Bone Broth For Gut Health: Is It Healthy For Your Digestion 2023?

Sarah Ryan

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

bone broth for gut health

Bone broth is becoming increasingly popular as an effective supplementary food to support overall gut health. It provides an array of vitamins and minerals and contains collagen, protein, and other beneficial compounds that can aid in the absorption of nutrients, strengthen digestion, reduce inflammation, and even help treat digestive disorders. 

Additionally, bone broth is incredibly easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. During cooking, the bones release essential amino acids such as proline and glycine that support gut health. Furthermore, bone broth can help boost the immune system by increasing levels of immunoglobulins in the gut, which can help protect against infection. 

With this powerful combination of nutrition, bone broth is quickly becoming one of the most widely recommended remedies for optimal digestive health.

Is Bone Broth Good For Gut Health?

Yes, there are many links between bone broth and gut health benefits. It contains essential vitamins and minerals that can help protect and heal the digestive system. Specifically, the amino acids in bone broth, such as proline and glycine, have been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut lining[1] and boost collagen production.[2] 

Collagen is important to maintain a healthy mucosal lining of the GI tract[3] which helps promote better digestion and absorption of nutrients. Additionally, bone broth is thought to have numerous compounds with anti-inflammatory effects[4] that can help improve overall gut health, though the studies are a little limited. 

Drinking bone broth regularly could help to restore balance in your microbiome,[5] which is vital for digestive system health. Another benefit of bone broth is its high levels of glutamine which can improve the integrity of the intestinal walls,[6] aiding digestion and helping keep food particles from entering your bloodstream.

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a nutritious, savory, and flavorful liquid made from simmering the bones of almost any animal you want in water for an extended period. The longer you cook it, the better it tastes and the more nutritious it will be. It is an easy-to-digest drink that has been used for centuries as a medicinal remedy.[7] Bone broth contains collagen, gelatin, minerals, and amino acids like proline, glycine, and glutamine, all of which have important health benefits. 

The long cooking process helps break down the bone marrow, releasing valuable nutrients into the broth. Bone broth can be enjoyed alone or added to soups for added flavor or used as a base for sauces. It also makes a great addition to smoothies or is replaced with water when cooking grains like quinoa or rice.

Nutrition Facts Of Bone Broth

The nutritional value of bone broth can be challenging to predict, depending on what kind of bones or animal parts you use in the cooking process and what other vegetables you might add to the mix. But, if you make your bone broth with all of the following, you’ll get a broad nutrient profile in an easily digestible form. 

Bone broth can be a good source of protein[12] and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids when made with fish. It is also usually low in calories, with only 129 kilocalories per cup, making it perfect for those looking to watch their weight or maintain a healthy diet while still getting plenty of nutrition into their bodies. 

Bone Broth Benefits For Gut Health

Bone broth for gut healing is increasingly considered a superfood solution. The main benefit for your digestive system is that it contains beneficial amino acids and peptides such as glutamine, glycine, and proline, which help to support the intestinal lining[13] and promote healthy digestion. 

Glutamine helps to rebuild the mucosal cells in the small intestine, while glycine and proline are essential for healthy collagen production in the digestive tract. Additionally, bone broth contains hyaluronic acid, which can help to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.[14] It also contains gelatin which has been shown to improve nutrient absorption in the intestines.[15] All these components work together to improve gut health by restoring balance to the microbiome and promoting gut integrity.

 You can also look at a probiotic supplement such as probiotic gummies for an extra boost. Adding a fiber-rich diet feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut from the probiotics, so combining the two strategies may be the best route for digestive health. 

Other Bone Broth Benefits

Bone broth health benefits extend far beyond gut health. For example, bone broth can be an important source of minerals for building strong bones and teeth. It contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and several other trace minerals that are essential for bone growth and development. Moreover, the glucosamine found in bone broth may help reduce inflammation in joints as it aids in building healthy cartilage.

Bone broth also contains many proteins that can improve the overall health of your hair and skin. The collagen in bone broth helps improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.[16] Additionally, it is rich in proline and glycine, which contribute to stronger hair growth and shinier locks.[17]

In addition to aiding overall health, studies have shown that consuming bone broth can help boost energy levels[18] due to its high levels of B vitamins and amino acids like tryptophan which help convert carbohydrates into glucose – giving you a much-needed energy boost when you could use it the most.

Finally, those looking for weight loss benefits may find solace in drinking a cup or two of bone broth daily as it is low-calorie yet filled with tons of minerals and nutrients that can fill you up faster while keeping you hydrated at the same time. 

Top Bone Broth For The Gut

The top kinds of bone broth for gut health are ones made with organic ingredients and free-range bones, as these will ensure that you are maximizing the nutritional content of the broth and avoiding additives or preservatives. If you’re short on time, ready-made bone broths are available online.

If you are making the broth yourself, the bones should be simmered in a pot of filtered water for at least 10 hours to extract the most significant amount of nutrients necessary for optimal gut health, though the longer, the better. Adding a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water will help with that extraction process. The resulting broth should then be strained through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any impurities or particles that may have been released during cooking. Some popular bone broths you can make at home include:

  • Chicken bone broth.
bone broth for gut health
  • Beef bone broth.
bone broth for gut health
  • Turkey bone broth. 
bone broth for gut health
  • Fish bone broth.
bone broth for gut health

You can get creative and incorporate different vegetables into them, and don’t be shy when it comes to adding ingredients you might not normally eat, like chicken feet! 

How To Drink Bone Broth For Gut Health

You can consume bone broth in several ways: drinking it straight or adding it to other recipes like soups or sauces. When drinking the broth alone, add a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, or other herbs and spices for flavor and enjoy it hot or cold, depending on your preference. To incorporate into other dishes, replace one cup of water used in most recipes with a cup of bone broth — this will add extra flavor and nutrition to your dishes.

When To Drink Bone Broth For Gut Health

The best time to drink bone broth for gut health is in the morning, just after waking up. This is because the body has been fasting overnight and needs nourishment when entering into a new day. Drinking bone broth in the morning instead of a cup of coffee can give your body a nutritional jump start and provide energy throughout the day.

Furthermore, consuming bone broth first thing in the morning is easy to digest, as the proteins are more easily absorbed by the body. Not to mention, having it ready to go is easy, so if you’re looking for an easy way to take care of your gut health without sacrificing any extra sleep, starting with a warm cup of bone broth is an excellent choice!

Recipes Using Bone Broth For Gut Health

bone broth for gut health

Soothing Chicken Soup – Start by sautéing onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil, then add carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Pour in six cups of chicken bone broth and bring to a boil. Add cooked chicken breasts (or shredded rotisserie chicken), parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Serve warm with crusty bread or croutons for a nutritious meal that’s easy on the stomach. 

bone broth for gut health

Asian Noodle Bowl – Cook soba noodles according to package directions, drain, then set aside. In a pan over medium heat, sauté bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic in sesame oil until softened. Stir in 4 cups of beef bone broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low-medium and simmer for five minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Add the noodles back into the pan along with soy sauce or tamari, ginger paste, and sesame seeds. Ladle into bowls for an Asian-style meal full of flavor and antioxidants that will help keep your gut happy! 

bone broth for gut health

Vegetable Stew – Heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; add diced onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes, occasionally stirring until tender (about eight minutes). Add 6 cups of bone broth, 2 teaspoons of sea salt & 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes). Finally, stir in one can of fire-roasted tomatoes and one can of garbanzo beans, simmering on low heat for about 10 minutes before serving hot with crusty bread or rolls for an incredibly delicious stew full of prebiotics that promotes healthy digestion!


While more research needs to be done on bone broth, its nutrients are great for improving gut health. Rich in collagen and amino acids, it provides key building blocks necessary for repairing and maintaining the gut lining. In addition to this, it also contains several vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy digestive system, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. 

Bone broth also contains other beneficial compounds, such as glucosamine, that may help reduce inflammation in the gut. All these components combined make bone broth an effective tool that can be used as a superfood for gut health.  

+ 18 sources

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Sarah Ryan

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Sarah completed her Nutrition studies in 2011, followed by a post graduate in Biology and Health Education. She is passionate about Health Education, and a mental health advocate. She believes that with the right kind of information, support, and empathy, people are more likely to be able to stay on track to making positive changes in their lives.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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