You’re drinking bone broth each and every day and you’re being careful about what you eat.

So do you really need to be downing those powdered collagen protein supplements?

And what’s the difference between the two anyway?

Let’s start with the definitions.

Bone broth is actually a hybrid of broth and stock. The base is more stock-like, as it is usually made from bones, sometimes roasted in advance, but there can sometimes be some meat still attached (1).   It’s typically made over a long period of time in a slow cooker over low heat with the addition of a small amount of vinegar.  We use organic cider vinegar in ours; at a ratio of 1 Tablespoon / 28 quart pot, which acts as a catalyst to extract healing compounds from the bones and connective tissue.

And collagen peptides?

You also know them as gelatin:  a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. Brittle when dry and gummy when moist, also called hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrolysate, gelatin hydrolysate, hydrolyzed gelatin, and collagen peptides. Commonly used as a gelling agent in food, medications, drug and vitamin capsules, photographic films and papers, and cosmetic (2).

The list of health benefits associated with drinking properly sourced and prepared bone broth is endless; because it directly addresses the root cause of many illnesses, inflammation in the gut, it’s an essential part of healing a leaky gut and subsequently many health concerns.

It’s not just the collagen in bone broth on its own; it’s a real food diet eaten in conjunction with it.   

Eating a diet rich in leafy green vegetables is ideal as plants offer rich sources in collagen building blocks and, in addition, provide nutrients not found in sufficient quantities in meats or broth alone.

What’s more, bone broth may provide vitamins and enzymes, but they get denatured from heat as the broth cooks, rendering them less useful to the body (3), further underlining the importance of eating fresh, raw, in season, organic vegetables in abundance?

So do we need both bone broth as well as powdered collagen peptides?

Not necessarily.

As with any supplement, the first and most important thing to remember is it is just that : a supplement, something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.

Second, as a Harvard Study showed, supplements can plug dietary gaps, but nutrients from food are most important (4).  If the diet isn’t sound, then a supplement may be more indicated compared to a real-food based, authentic Paleo approach, for example.

Bottom line:  once again, it goes back to food being medicine and supplements being considered as add-ons to fill in any gaps.

Whether coming from a place of dis ease and wanting to heal yourself (starting with healing your gut) or choosing to go from existing in a space of feeling so-so to creating optimal health and thriving, not just surviving, making fresh, seasonal, locally sourced food what you’re eating on a daily basis the foundation of what you eat is key.

Eating nutrient dense, gut boosting foods regularly and minimizing, or removing, those which cause inflammation will begin to pave the way to gut health and as a result, to addressing many health concerns.

Bring on the broth!