Much has been written about the health benefits of bone broth in recent years. With a wide range of minerals, amino acids and proteoglycans (protein-sugar molecules that cushion and support joints) that support bones, joints, gut and immune health, is it any wonder that a simmering pot of broth was a staple in kitchens before the rise of pharmaceuticals and processed foods?
Soups, stews, gravies, sauces, aspics and jellies were traditionally made from bone broth and were a standard part of our diets in pre-World War II America.
And they contained a very key nutrient.
Collagen comes from the Greek word “kolla” which literally means glue and it’s the substance that in many ways keeps us glued together. It is the most abundant protein in the body and forms our strong but pliable connective tissues, notably, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joints and skin.
Key point: Collagen only comes from animal sources.
Collagen has a unique amino acid profile including four amino acids – proline, glycine, glutamine and alanine – that although are not essential, are conditionally essential to many important functions in our body including:
After World War II, supermarkets, fast food and industrial agriculture eroded our cooking traditions, and our food system basically went to hell. One of the great tragedies was the loss of REAL collagen-rich foods like bone broth.
In its place came Campbell’s, Progresso, bouillon cubes and the countless boxed broth products that are now commonplace in stores. But they’re nothing even remotely close to real broths and soups, the way your grandmother made them, slowly simmered to break down the collagen and provide it in a highly absorbable form.
Is it a coincidence that millions struggle with all types health problems that require healthy collagen like joint and bone problems? That knee and hip replacement surgeries have skyrocketed? That Botox is even a real thing?! Call me crazy but as a baseball fan I have a hunch that the rise in Tommy John surgeries for pitchers is partly associated with the decline in the very nutrient that supports good joint health (check out my post for how to prevent Tommy John surgery through diet).
Bottom line: few people today are getting enough collagen in their diets.
And while I’d love for everyone to start making bone broth at home, the reality is that we’re not all connected to our kitchens the way we used to be. As simple as it is to make it, more people than not would prefer to purchase it or even take a supplement version of it.
Well, the good news is that there is a supplement that can provide many of the benefits of bone broth.
Collagen hydrolysate (also called “hydrolyzed collagen”) is simply collagen that has been broken down via an enzymatic process into shorter collagen peptides. These peptides have a low molecular weight and are very easy for our body to absorb.
Not a whole lot. Gelatin is simply collagen that has been cooked. It’s amino acid profile is the same as collagen hydrolysate but because those amino acids are still bound together, the chemical properties are slightly different. In particular, gelatin only dissolves in hot liquids. And once that hot liquid cools, the gelatin will form a gel, just like in a chilled bone broth or well… Jello. However, collagen hydrolysate dissolves in both cold and hot liquids.
1. You understand the important benefits of bone broth but are not able/willing/ready to make it at home.
Of course, a real homemade bone broth is always the best option. But since I came out with my book, Fearless Broths and Soups, I can’t believe the amount of people who’ve asked me to offer my own bone broth product (not gonna happen!). While many people understand the difference between homemade and store-bought broths, they still have a hard time finding time between work and raising kids to make their own.
Supplementing with collagen hydrolysate is the next best option.
2. You have chronic digestive issues and gelatin-rich bone broths may be hard to digest.
As beneficial as gelatin is to our gut and overall health, gelatin does contain larger and heavier proteins that may be hard to break down for those with a weakened digestive system. Collagen hydrolysate has a lower molecular weight than gelatin and is thus easier for the body to absorb.
3. It’s tasteless and easy to include in all types of liquids.
Unlike gelatin, collagen hydrolysate dissolves easily in cold liquids. It’s also tasteless so you can conveniently add it to whatever liquid you want – water, smoothies, milk, shakes, juices, etc.
Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen is a new collagen hydrolysate product from Perfect Supplements.
Here’s why I recommend it:
Full disclosure – I’m an affiliate of this product. But please understand, I RARELY recommend supplements here on my blog. When I do, it’s because of two reasons.
First, because I really believe in that product and company.
A few things you should know about Perfect Supplements:
And second, it’s because I take the product myself.
You might be surprised to hear that because if you follow my blog, you know I make A LOT of bone broth. But I don’t make it as much in the summer months.
While I love a good broth for breakfast, I gravitate to smoothies in the warmer weather (that’s my blueberry-yogurt smoothie) in the cover photo. And that’s the primary way I take it.
Very simple. Put a scoop or two in any beverage you want and dissolve it. It’s tasteless and odorless.
One scoop provides 10 grams of protein with no sugars, no “natural” flavors (which means artificial flavors) and no chemicals (which you’ll see a lot of in conventional protein powders).
Best of all, this applies to ALL of their branded products, not just collagen hydrolysate. You can see their entire catalog on their website right here.
With a wide range of products such as probiotics, fish oils, dessicated liver (not raw!), herbs and minerals, you can surely find a better quality product than if you’re purchasing your supplements from places like CVS and Wal-mart. Please don’t take cheap supplements! Those are mass-produced products that use very poor quality ingredients.
Purchase your supplements from a company that cares, has high standards of excellence, doesn’t use cheap fillers and uses organic, non-GMO ingredients.
And don’t forget to enter coupon code FEARLESS10 at checkout!
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.