The Benefits of Bone Broth


Written by Dr. Georgia Tetlow, MD and Clare Abercrombie, BS Recipes and nutritional advice by PIM Nutritionist Danielle Huntsman, MS, AADP

As we experience our first snowfall of the season and cozy up by a fire, we begin dreaming of homemade soups. Whether it’s chicken noodle, vegetarian lentil or french onion, we all have our favorites soups for this cold weather season. Is there truth in the old saying, “chicken soup is good for the soul”? Well in all honestly, there is a little bit of truth in that statement, and this post explores the benefits of broths, specifically bone broths.

Nutritional Differences

Let me start out by saying, as with most foods, homemade is better than store bought. So if you are comparing bone broth from a box versus homemade vegetable stock, I would gamble to say your veggie stock is chock full of more nutritional content. However, if we are thinking about all homemade products, bone broth is by far the most nutrient rich of the soup bases. What is so good about bone broth? Let me name a few out of the MANY benefits:

Cartilage, Gelatin, and Collagen

The slow simmer of bone broth releases gelatin from the marrow and breaks down cartilage between the animal’s bones. These components are key in assisting our bodies to cope with degenerative joint conditions such as arthritis. We know that supplementation of a bioavailable form of collagen can increase joint function and health an assist with the discomforts of arthritic aches and pains.

We know that fiber does wonders for the health of our gut microbiota, but how can we make our GI tract a hospitable place for these beneficial bacteria? Gelatin and collagen provide you with amino acids essential to repairing and formulating a healthy intestinal lining. Bone Broth can do wonders for healthy weight loss and digestion. Repairing and maintaining the health of this lining is equally as important as providing your body with probiotics. Without a healthy intestinal lining, your body is unable to properly absorb nutrients, fats, and minerals.

Of course our readers know about the benefits healing your gut can have on clearing up skin conditions including but not limited to: rosacea, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. But what about cellulite? What can we do to minimize and even eliminate cellulite? We know avid exercise helps, but incorporating more collagen in your diet can repair and tighten problem areas where cellulite and puffiness exists.

Potassium, glycine, sulphur, and glutathione

These key molecules assist in detoxifying your body in a gentle and effective way. Incorporating these components into your diet in low amounts with other nutritive compounds assists in cellular and liver detoxification (potassium and glycine). Sulphur and glutathione assist in eliminating fat soluble toxins such as heavy metals like mercury and lead. Glutathione assists in gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis.

Culinary Perspective

What is the difference between bone broth, stock, and animal broth? Is there really a significant difference in these soup variations and if so, why does it matter? Speaking from a culinary perspective, there are differences between these three types of stock. Stock is made by utilizing any remaining components of vegetables, herbs, water, and animal remnants including bones, cartilage, skin, and meat. These are simmered over low heat for a few hours until you are left with a concentrated mostly water-based, clear stock. Animal broth is made from water and animal remnants including bones, skin, cartilage, and meat. Like stock, animal broth is simmered for a few hours over low heat until you have a fattier thicker liquid that usually is a bit more savory that vegetable stock. Lastly, bone broth is made from water and bones only, simmered from approximately 24 hours until all of the marrow, gelatin, and cartilage is released into the broth and the bones are spongy to the touch. This leaves you with a rich, dark and earthy broth full of flavor. I’m sure as some of you are reading this you are saying to yourself hey, my vegetable stock is different than what she is explaining or I also add vegetables to my animal broth, but this is just a rough outline of the basic culinary differences!

How to incorporate bone broth into your diet on a regular basis:

-Swap out your morning coffee for a cup of warm bone broth

-Use as a base in soups and stews

-Cook grains/pastas in broths, the nutrients will absorb into the food

-Store broth in ice cube trays in the freezer for easy small serving sizes for when you’re not feeling well.

PIM Recommended Sources available at: Whole Foods Market, Kimberton Whole Foods & MOM’S Organic Market: Bonafide Provisions Brand & Brainy Belly Broth.

Recipes for Bone Broth

Bone Broth: (stovetop)


2 lbs (or more) of bones from a healthy source

2 Chicken Feet for extra gelatin (optional)

1 onion

2 carrots

2 stalks of celery

2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additionally herbs or spices to taste.


  1. If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves the  flavor to roast them in the oven first. Place them in a roasting pan for 30 minutes at 350’.
  2. Then, place the bones in a large stock pot. Pour water over the bones and add the vinegar. (Water should be about ½’ above the bones)
  3. Rough chop and add the vegetables to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
  4. Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. (6-10 hours)
  5. During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface, this can easily be scooped off with a spoon. Throw this away.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in glass jars, in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.

Bone Broth Recipe: (crockpot)


4 carrots, chopped medium

3 celery stalks, chopped medium

1 medium onion, chopped medium

½ bunch of parsley with tied with a string

3.5 lb of beef bones (or 1 chicken carcass & chicken feet)

2 bay leaves

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar



  1. Add vegetables to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker, along with the bones.
  2. Add in the bay leaves, salt and drizzle vinegar on the bones
  3. Add enough water to cover everything
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low for 10-16 hours
  5. When it is ready, pour the broth through a strainer and discard the vegetables and bones
  6. If the broth is greasy, stick in fridge overnight and scrape the top layer of solidified fat off (great for cooking!).
  7. Broth will keep for a few days in the fridge or freezer. Ideally to warm the broth up, use the stove top vs. the microwave which can denature the proteins in the broth.

For more nutritional advice schedule an appointment with a PIM Nutritionist at:

Come to our upcoming class Refresh & Renew to learn how to detox your body and mind of a happier and healthier 2017!

When: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Time: 6:30-8:00 PM

Where: Treddyfrin Public Library 582 Upper Gulph Road Strafford, PA 19087

Admission is FREE, register here!