Before we delve into which is better, bone broth or soup stock, both need to be defined. A lot of soups are passed off as bone broth that simply aren’t. Real bone broth uses the parts of the animal that you would normally pitch, such as tendons, ligaments, joints and bones! It’s even better when the marrow of the bone becomes part of the broth. Sometimes the skin, knuckles, beaks, hooves or fins are included. When broth is made, vegetables, spices and herbs are added. Soup stock, on the other hand contain all the above except the other animal parts like the joints, beaks and hooves.
How long you cook the two is a big difference.
Another difference, in fact the biggest difference, is the length of cooking time. If you’re making soup stock for supper, you might start it at noon. However, if you’re making bone broth, you’ll start between 24 and 48 hours before you expect to use it. The long cooking time and focus on using all the parts of the animal add up to a more nutritious brew that contains more nutrients for your health than any soup stock could.
It’s all about the nutrients locked in the bones and joints.
The longer you cook the bones and the cartilage, the more nutrients it releases. One of those nutrients is collagen. It’s the protein that’s most abundant in the body and is important for all parts, but especially for hair joints, bones, teeth and hair. As you age, the body’s collagen breaks down by as much as a percent or two a year. A study in 2014 showed that collagen consumption improved skin elasticity and moisture. Consuming collagen in bone broth helps your body replace that lost collagen. While soup stock may have a minimal amount of collagen, because of the short cooking time and lack of cartilage, tendons and ligaments, it’s not enough to make a difference.
There are also other nutrients that you find in real bone broth that you won’t find in soup base.
If you’ve ever considered purchasing supplements of chondroitin and glucosamine for joints, don’t do it. Instead, make a pot of bone broth. It contains both and can help relieve joint pain and inflammation. Bone broth also contains more minerals, amino acids vitamins and other nutrients that are important for good health, compared to soup stock.
- Make sure you use bones and parts from grass fed beef parts, free range or pasture-raised chicken parts and wild caught fish. Check to see if the animal was raised organic.
- The amount of nutrient content of bone broth depends on the animals and animal parts used and other ingredients. Fish bones, for instance, have iodine and other animal bones don’t.
- Animal bones are a source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium and many other trace minerals. If it contains bone marrow, vitamins A, K2, boron, zinc, iron, omega-6 and omega-3, selenium and manganese are part of the broth.
- Bone broth may help certain conditions, such as IBD, IBS, Crohn’s and leaky gut. It contains glycine and arginine, which are anti-inflammatory. You can use it as a replacement for soup base.
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