By Mansal Denton, guest author
CrossFit enthusiasts are known to spend a lot of money on their health and performance whether or not the product actually works.
Even when the overall investment is a good one, individual products may not be. Bone broth is one of the recent crazes within the Paleo and CrossFit community, which costs at least $7 per serving at a local grocery store or farmer’s market.
Are the bone broth nutrition benefits worth it?
We’ll dig through the research to find out whether the benefits of bone broth are worthwhile, how to make your own on a budget, and a simple alternative for shelf stable bone broth that may avoid the hassles.
Vitamin and Mineral Bone Broth Nutrition
Our ancestors used to eat a lot of meat. Some cultures, including the plains native American tribes, ate primarily animal products, but it looked a lot different than ours does today.
Whereas our native American ancestors used to consume kidneys, livers, eyeballs, and bone marrow, we now eat… muscle. Most cuts of meat at your local grocery store are various types of muscle, but rarely anything else. The problem with this is, we miss a lot of vital nutrients.
For example, when natives ate kidney, they consumed plenty of choline (a vital nutrient for memory formation and learning). Most westerners are deficient in choline because eggs are the only real source of this vital nutrient.
The bone broth nutrition value comes from many of the vitamins and minerals we never get from our modern diets and meat dishes. These include:
- Potassium (especially broth made with vinegar)
Bone Broth Aging and Inflammation
One of the key byproducts of a diet filled with muscle meat is that we consume too much methionine, which is an amino acid. With excess methionine comes reduced lifespan and longevity according to numerous studies .
When given the same number of calories, those with methionine rich diets had a much shorter lifespan . Another study showed decreased oxidative damage to mitochondria (powerhouses of our cells) with diets restricted in methionine .
No need to paint methionine as a bad guy, but we consume too much with our standard meat-filled diet.
In fact, methionine is an important amino acid when consumed with a full array of all amino acids as our ancestors would have consumed. This is where bone broth reduces inflammation and combats aging.
Bone broth is full of two amino acids lacking in most other meat products: glycine and proline. Both of these may help reduce inflammation in the respiratory and digestive systems .
Finally, bone broth is filled with glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, which may be included in a joint health regimen .
Breaking Fast with Bone Broth
Bone broth is a growing trend in the western world, but fasting is even more popular. The practice of intermittent fasting (daily fasts of 16+ hours) and 24 – 48 hour fasts has become popular as many find brain health and cleaning benefits.
Numerous studies suggest fasting is a cognitive enhancing tool, but breaking long fasts with any type of food that affects insulin and blood glucose levels can be miserable. I’ve made the mistake of home cooking bacon and egg tacos after a fast, which put me straight to sleep.
Bone broth may blunt an insulin response, which helps to decrease the side effects of breaking a fast.
Kettle and Fire Bone Broth vs. Do it Yourself (DIY)
Making bone broth yourself can be fun and relatively affordable. My girlfriend spends around 1.5 hours making our chicken bone broth, which creates 128 ounces (about 16 eight ounce servings). We also get a full shredded chicken out of it.
Using this bone broth recipe, we spend $10-15 plus 1.5 hours, which comes out to less than $1 per serving of bone broth.
In contrast, the Kettle and Fire bone broth cost $11.99 for two servings (around $6 per serving). With the monthly autoship feature, this can be as low as $4.50. Definitely a bit more pricey, but there are obvious (and not so obvious advantages).
First, if your time is worth $30 per hour as a conservative estimate, the DIY bone broth would cost around $3.75 per serving. Suddenly the thought of buying shelf stable bone broth doesn’t seem so bad!
Although my girlfriend and I enjoy making our own bone broth, we did not enjoy the flies that it attracted. Somehow the aroma of our cooking bone broth brought in more bugs than we thought possible!
Including time to make the broth, the price between Kettle and Fire bone broth and a do it yourself version isn’t that great especially if you’d prefer to do something else with your time.
Not All Bone Broth is Made Equal
The reason we’ve chosen to discuss Kettle and Fire bone broth specifically is for two reasons:
- They use grass-fed organic animals to make their broth (an absolute must)
- They use “hot fill aceptic packaging”, which ensures the broth maintains the nutrients without needing refrigeration
This is an important distinction even if you’re making your own bone broth. According to valid arguments and studies, lead content in bone broth is a cause for concern , but especially so when using poor quality ingredients (i.e: non-organic or grain fed animals). Bone broth nutrition is dependent upon the ingredients that go in.
Given that lead is one of the most detrimental neurotoxins, which can cross the blood brain barrier and wreak havoc on your mind, it’s worthwhile to spend a little extra time or money on getting the best bone broth. This is why we have chosen Kettle and Fire for those interested in getting the bone broth nutrition without the worry.
Frequently Asked Bone Broth Questions
Q: Can I buy bone broth from the store?
A: Not really. Most broths (or stocks) are processed poorly, which not only reduce the nutritional value, but also add harmful toxins.
Q: How many calories are in bone broth?
A: It depends, but not many. A typical dose will not have any more than 50-100 calories, which mostly consists of healthy fat and keeps you fuller than you might imagine.
Q: Where do I get bones?
A: A local butcher shop would be best, but a health food store (like Whole Foods Market) at least. You will pay a bit more, but make sure you find organic, free-range animal bones that are free from hormones and antibiotics. If you want to go full-out, find local farms
Q: How do I store bone broth?
A: Keep some of the broth in the refrigerator, but no longer than 3 – 4 days. The rest should be frozen and used another time. Unless you’ve invested in $6 million machinery like Kettle and Fire has done 🙂