Let’s talk Bone Broth!

Chicken Bone Broth - An Apple a Day

Way back when I started my real-food journey, I stumbled across bone broth and decided to give it a whirl. I’ll admit that it made a lot of promises, but having suffered from leaky gut and a number of other digestive issues, it was something I was willing to try. As part of my road to recovery, I started sipping organic grass-fed bone broth each and every day and slowly but surely I started to notice a difference in my digestive health. To this day, I still drink bone broth (just not as regularly). Not only is it a wonderful source of nourishment, that can improve joint health, digestive health and more, it also a great way to sustainably use leftover bones from a roast; a win win in my books.

What’s so amazing about Bone Broth?

#1 Improves Digestion

When it comes to improving digestion, I can personally attest to the healing benefits of bone broth. It’s the first point of call for me if anything goes wrong. It’s rich in beneficial nutrients and much, MUCH cheaper than supplementation.

The Science: 

  • Glycine, found in Bone Broth may help improve stomach acid secretion and consequently assist with the management of a number of digestive conditions. It also is an important component of bile acid, which is necessary for fat digestion. Additional research suggests that it is also helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels and protect against stomach ulcers in rats.
  • Glutamine, another amino acid found in bone broth, is a natural remedy for “leaky gut”, as it helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall.
  • Gelatin is also vital for gut health and bone broth is full of it (it’s what makes it the consistency of jelly when it’s cold). Gelatin has been used in the treatment of many intestinal disorders including hyperacidity, colitis, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut and infant diarrhoea. The high quantity of gelatin in Bone Broth also makes it an essential part of the GAPS diet.

#2 Improves Joint Health 

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the abundance of minerals and amino acids found in bone broth can help promote joint health as well as the healing of existing joint conditions like that of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The Science:

  • Swollen Joints – In a randomised, double-blind trial involving 60 patients with severe, active rheumatoid arthritis, a decrease in the number of swollen joints and tender joints occurred in subjects fed chicken type II collagen for 3 months but not in those that received a placebo. In addition, four patients in the collagen group had complete remission of the disease. No side effects were evident. An additional study found that gelatin, another ingredient found in bone broth, also reduced joint pain.
  • Knee Pain – Another benefit of bone broth comes from glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a family of carbohydrates found in bones and connective tissue. Oral administration of one of these GAGs, Hyaluronic Acid has been linked to improved symptoms of knee Osteoarthritis pain.
  • Osteoarthritis & Chondroitin – Bone Broth also contains chondroitin (another GAG) in it’s whole food form. Chondroitin sulfate is an effective and safe treatment option for patients with osteoarthritis.
  • Collagen more effective than glucosamine – The best-known GAG is glucosamine, which thousands of people take as a joint health supplement. However, one study found that collagen (found in Bone Broth) was actually more effective in treatment of arthritis pain.
  • Broth is a rich source of a number of bio-available minerals required for healthy bone and joints.

#3 Improves hair, skin and nails 

Forget supplementation, as mentioned before bone broth is rich in gelatin and collagen to help support your body’s connective tissue, improving the strength and quality of your nails, skin and hair.

#4 Improves Immunity 

  • Bone broth is rich in a number of important trace minerals, thus assisting the immune system.
  • Chicken Broth has also been linked with a mild anti-inflammatory effect that results in the mitigation (reduction) of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections.
  • To try my delicious chicken bone broth recipe click here.

How to make Bone Broth 

Bone broth can be made from any animal with bones and the most popular soup bones include those of fish, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb. The bones house a variety of powerful nutrients that become released when they are slowly simmered in water for a few hours. This week I’ll be sharing my favourite bone broth recipes – stay tuned!

Do you make Bone Broth? Has it improved your health?


  1. Linda Horton

    how do i get the recipe for bone broth thanks

  2. Alyse

    Hi Linda,

    I have provided a link to the recipe in the text under the sub-heading “How to Make Bone Broth”. Otherwise you can find it in the “Recipe” section of this site under “Healthy Basics”. Hope this helps x

  3. Tracy Macdonald-Collet

    Perfect timing thank you I’m just about to make my very first beef both, how long would you recommend simmering for? I noticed your chicken broth is 6-24hours, would it be similar for beef soup bones? I read somewhere that 48hours was recommended but I don’t like the idea of leaving the stove top on for that long, many thanks

  4. Alyse

    Hi Tracy, I would recommend simmering for 24 hours, I know it’s annoying but the longer you leave it, the more benefit you will receive from the bones. We use our (teflon free) slow-cooker and leave it to simmer for 24-36hours. It uses less electricity than a lightbulb and means we don’t have to leave it on the stove-top. Perhaps something you might want to try? Alyse x


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Meet Alyse

I’m a qualified Nutritionist who believes an evidence-based approach to modern nutrition is severely under-rated. Patients are so often left in the dark when it comes to health-care and as a firm believer in the old saying “knowledge is power”, my ultimate goal is to provide my readers, students and patients with clear and actionable advice that ultimately helps you reach your full potential.