Can You Have Bone Broth on a Plant-Based Diet?

Far from being the “Next Big Thing”, bone broth has been around for centuries and used by cultures throughout history as a medicinal and restorative tonic. Only recently, however, have the benefits of bone broth made it to the mainstream. Bone broth restaurants are popping up in cities across the country, and homemade bone broth is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as people rediscover the beauty of preparing traditional foods at home. Bone broth is one of the cornerstones of the food as medicine movement and has become popular in recent years as we learn more about its many benefits. You’ve likely been hearing a lot about this “miracle food” and may be wondering if all of the hype is true, and why you should drink bone broth.

We think that pretty much everyone can benefit from wholesome, nutrient-dense bone broth. But what if you’re a vegetarian or vegan? Do you have to give up on all of the goodness of the bone broth diet? Not necessarily!

Determine Your Reasons for Going Plant-Based

Whether or not you choose to consume bone broth on a plant-based diet may depend on your reasons for adopting a plant-based diet in the first place. Those who follow a plant-based diet for health reasons such as lowering cholesterol or blood pressure or maintaining a healthy weight may find that a bone broth diet offers many health benefits. Some of the ways bone broth benefits the body include:

  • Improved gut health
  • Aids in detoxification along with intermittent fasting
  • Improves energy
  • Better sleep and relaxation
  • Aids in weight loss and metabolism

Many people choose to follow a plant-based diet to give their digestive systems a break from meat, which can take a long time to digest. If you’re focusing your body’s energy on healing, you may not want to overtax it by eating foods that are difficult or time-consuming to digest. 

That’s one of the benefits of bone broth – when you consume bone broth, you ingest the vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids, and collagen that are so beneficial for your body, in an easily digested liquid form that doesn’t put added stress on your body. In fact, a bone broth cleanse or bone broth diet can be an amazing and rejuvenating reset for your body. You can read more about the benefits of a bone broth cleanse here.

If You Are Vegetarian or Vegan, You Can Still Heal Your Gut With Plant-Based Foods

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and just can’t get behind the idea of drinking bone broth for ethical reasons, you can still reap some of a bone broth diet’s benefits from plant-based foods. 

Fermented foods are a great way to heal your gut and restore your gut microbiome. Sally Fallon Morrell, founding President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, is also the author of Nourishing Traditions, a resource, and cookbook that encourages a return to unprocessed and traditional foods. While many of the recipes focus on animal products, there are also several tips and recipes for preparing fermented foods at home. 

One of the most popular reasons for consuming bone broth is because of the wide variety of probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes it contains, which are integral to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. If you’re not familiar with why gut health is so important,  Fermented foods also encourage the repopulation of your intestinal flora, and can be eaten by those who follow a strictly plant-based diet. 

While you may associate fermented foods with dairy-based foods such as yogurt and kefir, there are a wealth of plant-based options, such as:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Pickles 
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Sourdough bread 

Most fermented foods are easy to make at home, and the process is fun and exciting to watch! You can literally watch the fermentation process happen before your eyes, and as long as you follow instructions from a knowledgeable source and use proper kitchen hygiene, fermentation can be a safe and enjoyable way to get gut-healing beneficial bacteria into your system, even if you follow a plant-based diet and aren’t interested in consuming broth. 

Bone Broth May Still Have a Place in an Ethical Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

We know that the last thing a vegan or vegetarian may want to consume is anything with “bone” in the name, but even ethical vegans and vegetarians can benefit from bone broth, and here are a few reasons why it might not be as against those principals as one might think. 

Someone who follows an ethical diet does so based on the moral consequences of the food choices they make. One of the reasons some people turn to veganism or vegetarianism is because they find the practice of raising animals in the conventional factory-farm way is morally reprehensible. We couldn’t agree more. 

Bone broth departs from that conventional mindset in a couple of different ways. Number 1, bone broth should be made with the bones of animals who have been grass-fed and pasture-raised (meaning that they have access to fresh air, land, and pasture, and are not raised indoors in cages as so many conventionally-raised animals are.) Grass-fed and pasture-raised animals are raised humanely, with more focus put on the animal’s welfare than the profit they can bring. Secondly, bone broth is made using parts of the animal that are not generally used in cooking. This ensures that if an animal gives its life to become food, more of the animal is being consumed, rather than being wasted.  

We understand that for some vegans and vegetarians, the thought of consuming a broth made from animal bones is not up for discussion. But for anyone suffering from a weakened immune system, food sensitivities, digestive issues, or chronic inflammation and joint pain, bone broth may go a long way to encouraging healing within the body. In a sense, the bone broth would be used more as medicine than just food. In a post published on the health and wellness lifestyle blog MindBodyGreen, author Liz Moody discussed why even ethical vegans and vegetarians can benefit from consuming bone broth.

Bone broth may be particularly healthy for ethical vegans and vegetarians to consume since it is chock full of trace minerals, amino acids, and collagen, which are generally lacking in many plant-based diets. 

Source Your Bone Broth Ethically

If ethical consumerism is important to you, whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, you’ll want to make sure that wherever you obtain your bone broth, it was made ethically and using only the highest-quality and responsibly sourced ingredients. At The Osso Good Co., that’s one of the reasons we’re in business. We believe so strongly in the healing power of bone broth, that we wanted to make fresh, sustainably-produced, delicious bone broth accessible to anyone. 

It’s hard to find another food that offers the medicinal and nutritional benefits of bone broth in such an easily digestible format. The slow simmering of organic, pastured bones infuses the bone broth with a wealth of gelatin, essential amino acids, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that truly make bone broth a superfood. Osso Good focuses on quality over quantity, and we prepare our beef bone broth and chicken bone broth in small batches so that our customers get the benefits of homemade bone broth, conveniently pre-made, prepackaged, and delivered right to their door. 

In addition to focusing on organic bone broth from whole foods, we offer organic, low-carb, keto-friendly, dairy-free, and paleo diet-friendly soups and vegan, veggie broth-based soups for our customers that choose to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.

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