Meat is delicious. Let’s just tell it like it is — a nice juicy steak, chicken thigh or piece of salmon makes a fantastic meal, and a nutritious one when sourced and prepared well. Meat is a great source of protein in your diet and may contain key nutrients like iodine, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 depending on the cut you’re eating. There are many different ways to prepare meat, including on an outdoor grill or indoor grill, in a slow cooker or even an Instant Pot. You can grill it, sautée it, stew it or even boil down the bones and drink it. Yes, I’m serious about that last one — it’s called bone broth and it’s a delicious way to sip protein-rich nutrients from meat any time.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a broth made from boiling the bones and connective tissues from meat, poultry and fish of all kinds. Some sources say its origins date back to prehistoric individuals who didn’t want to let any part of the animal go to waste, and decided to boil the bones of their kills and create a nutritious beverage they could drink.
While there’s not a ton of concrete evidence to support bone broth’s nutritional benefits, there’s some anecdotal evidence based on conjecture that it may be beneficial for everything from your digestive system to brain function.
How Do You Make Bone Broth?
We’ve included links to plenty of delicious bone broth brands below, but making your own is also a great way to reduce food waste and save money at the grocery store. Thankfully, making bone broth is incredibly easy and there are plenty of ways to customize the broth’s taste and nutritional content to your liking.
- Bring a large pot (about a gallon) of water to a boil
- Add in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Add in 2-4 pounds of animal bones
- Add in salt and pepper to taste
The vinegar helps draw out the super beneficial nutrients from the bones themselves. You can also add vegetables, onions, celery, garlic and herbs for more flavor.
Is Bone Broth Nutritious?
Yes, there’s some anecdotal evidence that says it is, depending on the ingredients you use in your specific mix. Depending on your mix of bones your batch could be high in nutrients like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and even vitamin A. Marrow contains a rich mix of vitamin A and vitamin K12 as well as minerals like zinc and boron. Fish bones contain a high level of iodine, and all animal parts contain some amount of protein collagen which, when cooked, produces important amino acids.
Bone broth may also benefit the digestive system, help reduce inflammation, improve the health of your joints and even benefit sleep and brain function. If you prefer to purchase rather than make your own, here are some of the best bone broths currently available online and at major grocery stores.
1. Kettle and Fire Classic Chicken Bone Broth
Kettle and Fire is personally one of my favorite brands of bone broth, for its great taste and high-quality ingredients. This chicken broth is made with organic vegetables that simmer for 20+ hours for maximum nutrients like collagen, proteins and amino acids. This bone broth is safe for a wide range of diets including low carb, Keto, Paleo, Whole30 and more. It’s made with real beef and chicken bones, organic herbs and a whole bunch of spices. This brand is more expensive than other options on this list, but the benefits of it being entirely organic make it a worthwhile purchase if it’s within your budget.
2. Bare Bones Bone Broth
This bone broth comes in a mix form you mix with hot water to create the soothing, nutritious drink itself. The brand lives up to its name, as their bone broth mix contains only grass-fed beef collagen, prebiotic fiber, apple cider vinegar, shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes along with herbs and spices for taste. The beverage mix is non-GMO, completely gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and contains no artificial ingredients or MSG. It’s a great source of protein and perfect if you’re intermittent fasting, Keto, Paleo or following another diet regimen. This pack contains 12 15g sticks of powder mixture, each of which contains only 50 calories and 10 grams of protein.
3. Bonafide Provisions Chicken Bone Broth
For a nutritional food like bone broth, it’s best to go with an organic option if it’s available. This chicken bone broth is USDA organic and delivered in BPA and EA-free bags for your consumption. It’s paleo friendly and gluten-free as well. It’s made with filtered water and each batch is simmered for 18+ hours at least before being packaged.
4. Swanson Chicken Bone Broth
This chicken bone broth from Swanson is a much more affordable option and is still packed with nutrients! It’s made from farm-sourced chickens that aren’t treated with antibiotics and boiled alongside top-notch veggies picked at their peak ripeness of the season. It’s packed with collagen protein, is non-GMO, 100% natural and contains no MSG. This 12-pack of 32oz. resealable cartons also costs less than $33, a bargain in the nutrition space.
5. Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Bone Broth
This organic sipping broth is an excellent value purchase for your kitchen. It’s not as cheap as the Swanson option above, but it’s much less expensive than other options on this list and retains organic status. It’s seasoned with sea salt for flavor and is filled with naturally-occurring collagen proteins. The free-range chicken bones are simmered slowly over the course of hours with vegetables, rosemary and apple cider vinegar to bring out the savory flavors. The ingredients are non-GMO and everything is USDA organic.
6. Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth Soup
Yes, I’m including another Kettle & Fire option in here because it’s just that good. This beef bone broth from them has a delicious savory flavor that’s perfect as a late-night warm beverage to soothe you after a long day at work. They simmer 100% grass-fed beef bone marrow alongside organic veggies for 20+ hours so you get the maximum amount of collagen, proteins and amino acids. I love this bone broth with a little bit of honey, some lemon and a pinch of salt. Delicious.
7. BrothMasters Bone Broth 6-Pack
This bone broth from BrothMasters also lives up to its name. It’s slow simmered for 48 hours before being packaged which is far longer than any other broth I saw during my research. It’s rich in calcium and contains 30% of your daily intake in just eight ounces. It contains 14 grams of protein per eight ounces of broth, and ships is frozen, resealable containers so storage and usage is easy.
8. Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen Powder
A mixing powder is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to make and drink bone broth. This formula from Ancient Nutrition has a breakthrough mix that gives you all the benefits of homemade bone broth collagen in a convenient powder mix. It’s derived from real bone broth and contains collagen types I, II and III. One scoop of this bone broth powder contains 15 grams of protein and only 50 calories, and it’s made with zero growth hormones or artificial chemicals.
9. Swanson Sipping Bone Broth
BEST FOR ON-THE-GO SIPPING
If you prefer to take your nutritious beverages out into the world with you, this convenient cup from Swanson is a great way to go. It contains chicken bone broth with collagen protein, ginger and turmeric, and is made with chicken bones, veggies, herbs and spices. The sipping cup is microwavable so you can get it to the exact temperature you like, and the entire cup is only 45 calories making it the perfect light snack.