Bone broth seems to be everywhere these days, from seasonal bowls at the local farmers market to the menu of your neighborhood restaurant. Yet this nutritious staple is nothing new. Bone broth is a centuries-old remedy that has long been used to warm a cold winter’s evening, ward off a cold, and serve as the base for delicious soups.
But did you know that bone broth is also a great tool to rejuvenate your skin? Full of nutrients, bone broth contains all of the ingredients needed for supple and radiant skin. Read on to learn why adding bone broth to your diet can help smooth away fine lines and wrinkles.
Bones are a rich source of essential minerals and vitamins. The bone marrow, the innermost part of the long bones, contains iron, fatty acids, zinc, calcium, manganese, and vitamins A and K. These micronutrients contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that decrease inflammation throughout the body and replenish skin cells. They can improve wound healing and decrease the signs of skin scarring, and can also help prevent anemia and improve blood oxygen in the small vessels of the skin, vital for the up to 20% of black women who have iron deficiency anemia.
Additionally, the cortex (or outer part) of bone contains a wealth of proteins and other substances that provide structure and strength to our cells while supporting systemic function, including:
- Collagen: a protein that maintains skin elasticity while improving hydration. Collagen is often used in facial creams.
- Chondroitin: an essential structural component. It is an anti-inflammatory and helps regenerate skin and minimize scarring.
- Hyaluronic acid: a hydrating skin component that helps maintain the integrity of our skin, but that decreases as we age.
- Glucosamine: a combined sugar-protein that regulates inflammation. It is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid.
These components make bone broth a source of nutritious support for our skin, hair, and nails. When heated, bone broth turns mainly into gelatin, a hydrolyzed form of collagen that is easy to digest. Eating gelatin also encourages our body to make more of its own collagen and other skin nutrients, multiplying the benefits. In addition, cooking bone broth with vinegar increases the vitamins, minerals, and proteins extracted from the bones.
Like everything else, bone broth is better when it is homemade. While packaged varieties are available, they often skimp on quality by adding artificial ingredients like MSG and slashing cooking times. At home, you control the quality and can an easily add vegetables such as onions or leeks to increase fiber and improve the antioxidant benefits.
And quality matters. It’s vital to choose organic bones from grass-fed or free-range animals, as the benefits of the broth depend on its source. In addition, animals fed GMO grain or feed containing herbicides or even lead tend to store these chemicals deep within the bone, which are then released into your bone broth. Best to choose organic!
- 1 pound organic bones (ask your local butcher)
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply mix all of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 12 to 24 hours to release the nutrients. A slow cooker can simplify the process. The recipe can be multiplied and the broth divided and kept in the freezer for later use.
Bone broth is an easily made, nutrient-dense food to add to your skin care regimen. Beauty radiates from the inside out, so why not give bone broth a try and see if you don’t notice a new glow to your skin!
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