- Promotes joint health: Collagen supports your joints by allowing them to glide with ease, much like oil benefits your car.
- Supports optimal weight: The animal protein in both chicken bone broth and beef bone broth promotes the growth of lean muscle mass, keeps you feeling full, and curbs those sugar cravings.
Why You Should Eat Animal Protein
I was a vegetarian for 20 years before I discovered that it played a role in why I developed Graves’ disease. Vegan and vegetarian diets are not necessarily more healthy, depending on the food choices you make, and lack quality protein. The truth is, the benefits of plant-based protein and animal-based protein are significantly different. One problem is that people on plant-based diets tend to lean on legumes and grains for protein, which are problematic if you have autoimmune disease or leaky gut. Protein from legumes, nuts, and seeds generally do not contain all nine essential amino acids.
In the years since I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, I have done extensive research and made a big shift in my own diet. Now I recommend that anyone dealing with autoimmunity add animal protein into your diet. When it comes to plant protein vs. animal protein, animal protein is the clear winner!
What to Consider When Buying Bone Broth
There are a lot of choices out there, so I understand that it can be difficult to choose the best bone broth. Bone broths aren’t all made the same. The store-bought bone broth you’re seeing in your local grocery store may come from cows that were fed grains that contain GMOs, are high in sodium, and can contain other ingredients such as gluten! None of these inflammatory and toxic ingredients would be listed on the label because it’s coming from the source of the bones which makes knowing the source of your bone broth even more important.
Here are a couple things you should consider when choosing the best bone broth:
Is it Organic?
I always recommend that you buy organic meats, fruits and vegetables. However, I understand that can be expensive, so at the very least, your meat should come from organic sources such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and poultry, and wild-caught seafood. That goes for your bone broth, too! If your food is exposed to toxins, or eats a grain-fed diet, when it is processed, those toxins and GMOs will be in your bone broth and adds to your body’s toxic burden!
Buying 100% organic ensures not only that your food is non-GMO and free of toxins, but that it is free from dangerous pesticides, hormones, and other chemicals.9 Look for labels that say “100% Organic” or “USDA Organic.” Assume that anything labeled “Made With Organic” contains some organic ingredients, and the rest could be GMOs.
When choosing a chicken bone broth or a beef bone broth, check the label to make sure the source of the bones comes from grass-fed cows or free-range chickens.
How much sodium does it contain?
Many bone broths on the market today contain high amounts of sodium. The sodium content in it can vary from 95 mg to 600 mg per cup! Too much sodium in your diet can lead to a wide range of symptoms including, muscle cramps, increased thirst, nausea, brain fog, and an increased risk of high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease.4
Your body only needs a small amount of sodium to work properly. The Food and Drug Administration recommends 2,300 mg of sodium daily. However, recommended optimal levels of sodium intake are considerably less at 1,500 mg per day.
Choosing the Best Bone Broth
Of course, you can make your own bone broth at home which I have often done myself. When you have the bones on hand after a delicious chicken or beef dinner, it’s a wonderful way to get more value for your money by increasing the amount of protein you’re getting from the meat, fish, or poultry you’ve already purchased.
However, it’s a very lengthy process. If you’re busy like I am, you just can’t spend all day every day cooking or have a crockpot going 24 hours a day. Even though I generally have one or two cups of bone broth each day, I certainly don’t want my house smelling like Thanksgiving all the time! That’s why I am excited to tell you about two bone broths that I personally formulated to ensure you are getting the purest, organic bone broth on the market!
Beef Bone Broth Collagen
Beef Bone Broth Collagen is physician-formulated and USDA certified organic. I only sourced this bone broth from grass-fed cows. It is 100% non-GMO and contains lower sodium content than other bone broths on the market today.
It is a delicious beef broth that supports a healthy gut lining and helps repair leaky gut. Beef Bone Broth Collagen is also a great source of type I and type III collagen, which supports vibrant hair, skin, and nails, and healthy joints.
Beef Bone Broth Collagen is fantastic for those concerned with Leaky Gut. Collagen from bone broth is full of amino acids and peptides that help maintain and promote optimal gut lining health. The cells lining your intestinal tract absolutely love this stuff, and so many of my patients reported greater digestive comfort after using it.
Supporting the gut lining is absolutely paramount for those concerned with autoimmunity, healthy thyroid function, and a balanced and normal inflammatory response.
Chicken Bone Broth Collagen
If you’re looking for more support for your joints, then Chicken Bone Broth Collagen is the best bone broth for you. Chicken bones are rich in type II collagen, which supports healthy joints and cartilage. This chicken soup-flavored bone broth is a delicious nutritional powerhouse.
I formulated Chicken Bone Broth Collagen with joint health in mind. It is sourced only from free-range organic chickens to ensure it is free of antibiotics and other toxins.
Chicken Bone Broth Collagen contains less sodium than most store-bought bone broths. Most chicken bone broths on the market contain high amounts of sodium, sometimes as much as 900 mg or more. Chicken Bone Broth Collagen contains just 310mg of sodium per serving,
Choosing the best bone broth can be overwhelming, however it doesn’t have to be! Collagen from bone broth is critical if you want to optimize your overall health. Beef bone broth or chicken bone broth contains the purest form of collagen to support your muscles, bones, and joints, as well as your hair, skin, and nails. It’s so easy to make and so delicious you’ll want to have two cups every day!
- What is Bone Broth, and What Are The Benefits?. Freydis Hjalmarsdottir, MS. Healthline. 2016.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acids Reduce Body Fat in Healthy Postmenopausal Women. Marianne Raff et al. The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 139. 2009.
- Combined Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine for Painful Knee Osteoarthritis: A Multicentre, Randomised, Double-Blind, Non-Inferiority Trial Versus Celecoxib. Marc C Hochbergh, et al. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 75. 2016.
- Salt and Sodium. Harvard School of Public Health. 2021.
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