The Beginner’s Guide to Bone Broth

The Beginner’s Guide to Bone Broth (Plus 5 Brands to Try)
Photo: Courtesy of Kettle & Fire

When it comes to health foods, bone broth — which is made from the cartilage-rich bones of chicken or beef, veggie scraps and herbs — is pretty barebones. It’s warm, immunity boosting, and tastes like, well, chicken noodle soup. But there’s a new wave of bone broth products that’s combining everything from matcha to turmeric to cold-pressed juices to protein powders with the immune-boosting drink. For those who want a more souped up elixir, these options offer new ways to reap its benefits — and then some.

RELATED: To Sip or Not Sip: The Benefits of Bone Broth

The Benefits of Bone Broth

Regardless of how you sip it, bone broth is rich in many minerals, including calcium and magnesium, and averages nine grams of protein per cup. According to Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color, “Bone broth has also been touted for its ability to reduce joint pain and inflammation.”

Compared to regular chicken stock, bone broth is made with more bones, which contain collagen and connective tissues. It’s believed that the cartilage on the bones release chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine into the broth, which can help reduce inflammation, Largeman-Roth says.

Finding the Right Bone Broth

Some like it hot, and some like it…in a smoothie? The good news is there are plenty of options. “Folks who want the benefit of a veggie juice might be interested in [a bone broth] mixed with cold-pressed juices that you can just heat and serve,” Largeman-Roth says. The same goes for bone broths mixed with protein supplements. That said, spending a ton on the latest all-in-one products isn’t necessary for a well-balanced diet, she adds. “You can easily and cheaply add protein to your diet without using a bone broth powder,” she says.

And then there’s the fine print…Largeman-Roth suggests opting for organic brands if you want to avoid added hormones and antibiotics. Also, take note of the sodium content. “[Bone broth] is generally lower in sodium than traditional soup, but you should still keep track of your daily intake and limit it to no more than 2,300 milligrams,” she says. Largeman-Roth also advises people living with diabetes and high blood pressure to look out for brands that contain adaptogenic herbs, like Ashwagandha, which can interact with your medications. She advises women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid bone broth powders altogether.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Collagen Powder (Plus Recipes!)

5 Bone Broth Brands to Sip to Good Health

So what should you sip, and what should you skip? Before spending a fortune on every bone broth out there, check out our favorite picks below.

Guide to Bone Broth: Dr. Axe Organic Bone Broth Protein Powder
Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Axe

1. Best for Smoothies: Dr. Axe Organic Bone Broth Protein Powder ($58)

You might as well call Dr. Josh Axe Dr. Bone Broth. With 12 different bone broth protein powders, there’s something for everyone. His extensive line even has collagen capsules, if you don’t like powders or broths. From French Vanilla to Peanut Butter to something savory, like Turmeric Spice or Sweet Greens, Dr. Axe’s protein powders offer 20 grams of protein in one serving, along with potassium and calcium. You’ll find some include savory seasonings, like cayenne pepper, turmeric, rosemary and thyme, while others go naturally sweet with monk fruit or Stevia extract.

Our pick: Organic Bone Broth Protein in Peanut Butter. Blend a scoop with one cup almond milk, a banana and some ice for a quick post-workout smoothie.

Guide to Bone Broth: Bru Broth
Photo: Courtesy of Bru Broth

2. Best On-the-Go Juices: Bru Broth ($69)

As the weather gets crisper, you’ll crave something warm to sip on instead of cold-pressed vegetable juices and smoothies. The beauty of Bru Broth is that you can have both and then some. If you love a green juice, go for the Hot Greens chicken bone broth variety, which includes fresh pressed kale and spinach with a touch of jalapeno. For a little kick, Turmeric Ginger is simmering with turmeric, ginger and carrots. And if you want some bulletproof action, Hug in Mug has coconut aminos and coconut oil.

Our pick: Snag the Sample Pack to try all six flavors. Enjoy it cold, or simply heat it in a microwaveable mug for a few minutes.

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Guide to Bone Broth: Paleo Pro Grass-Fed Bone Broth Collagen + Turmeric
Photo: Courtesy of Paleo Pro

3. Best for Pancakes: Paleo Pro Grass-Fed Bone Broth Collagen + Turmeric ($40)

Paleo followers will love this super smooth, grass-fed collagen powder that leaves no weird aftertaste. You’ll get 16 grams of protein per serving, and no gluten, dairy, soy or hormones. Bonus: The turmeric root in each powder lends a dose of anti-inflammatory benefits. Choose from Aztec Vanilla, Ancient Cacao or Plain Naked, which is unflavored and unsweetened.

Our pick: Aztec Vanilla. This bone broth powder blends well with Paleo-friendly flours, like coconut and almond, to prepare waffles and pancakes. If you want to boost your chia pudding, the powder lends flavor without adding sweeteners.

Guide to Bone Broth: Kettle & Fire Bone Broth
Photo: Courtesy of Kettle & Fire

4. Best for Soups: Kettle & Fire Bone Broth ($10)

What keeps most people back from preparing their own bone broth is how laborious the process can be. Not to mention, the time it takes to collect all those veggie scraps and chicken bones. Enter: Kettle & Fire. These 100 percent grass-fed organic chicken and beef bone broths have been simmered for 20-plus hours and are ready to go whenever you need them. In addition to classic beef and chicken bone broth, there’s a Mushroom Chicken flavor if need a little extra help in the vitamin D department.

Our pick: This ready-made Mushroom Chicken Bone Broth is perfect for a soup or chili. Made with apple cider vinegar, portabella mushrooms and loads of other veggies and herbs, it adds savory flavor to your meals.

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Guide to Bone Broth: Vital Proteins Organic, Grass-Fed Bone Broth Collagen
Photo: Courtesy of Vital Proteins

5. Best for Sipping: Vital Proteins Organic, Grass-Fed Bone Broth Collagen ($59)

Packing nine grams of collagen and 390 milligrams of joint-boosting chondroitin sulfate, Vital Proteins’ new beef and chicken bone broth collagen are a nutritious addition to your diet. If you’re feeling a little under the weather, you can mix this bone broth powder with hot water and add some fresh ginger, lemon and honey to sooth a sore throat.

Our pick: The Chicken Bone Broth Collagen Powder dissolves quickly in hot water and pairs best with savory beverages. Enjoy it as is with hot water, or include it in soups, stews and marinades for an extra dose of protein and collagen.

Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. If you come across an affiliate link on our site, that means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

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