Bone marrow, bone broths and its benefits

12 Mar

Growing up in my home town, Colombia, I always enjoyed eating the local favorite, oxtail. About once a month my mother would prepare a delicious oxtail stew. Since moving to the United States I have not had many chances to enjoy this delicious dish. A few years ago, a friend from Jamaica cooked a similar but spicier oxtail stew that I really enjoyed.

20180306_193352My most recent, and not enjoyable, encounter with this dish was this last Saturday. I was dining at a fine restaurant that served the oxtail plated with the oxtail bone marrow still inside alongside the meat. They suggested spooning the marrow out and spreading it on the bread, claiming it has health benefits. This was very interesting to me as I have never heard of that before.

Bone broths are also becoming more and more popular. This new phenomenon of broths and soups made from meat bones claim to calm arthritic symptoms and boost your immune system as well as keep the skin smooth and blemish free. Bone broths are also being used as a treatment for conditions like autism and schizophrenia, but these claims do not yet have any scientific evidence.

Bone is composed of collagen, protein and minerals. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue composed of protein, fat and cholesterol. According to laboratory analysis, and Caitlin Van Dreason, a registered dietitian and clinical nutrition manager at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, bone broth has at least one benefit …protein! 1 cup of bone broth contains 6 to 12 grams of protein. Other than protein, there are no other nutritional values.

Instead of just drinking bone broth by itself, add vegetables, grains and legumes to make it richer in nutrients and fiber. The USDA my plate recommends eating a variety of vegetables, whole grains and legumes to add nutrients to our brain and body. Try this chicken broth recipe from the USDA What’s cooking website?

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Makes: 4 servings

Frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth make this an easy soup to throw together on a cold work night. Noodles and beef make it extra hearty and comforting.



3/4 can chicken broth (low sodium, 14.5 oz)

1/2 cup water

2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen, for soup)

1 can tomatoes (14.5 oz, broken up)

4 ounces beef (cooked and diced)

1 teaspoon thyme leaves (crushed)

1 dash pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 1/4 cups noodles (narrow-width, uncooked)


  1. Heat broth and water. Add vegetables, meat and seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  2. Add noodles. Cook until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes
  3. Remove bay leaf.

Nutrition Information: for 1 cup, 1/4 of recipe Calories 173 

Total Fat 3 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Cholesterol 28 mg; Sodium 331 mg; Total Carbohydrate 25 g; Dietary Fiber 6 g; Total Sugars 6 g; Added Sugars included 0 g; Protein 12 g; Vitamin D 0 mcg; Calcium 73 mg; Iron 3 mg; Potassium 478 mg

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