This week I’ve got a product review and a new recipe! Ancient nutrition was kind enough to send me some samples of their bone broth protein which has been all the rage lately. Some of you may have heard about some of the miraculous benefits of bone broth protein and if not, I’m going to address some of those “benefits” here as well as review each bone broth protein flavor, and share a couple recipes!
So what’s the deal with bone broth and why is it suddenly so popular? So the benefits I’ve heard about bone broth have included helping with joint function, helping wounds heal faster, improving digestive health, improving the immune system, and supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails (thanks to collagen). So I’m going to start with the collagen benefit first.
First off, what is collagen? Collagen is said to be one of the most abundant proteins in the body. Think of it as the glue that holds everything together. It also works with elastin to provide strength, smoothness, and elasticity to the skin and works with keratin to protect the outer layer of the skin and keep our skin waterproof. As we age, we tend to produce less and less of the nutrients our bodies needs and the same goes for collagen, elastin, and keratin which leads to aging skin and wrinkles. The hype around bone broth is that it’s high in collagen so most people automatically assume that high intakes of collagen will translate to high amounts of collagen in the body. However, collagen is not absorbed as collagen in the body. It is a protein and so like any other protein, it is broken down into amino acids and once they are broken down they are used for whatever processes the body deems most important. That may or may include making collagen. So the take home message here is that you can’t eat collagen to make collagen. Instead, focus on eating a diet with quality protein to ensure that your body has all the amino acids it needs for all the processes it needs as well as focusing on getting in all the nutrients and co-nutrients needed for building collagen and protecting healthy skin. These include antioxidants a, c, and e, along with the b vitamins (especially biotin), zinc, and silica. In addition, getting in a steady supply of antioxidants and polyphenols (think fruits, veggies, green tea, etc) is phenomenal for fighting free radicals, preventing aging, and protecting the skin. Antioxidants are quickly used up in the body which is why it’s so important to get in those fruits, veggies, tea, etc to ensure there is always a supply of antioxidants in the body.
As for the other bone broth benefits mentioned above, there have been studies showing that bone broth may bolster the immune system and reduce inflammation if the bone broth comes from chicken bones. And yes, the bone broth in the ancient nutrition proteins does come from chicken bones. In addition, bone broth also contains glucosamine and condroitin, nutrients often missing from the diet, that can help with joint pain and inflammation. Benefits that will be greatly enhanced if using the turmeric flavored bone broth protein (more on the turmeric flavor and its health benefits below).
In terms of nutrition, they’re all pretty much the same. Around 100 calories per serving, ~1g fat, ~2g carbs, and ~20g protein. They also contain some potassium (270mg or about 8% of the DV) which isn’t a crazy amount but it’s still a nice little addition to help with muscle recovery post workout. Vanilla and chocolate are both sweetened with stevia and monk fruit extract. I didn’t find them to be overbearingly sweet which made them a good base for recipes.
In terms of flavor, well, I’ll break it down below for ya:
Turmeric: So turmeric is a bit of an acquired taste. It’s not for the faint of heart that’s for sure. However, the health benefits are something to take note of! Turmeric is notorious for helping reduce inflammation in the body, especially in the joints and muscles making it a great post workout option thanks to the active compound in it known as curcumin. Combining turmeric with protein powder is great for those engaging in really intense workouts to help the body recuperate.
The best way to utilize this protein is to make a hot protein drink known as goldenmilk. You basically combine the turmeric protein powder with a smidge of black pepper (this will greater enhance the bioavailability of the turmeric in the body) and some milk (almond, cashew, coconut, whatever) and drink at night.
Chocolate: I really liked this flavor. It was nice and chocolatey but not overpoweringly sweet. I didn’t mind this one on its own and it also paired nicely in shake recipes. Liked that it could be used in multiple ways.
Pure: This one was a great base in protein shake recipes. I used this one to make a couple snack bar recipes and it worked well. Didn’t add an overpowering flavor, which I liked so I could sneak that extra protein in without having to worry about a weird protein flavor coming through.
Vanilla: Admittedly, I wasn’t crazy about this one by itself. I tried using it as a morning protein shake just mixed with water and I felt like it wasn’t very flavorful or full bodied. The shake itself ended up really thin and watery and I prefer thicker, creamier protein shakes. So I ended up playing around with this one in some protein shake recipes (recipe below) and I was really happy with how they turned out. I ended up doing a cake batter inspired protein shake since my birthday is right around the corner (May 18, to be exact) and I have been obsessed.
So one thing to mention is that I added frozen garbanzo beans to this shake. Crazy, I know but stay with me. You won’t even taste them. The frozen banana and the almond extract really help disguise the flavor so you can get those health benefits (hello fiber and extra protein) without any of that garbanzo bean flavor. Plus, the combination of fiber from the beans and the chia/flax/hemp is sure to keep you full and satisfied until your next meal!
cake batter protein shake (adapted from a whisk and two wands)
– 1 scoop vanilla protein (for a chocolate version, sub chocolate protein, 1 tbsp baking cocoa, and black beans in place of garbanzo)
– 1 tbsp coconut flour
– 1 cup milk of choice
– 1/3 cup frozen banana pieces
– 1/3 cup frozen garbanzo beans
– splash almond extract
-2 tbsp chia, hemp, or *flax meal (recommended for those heart healthy omegas and fiber)
*Pro tip: Make sure to use ground to unlock those heart healthy omegas. Whole flax are great for helping you stay regular but will not provide you with the same heart healthy omegas as ground flax.
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy then enjoy!
A big “thank you” to Ancient Nutrition for sending me samples for this review. Stay tuned for new recipes and product reviews in the coming weeks! I’ve also been dabbling in holistic nutrition and will be delving into natural herbal supplement remedies so stay tuned!