a cup of broth

Bringing Broth Back

Tired of coffee? Need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Healthy and tasty bone broth may be a contender for your next beverage of choice.

Warm beverages, such as coffee and tea, help many people ease into their morning routine.

“Warm beverages seem to help wake up the digestive system and provide a soothing effect,” says Denice Taylor, R.D., L.D., C.D.E., an outpatient nutritionist at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. “It turns out you can likely get these effects and possibly more by filling that to-go cup with bone broth.”

Recent trends show bone broth is possibly becoming a mainstay as a soothing elixir. Some restaurants in big cities market it as a to-go beverage, and for good reason.

“Real bone broth includes bones — chicken, fish, beef or pork — because calcium and phosphorus, commonly found in bone cartilage, can be leached out during the cooking process,” Taylor says. “Calcium can help strengthen bones and is thought of as a good preventive tool against osteoporosis, and phosphorus helps the body with cell and tissue maintenance due to its role in protein formation.”

Bone broth also may benefit digestive health due to the presence of the amino acid glycine, which encourages your body to pump more stomach acid to break down food in a timely manner. For those who deal with digestive issues, a cup of broth may be just what the doctor ordered.

Recycling Old Wisdom

“Historically, good, healthy broth has been used to supplement diets and even as a thrifty measure to recycle meal items and make food contents last longer,” Taylor says. “The hidden benefits that are now coming to light are really eye-opening and can be even more reason to get the slow cooker or stock pot out this winter.”

The ingredients for a healthy broth haven’t changed much, though it remains a versatile soup that you can tweak, based on your own food preferences.

“Add whatever bones you have in the fridge and your favorite herbs — parsley, oregano or thyme — and water to the slow cooker,” Taylor says. Let the broth simmer for several hours or overnight to get the most benefit, and then strain out the bones. “You can then get creative with vegetables, like celery, carrots and tomatoes. Make it your own and have fun with it.”

Interested in more healthy eating tips? Visit TexasHealth.org and find out about our nutritional counseling services.

Physicians on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.

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