On Nutrition: More on bone broth

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A recent column on the value of bone broth brought two questions.

“I have a friend whose daughter fell and has a jaw fracture with the medical advice that she is to have (a) liquid diet for six weeks. Then I just read your article on bone broth!! I will tell my friend, but wonder how long you need to boil the bones? Also do you have recipes for the other high nutrition formulas you mentioned? I would love to give some help to my friend for her daughter. Thank you, Janice M.”

I was happy to find that scientists really have studied this, Janice. In a study published in February’s issue of the international journal Food Control, researchers in China found that the nutrient and flavor compounds of bone broth reached their maximum within 10 hours of cooking.

Temperature matters, too. According to a 2018 study published in the Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, food technologists in Thailand found that gently boiling chicken bones at 194 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours produced a stock with more amino acids (protein building blocks) and flavor than samples simmered for a shorter periods of time.

While bone broth does contain key nutrients to help heal bones, your friend’s daughter also needs additional liquids that supply extra protein and calories, plus vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and zinc. Several commercial formulas are on the market that meet those requirements. I would suggest she get the advice of a nutrition professional who can guide her to a liquid formula that meets her daughter’s specific needs.

“Just completed reading your article about the benefits of bones, boiling turkey bones, in today’s edition of The Villages Daily Sun, Florida. I boil bones for two hours and article mentions you simmer overnight. Added benefits of overnight simmer? Do you simmer in crockpot or stovetop overnight?

More importantly, my husband is in the early stages of chronic kidney disease. No salt and a lot of water is the advice from doc. Seems there is much more preventative info that should be available. Your thoughts? Mary L.”

As mentioned above, Mary, there appears to be some benefit to cooking bones for longer than two hours at lower temperatures. I simmered mine on the stove, but a crockpot on low would be a great idea as well.

Regarding your husband’s chronic kidney disease, there certainly is more preventative information available. I will address this topic in a future column. In the meantime, ask your medical provider to refer you to a registered dietitian with expertise in renal (kidney) nutrition. This is one condition where a personalized diet is of utmost importance.

Thank you, dear readers, for your comments and questions over the past year. Go out there and celebrate this goodbye to 2022. And may 2023 bring all the best in health and happiness to your and yours.

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On Nutrition: More on bone broth (2022, December 23)
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