Bone broth is a power-packed ingredient that is often touted for its multitude of health benefits. In fact, research suggests that bone broth and its components may help improve skin elasticity, support gut health, reduce joint pain and more. And although traditional bone broth requires hours upon hours of preparation, adding one of the best bone broth supplements to your routine makes it easier than ever to reap the rewards of bone broth anytime.
However, not all bone broths are created equal. Here’s what you need to know when picking out the best supplement, plus how to include it in your diet.
What to Look For (and Watch Out For) in Bone Broth
What should you look for when you’re searching for the best bone broth to buy?
First, it’s important to check the ingredients label carefully. Steer clear of products that contain lots of fillers, such as vegetable broth and stock. Instead, look for products that feature bone broth protein concentrate, sourced from either chicken or beef.
You may also want to look for organic bone broth as well, which ensures that it’s not made using genetically modified organisms or sourced from animals pumped full of antibiotics and hormones. Alternatively, you can also look for sustainable products made from non-GMO, cruelty-free sources, such as pasture-raised chicken or grass-fed beef.
Be sure to also buy from a reputable retailer with plenty of positive bone broth reviews. Purchasing from one of the best bone broth brands is a good way to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product free of fillers and additives. Choosing products that have undergone third-party testing for purity and quality standards is also a good idea.
Additionally, check the sodium content of your supplement carefully. Although most of the best store-bought bone broth options are lower in sodium than regular or canned soup, the extra sodium can still stack up quickly, especially in liquid bone broths. According to the most recent 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, sodium consumption should be limited to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day.
Finally, if you have diabetes or other underlying health conditions, take a very close look at the ingredients label. Many of the best bone broth protein powder brands include adaptogenic herbs to try to boost the health benefits of their product. Unfortunately, many of these herbs can actually interfere with medications, including those used to lower blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor first before starting supplementation, or select one of the best bone broth powder products that is free of these ingredients.
Best Bone Broth Sources
Just as important as where you buy your bone broth is where it’s sourced from. Bone broth is typically made from the bones of either chicken or beef, each of which comes with its own unique flavor and set of benefits. So which is better for you: chicken or beef bone broth?
Compared to chicken bones, cattle bones are much more dense and tend to supply a richer, more hearty flavor to bone broth. Chicken bones, on the other hand, are a bit lighter and easier to digest, plus faster to prepare. In terms of nutrition, beef bone broth is higher in collagen and many key minerals while chicken bone broth often contains more protein per serving.
Therefore, finding the best powdered bone broth really comes down to your personal preferences and health goals. For example, the best bone broth for leaky gut may be made from chicken because it’s easier to digest. Meanwhile, beef bone broth may be a better fit if you’re looking to ease joint pain or improve skin health thanks to its collagen content.
You can also try making your own bone broth at home and combining chicken and beef bones to take advantage of the unique benefits that each has to offer. Although you can use pretty much any type of bone, meaty bones like oxtail and shank are often considered the best bones for bone broth because they bring a delicious flavor to the broth. You can also use the whole carcass of the chicken to make bone broth, including the feet, which are a great natural source of gelatin.
In addition to using chicken or beef, you can also make bone broth using nearly any type of animal. In fact, turkey, duck, bison, rabbit and even fish can all be used to prepare bone broth instead. However, these forms are usually less widely available than chicken or beef, have not been studied as extensively, and can be more difficult to prepare in some cases.
Best Bone Broth Supplements
Trying out one of the best bone broth recipe options and making it at home can help put you in full control of what’s going in your body. It also lets you mix and match ingredients based on your specific health goals and personal preferences.
However, selecting a bone broth supplement is a quick and convenient option when you’re running low on time. Is store-bought bone broth OK? While homemade bone broth is the best bone broth to drink, choosing a high-quality supplement can be a healthy alternative on the go.
Bone broth is available in powder, liquid and even capsule form, making it easy to find something that will work for you. Look for a product that is non-GMO or certified organic, low in sodium, and free of additives, fillers and harmful chemicals. Additionally, be sure to buy from a reputable retailer and read consumer reviews thoroughly to find the most nutritious, best-tasting bone broth.
How to Use the Best Bone Broth
Is drinking bone broth healthy? What’s the best time to drink bone broth? And do you just drink bone broth, or can you use it in other recipes as well?
Drinking a soothing cup of bone broth can be a delicious and nutritious way to start your morning. However, there are plenty of other ways to add bone broth to your daily routine, from soups to smoothies, desserts and beyond.
Here are a few recipes for the best way to make bone broth, plus some easy ways to include it in your diet:
- Best Beef Bone Broth Recipe
- Slow Cooker Bone Broth Chili
- Lemon Protein Bars
- Iced Chocolate Coffee Bone Broth Smoothie
- Best Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
Although there’s no official guidelines for how much you should drink each week to see results, aiming for eight to 12 ounces per day is generally a good place to start. Over time, you can start to increase your dosage slowly and enjoy alongside a nutritious, well-rounded diet to help improve your overall health.
Bone broth can be a healthy and nutritious addition to the diet in most cases, but it’s important to purchase from a reliable, high-quality manufacturer whenever possible. Not only does this help maximize the potential health benefits, but it also reduces the risk of contamination with harmful and downright dangerous ingredients like lead and other heavy metals.
Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor before starting supplementation of any kind. For those with chronic kidney disease who are not on dialysis, for example, consuming high-protein foods like bone broth is generally not recommended unless under the guidance of a trusted health care professional.
Those taking certain medications, such as those used to treat diabetes, should also exercise caution when taking bone broth supplements, as some brands add certain herbs that may interfere with these medications. Check the ingredients label carefully and consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
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