Soup’s on!: Study reveals drinking broth made from dry-cured ham bones has cardioprotective effects
04/23/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

Bone broth is nutritious, and it's easy to digest when you're sick. But according to a study, bone broth doesn't just warm you up on a cold day or help you feel better when you have a cold; broth made from ham bone can also boost your heart health.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that ham bones have peptides that may have cardioprotective properties.

When animal bones are cooked and digested, the proteins that they contain are broken down into smaller pieces known as peptides.

Peptides possess different properties from intact proteins. To illustrate, certain peptides from collagen act as antioxidants or inhibitors of disease-related enzymes.

Bone broth and cardiovascular health

In the study, Leticia Mora and a team of researchers ground up Spanish dry-cured ham bones and simulated conditions of cooking and human digestion. The researchers wanted to determine if the ham bones are a viable source of beneficial peptides.

The scientists then ran some tests to see if the bone samples could block the activities of several enzymes linked to cardiovascular disease. Their findings revealed that the bone peptides, mostly from collagen and hemoglobin proteins, were able to inhibit cardiovascular disease-related enzymes even after heating and simulated digestion.

The researchers also reported that the treatments released additional bioactive peptides, suggesting that using ham bones to make broths and stews may significantly improve cardiovascular health. (Related: Why You Should Eat Bone Broth and Easy Ways to Make it.)


The other health benefits of bone broth

Bone broth doesn't just boost your heart health. Below are several reasons why you should drink bone broth.

  • It's full of essential vitamins and minerals. Do take note that your bone broth's nutrient content may vary depending on the ingredients you use. Animal bones are full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and other trace minerals necessary to build and strengthen your bones. Connective tissue contains glucosamine and chondroitin, two natural compounds found in cartilage that support joint health. Bone marrow has vitamins A and K2, as well as minerals like boron, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • It's good for your digestive system. Bone broth isn't just easy to digest, it can also aid in the digestion of other foods. Bones used in broths contain gelatin that naturally attracts and holds liquids. Gelatin can bind to water in the digestive tract and help foods move through it more easily.
  • It contains nutrients that can improve joint health. Studies also suggest that consuming bone broth can help lessen the symptoms of arthritis.
  • It can promote weight loss. Despite being low in calories, bone broth can still satisfy hunger. According to studies, eating broth-based soup regularly may help increase fullness, reduce calorie intake, and lead to weight loss over time.

Recipe for bone broth

Bone broth is versatile. You can consume it on its own, or you can use it as a nutritious base for gravies, soups, or stews.

Follow the recipe below if you want to make a batch of bone broth.


  • 1 gallon (4 liters) of water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 4 pounds (about 1 to 2 kilograms) of animal bones
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, then let the broth cook for 12 to 24 hours. Letting the mixture cook longer will produce a tastier and more nutritious broth.
  3. Let the broth cool.
  4. Strain the broth into a large container and discard any remaining solids.

To make the most nutritious broth, use a variety of bones like feet, knuckles, marrow bones, and oxtail. Mix and match bones in the same batch if you want to.

Add vinegar to "pull" all of the valuable nutrients from the bones into the water. You can also add vegetables (e.g., carrots, celery, garlic, or onions), herbs (like parsley or thyme), or spices in step one to enhance the flavor of the broth.

Use bones from organic meats and add vegetables to make a delicious and nutritious bone broth that can also boost your heart health.

Sources include:

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