“Good broth resurrects the dead.”
This Latin-American saying sounds way over-the-top, but if celebrities like actress and producer Salma Hayek swear by bone broth, there’s got to be some veracity to it… right?
Salma Hayek, creator of Nuance Skincare and physically deceptive 50-year-old, tells People.com, “It’s full of gelatin and fat and has bone marrow and I think it is very good to keep yourself young,” adding that it’s helped her to avoid Botox.
Superhuman former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, too, has been known to consume bone broth (by way of chicken tortilla soup) for quite a while. “It’s great—good for energy and reducing inflammation,” he told ESPN.com.
Shailene Woodley, Mindy Kaling, and Gwyneth Paltrow are also believers. (Uh huh, it’s goop-approved.)
So what’s the hype all about? Bone broth is made by simmering bones of beef, chicken, or fish for extended periods of time, often over 24 hours. This stewing process is thought to release compounds like collagen, the protein responsible for taut, uplifted skin. Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that the soup also contain easily absorbable minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sulphur.
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Kim and Khloe Kardashian’s nutritionist Dr. Philip Goglia agrees that bone broth is worth the Hollywood hysteria. Regularly drinking it may help to "promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation,” he explains to E! News. He agrees its collagen content can help encourage wrinkle-free skin since it “increases the production of elastin and other compounds that are responsible for the tone, texture, and appearance of skin.”
In addition to digestion and youthful skin, bone broth is credited with helping improve joint pain, alleviating allergies and food intolerances, boosting the immune system, and reducing cellulite. These health claims are celebrated on sites of mega-popular health influencers such as naturopath and clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe and physician and surgeon Dr. Mercola.
Of course, there are no health trends without skeptics. Caitlin VanDreason, a dietitian and clinical nutritionist at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, stated on Harvard University’s website that aside from the protein, bone broth doesn’t do much.
“Although bone broth contains collagen, dietary collagen isn't absorbed as is and sent straight into your joints,” she writes, adding that it can’t help skin either for the same reason. She doesn’t believe there’s sufficient scientific evidence to prove any of the other health claims.
There might be a glaring absence of scientific studies ascertaining the health benefits of bone broth, but it’s been cooked up as a medicinal food in ancient cultures—and we’re realizing more and more that these traditional modes of healing have something to them (ahem, meditation and acupuncture!). Plus, what better evidence that bone broth is basically Botox for the masses than Salma's unbelievable face?
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