“Bone broth” really doesn’t fit your typical idea of foods that are great for your skin. Traditionally, we think of foods like fruits and vegetables, as well as other items that are high in fiber and low in sugar, to keep the rate of glycation down.
But broth is more than just a traditional food made in many societies around the world. Inexpensive and nutrient-dense, broth comes in three varieties: Broth, stock, and bone broth. All three are built upon the same principles: Water, meat or bones (or both), and vegetables and seasonings. As the items heat up, the liquid is typically skimmed, and eventually the solids are removed by straining the stock with fine mesh.
What Makes Bone Broth Different?
What makes bone broth different is that it is typically made with the idea of getting as much broth as possible from within the bones themselves. The broth may also contain a small amount of meat stuck to the bones.
Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often a day or more), with the purpose of releasing protein-rich gelatin and skin-healthy minerals from bones.
The Amino Acids Within Bones
Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine. The Paleo Mom has a great explanation of the importance of these two amino acids:
Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
Studies show that glycine and proline are vital in maintaining radiant and youthful skin. Proline has been shown to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when used with glycine in at least one independent study (European Journal of Dermatology, 2013). When ingested, these effects should be similar.
While bone broth may be used by celebrities nowadays to yield a slimmer figure, it also is an excellent source of proteins and the amino acids glycine and proline, which have been shown to fight fine lines and wrinkles. Definitely another way to get great amino acid skin care!