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Bone Broth Protein: Why Should You Try It?


Robyn Openshaw - Updated: January 27, 2021 - - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Photo of clear glass with white protein drink and scoop of bone broth protein on striped towel from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

I don’t eat very many animal products, but collagen-rich bone broth is a beneficial "whole" food that may be a missing link even for people like me who eat mostly plants.

I’m excited to tell you what makes it so special and why you should try it!

In this article:

What’s In Bone Broth?

Bone broth is one of the world’s oldest whole foods, used in cultures all over the world for thousands of years. Simmering bones and connective tissue for many hours (even days!) releases into the water an impressive array of healing nutrients:

Protein

Bone broth is high in protein, making it a very satisfying, filling drink. Many people use it as part of a regular fast from food, helping them stay satiated while they detox and lose weight.

Graphic of skin layers from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

Collagen helps support healthy skin--improving elasticity for skin that is firm and tight.

Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it essentially acts as the glue that holds us all together.

A strong and elastic form of protein, collagen provides structure and protection for tissues and joints, along with building blocks for hair, skin, and teeth. It is also key for a healthy digestive system.

Over time, our bodies lose the ability to make collagen (hello, wrinkles and arthritis!). Recent trials show that collagen supplementation, such as bone broth, can help repair and maintain arthritic joints.¹

Gelatin

Gelatin and collagen have the same nutritional properties, but they are processed differently by the body. The amino acids in gelatin are essential for maintaining skin health, including the “skin” of your intestinal tract (which is so big it would cover a tennis court!).

The “heal and seal” function of this nutrient helps repair intestinal issues like leaky gut, improving digestion and absorption and quieting inflammation.  It also strengthens and repairs your outer skin and your nails and hair, too.

Glycine

This amino acid has many jobs. It is a building block of both collagen and muscle tissue, which makes it an important nutrient for maintaining lean muscle as we age. It also strengthens our digestive systems, as it helps keep the lining of our intestinal walls impermeable.

Glycine is also key in helping our body convert nutrients in the food we eat to energy for our cells, which in turn aids in the process of rebuilding muscles after a workout.

Graphic of three different muscle types from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

Glycine is key to building and maintaining all of your different muscle types as you age.

It also acts as a neurotransmitter, improving mental function, preventing fatigue, and helping to regulate sleep.²

Proline

Proline raises metabolism and has a special role in coronary artery health. It helps loosen and clear fatty cholesterol plaque deposits from inside arterial walls and helps prevent new deposits from forming.  Really important for reducing your heart attack risk! It also works with glycine to repair soft tissue, particularly in the digestive tract.

Depending on the quality and source of the bones, bone broth can also have a great profile of minerals, like phosphorous, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium.

How is Bone Broth Protein Made?

Bone broth is made by simmering bones and ligaments on low heat for several hours. It is most often done with chicken or beef bones, but you can can also use turkey, lamb, other wild game, and even fish (though fish broth will naturally have a distinct, fishy flavor). Simmering the bones low and slow allows the water to extract all of the healing nutrients that we discussed above.

The broth is, of course, liquid, so how does it get converted into a protein powder? The protein is extracted and the water is removed, which leaves behind a powder that can be rehydrated or added to soups, smoothies, coffee, baked goods, and more for an extra protein boost.

Does Bone Broth Protein Have To Be Organic?

As for the quality of the bones used in bone broth and bone broth protein powder, grass-fed is more important than organic. In fact, bone broth protein is one instance that you don't necessarily want an organic label. Here's why:

An “organic” cow or chicken must be fed organic feed in order to get the USDA certification. Sounds good, right? After all, I recommend organic produce for humans!

But cows are supposed to graze on grass, not eat certified “feed” (usually corn or grains). Organic beef production also allows confining the animal if it has "outdoor access." Some growers do have organic fields and can raise organic, grass-fed beef, but an "organic" label does not guarantee that scenario.

So if you see “organic” on the label, you know that the animal has most likely been confined and fed something it shouldn’t be eating. Look instead for “grass-fed” sources.

Image of stamped box and text saying 100% GRASS FED from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

"Grass Fed" is more important than "Organic," when it comes to Bone Broth Protein

I know it’s a hassle to find grass-fed beef bones, however, and simmer them long enough to get the nutrients (up to a couple of days). I tried it for a while; it was a stinky drag, and very inconvenient!

But powdered sources have been shown to be contaminated by heavy metals and pesticides, and I didn't want that problem, either!

So, I was thrilled to find a great source of clean, pollutant-free, grass-fed bone broth protein powder for easy portable nutrition--and it wouldn’t stink up my house!

This bone broth protein comes from grass-feed beef in Sweden, where the problematic pollutants in other bone broth proteins are not allowed to be sprayed or injected. (Check out the test results here.)

GreenSmoothieGirl Bone Broth Protein Powder

I loved the protein so much that I used it for our GreenSmoothieGirl Bone Broth Protein powder, available in Natural, Chocolate Shake, and Vanilla Shake!

GreenSmoothieGirl Bone Broth Protein

The Natural version is pure bone broth protein with nothing added, so it has a neutral taste that easily incorporates protein into any food or beverage without adding flavor. It goes down easy by itself, too, in hot or cold water.

My favorites? The Vanilla Shake and Chocolate Shake flavors!

They are both sweetened with monk fruit, a naturally low-carb whole food, and these blends are so unbelievably yummy that we had to name them “shakes!” Because they literally taste like such a rich treat.

They blend easily and are fabulous in cold water for a refreshing protein-boosting “shake,” or in hot water for a soothing, cozy, “hot cocoa”-like treat at bedtime. Even kids will ask for more!

You can also make the protein powders into a meal by blending them in a fruit and veggie smoothie, mixing the Natural version into your favorite soup, adding them to quick bread recipes, or making protein ball snack bites. You can even add a teaspoon or two to a salad dressing! The flavors are so versatile, there’s really no limit to how you can up the protein content in any of your meals.

Give them a try, and let me know your favorite way to use them. (My latest favorite? Half a scoop of Vanilla Shake in my morning coffee—YUM!)

Read next: 23 Ways to Use Bone Broth Protein | 9 Healthy, Satisfying Bone Broth Beverages to Warm You Up

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Photo of clear glass with white protein drink and scoop of bone broth protein on striped towel with post's title text from "Bone Broth Protein: Why You Should Try It" by Green Smoothie Girl

Sources

  1. “Versus Arthritis.” Versus Arthritis, www.versusarthritis.org/.
  2.  YAMADERA, Wataru, et al. “Glycine Ingestion Improves Subjective Sleep Quality in Human Volunteers, Correlating with Polysomnographic Changes.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 27 Mar. 2007, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x.

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Posted in: Green Smoothies, Supplements, Tools & Products, Whole Food

8 thoughts on “Bone Broth Protein: Why Should You Try It?”

Leave a Comment
  1. Margaret says:

    I would love to know how often is the collagen tested for heavy metals. I use to make my own bone broth thinking that it was suppose to help with my thyroid like I was told by my holistic doctor. Until I found out by dr. Alan Christianson that it actually has a negative effect on the thyroid . I was thinking about getting the powder but I’m still not 100 percent sold on an the effects of the heavy metals that still may be in there. I see you have your labs results posted but again how often is that done . If it was done hears ago it doesn’t mean that it still the same levels. Very conflicting information out there. If I do decide to buy it I will purchase it from you . I’m just uncertain.

    Thanks

    1. GSG Support says:

      Hi Margaret, our Bone Broth is tested every time we order a new batch. So every time we receive a new order, it has been tested. Hope this helps.

  2. Karen Gros says:

    hi robyn, thank you for all that you do! is there an amino acid breakdown available for the grass fed bone broth powders? since i have herpes, it would be helpful for me to know the breakdown of arginine and lysine in particular. most other protein powders and collagen have very high amounts arginine which, for me right now, is not good. thanks for your help.

  3. glen holroyd says:

    You are soooooo VEGAN! What happened? Very disappointed.

    1. GSG Support says:

      Hi Glen, Robyn believes there are many lousy protein products out there, and wanted to make better ones, not from synthetics and isolates, and with no fillers or bad additives, for people who feel better eating more protein and wanting more collagen in their diets. She is not vegan however does consume an 80-90% plant based whole foods diet with the occasionally wild caught fish. – GSGTeam

  4. Lisa says:

    Since lead and other heavy metals build up in the bones of animals and humans, would boiling animal bones for a long period of time not leach lead out of them — even if the animal bones come from organically fed animals?

    In a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Medical Hypotheses, researchers looked at broth made from organic chicken bones and found that the broth had lead concentrations that were up to a 10-fold increase compared to the water before the bones were added to it. The samples came from organic, free-range chickens. Your thoughts?

  5. Cathy Yost says:

    I just received my order of bone broth powder from GSG. Is this safe to take every day? Are there any contraindications for blood pressure (high or low) or thyroid problems?

    1. Hi Cathy, thank you for your order!

      For most people, the bone broth powder is safe to take daily. We’re unable to answer specific medical concerns, so you should ask your medical professional.

      Here’s a list of green smoothies for blood pressure, if this helps:

      https://greensmoothiegirl.com/smoothies-high-blood-pressure

      All the best,

      —Lindsay, GreenSmoothieGirl

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