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Ten Reasons to Add Bone Broth to Your Diet

When new patients come to my office, one of the first things I hand them is a recipe. That’s right—not a prescription, but a recipe.

It’s a recipe for bone broth—I call it liquid gold—which is one of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet.

If you’re new to bone broth: it’s a broth you make from chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, or even fish bones that you simmer for hours until the bones literally start to melt, releasing deep nutrition. Bone broth is a healing tradition in virtually every culture around the world, from “Jewish penicillin” to the cow’s foot soup that Caribbean mothers serve sick children.

It’s no surprise that healers around the globe reach for bone broth, because it’s rich in nutrients that do everything from quelling inflammation to erasing your wrinkles. Here are just some of the benefits of this super-food.

Ten Reasons You Should Be Drinking Bone Broth

1. Bone broth makes your gut glow.

From obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer, diseases of aging begin with inflammation—and that inflammation starts in your gut. A sick gut is a leaky gut, letting toxins escape into your bloodstream and triggering an immune system response that leaves you chronically inflamed.

Bones are rich in collagen, which turns into gelatin when you cook it—and gelatin is a powerful gut healer. It fortifies your intestinal wall, loads you up with anti-inflammatory chemicals that put out the “fire” in your gut, and creates a healthy environment for your gut microbes.

2. Bone broth gives you amazing skin.

Bone broth is loaded with the building blocks of collagen, so drinking bone broth is like mainlining collagen to your skin cells. I compare it to “Spanx for your face.”

What’s more, the benefits of bone broth last. It’s not like temporary fillers, because it builds strong, beautiful skin from the inside out.

3. Bone broth cuts your cravings down to size.

Bone broth is rich, hearty, and satisfying—nothing like that watery stuff in a can. When you drink a cup, you’ll feel like you’ve eaten a full meal. Translation: no hunger, even if you cut down on your food intake.

When my patients need to lose weight rapidly, I tell them to do mini-fasts, eating nothing but bone broth two days a week. Many of them initially aren’t sure they can do it. However, they quickly discover that bone broth stops their cravings for sugar and junk food—and that bone broth mini-fasts melt off their extra pounds like crazy.

4. Bone broth protects your joints.

Your joints contain cartilage, a slippery Teflon-like coating that allows them to slide over each other without grinding.  Similarly, animal bones contain cartilage. (The stuff on the end of a chicken drumstick, for instance, is cartilage.) Cartilage is packed with glucosamine and chondroitin—the same nutrients many doctors prescribe as supplements to keep joints young and healthy.

How powerful are these nutrients? A randomized, double-blind clinical trial in 2015 found that oral chondroitin and glucosamine are as effective as the arthritis drug Celebrex in reducing pain, swelling, and functional limitations caused by knee osteoarthritis.

What’s more, glucosamine and chondroitin aren’t the only joint-healing nutrients in bone broth. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which lubricates your joints and muscles.

5. Bone broth eases your stress.

De-stressing is one of the most important things you can do for your health—and it’s also crucial if you want to lose weight. That’s because stress elevates your levels of cortisol, which can add pounds around your waist (I call it a “cortisol tire”). In addition, stress makes you crave fat and sugar.

Bone broth is filled with nutrients that soothe and relax you, making stress melt away. For instance, it’s rich in glycine, which helps to calm anxiety. It also gives you a dose of highly bioavailable magnesium, a mineral with powerful calming properties.

6. Bone broth eases a cold.

Your grandma was right: chicken soup is a powerful prescription for cold relief! Researchers at the University of Nebraska found that chicken soup helps reduce the symptoms of a cold by preventing pro-inflammatory immune cells called neutrophils from moving to an inflamed area.

7. Bone broth helps heal skin problems.

Because it’s so rich in glycine and other anti-inflammatory nutrients, bone broth is a must if you’re fighting skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Many patients who come to me for help in losing weight are stunned to see skin conditions they’ve suffered with for years clear up when they combine bone broth with a Paleo diet.

8. Bone broth can fight cellulite.

Because the collagen in bone broth strengthens your skin’s connective tissue, it doesn’t just erase wrinkles—it helps smooth out that cellulite on your thighs.

9. Bone broth gives you beautiful hair and nails.

Here’s something women have known for centuries: Gelatin, like that found in bone broth, can make your fingernails stronger and prettier. It also can make your hair less brittle and more lustrous.

10. Bone broth is easy to make!

Making bone broth is as easy as it gets. Just get a big pot and toss in bones from organic chickens, pasture-raised beef or lamb, or non-oily fish. If you can’t afford organic or pasture-raised meat, regular bones will do.

Now, throw in an onion, some celery, a carrot or two, a little vinegar to help dissolve the bones, and any seasonings you like. Cover everything with filtered water, bring it all to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and then…walk away. Let your broth simmer for around six hours for poultry bones, up to 24 hours for beef bones, and around two hours for fish bones. Then strain it and refrigerate any broth you don’t use right away. When your broth is chilled, you’ll notice that it’s “jiggly.” That’s the gelatin, which is where the magic happens.

That’s all there is to bone broth! Never, ever underestimate this humble food. It’s one of the most potent fat-burning, inflammation-healing foods on the planet. If you’re a believer in natural healing, trust me—Mother Nature’s medicine doesn’t get any more powerful than this!

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Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D., is the New York Times best-selling author of Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet (Rodale, 2015).

Paleo f(x)™

Heal thyself. Change the world.