IMMUNITY BOOST: The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth
Written by Kara Thompson
It seems like all I’m thinking about these days is my health—and I know I’m not alone. It’s always important to nourish and care for your body, but it’s even more essential right now. I, along with many others, have increased my supplement intake, prioritized rest, and have been more mindful of the food I’m eating.
All of this got me thinking about how I frequently see wellness experts and health coaches boast about the benefits of bone broth. However, I never fully understood why bone broth can help our immune systems.
Jennifer Salcido, ND, founder of Santa Barbara Integrative Medicine, says there are various ways the seemingly magical broth can help our bodies out. "Bone broth is rich in amino acids, which the immune system is dependent on to function properly. Amino acids regulate the immune system and are needed to produce antibodies that fight infection," she explains.
She also adds that some amino acids have antiviral properties, such as proline. "Proline is especially abundant in bone broth and can stimulate the immune system to produce white blood cells and natural killer cells to fight infection. At the same time, proline can reduce inflammation, protect the brain and nerves, and repair damaged tissues."
So how can we incorporate this healing broth into our routines? I talked to Isa Bourbon, founder of Wishbone Wellbeing, a Santa Barbara-based bone broth company, to learn more about her business, as well as source ideas and inspiration.
Why did you want to start a bone broth company?
For a while, before settling on Wishbone, I cooked for women and their families postpartum. While doing so, I had the opportunity to deliver meals packed with all the things women need after giving most of their nutrients to their newborn. One of the most important components of that meal plan was bone broth.
I searched everywhere for an option and found nothing up to par. Either it wasn't organic, or it was sourced from all over the country, or it delivered was in plastic packaging. Nothing checked all the boxes. So, it slowly dawned on me, that I might have to be the one to make the complete bone broth elixir.
The idea of creating an ethical, health-beneficial product was and still is exciting. Building a brand like Wishbone Wellbeing marries my core values of ethical practices, health, and community while also being an exciting career path.
Do you source ingredients locally? Absolutely! We use 100% organic ingredients and source as locally as possible. No ingredient is “extra” or “filler.” We source most of our produce through Given’s Farm in Goleta (5 minutes from our kitchen). What we don’t source directly through the farm, we order through Gladden and Sons in Goleta or the Isla Vista Co-op, both who source as locally as possible.
The chicken bones are from Mary’s Organic Farm, about 3 hours north of us, and the grass-fed beef bones are from Sun Fed Organics in Northern California. We sacrificed a little distance with the beef bones to ensure the highest quality USDA Organic certified, grass-fed, grass-finished product.
Do you think bone broth itself is a superfood?
The way we make it, yes! Bone broth alone, no veggies or other add-ins, is still incredibly health supportive. The bone marrow and collagen help heal the gut and give vital nutrients to the body. We take the old tradition practiced for generations and give it a new health supportive spin. There is not one star ingredient. Every aspect plays its role in creating a comprehensive vitamin, mineral, protein, and collagen-rich concoction.
How is Wishbone Wellbeing different from other bone broth companies?
We are a 100% women-owned and run business. Bone broth has been associated with keto, intermittent fasting, and post-workout fuel, which has been traditionally male dominated. The top companies are all run by men and catered to that demographic. While we absolutely support that, and all the people that use it that way, we have another perspective. We see it as self-care—as another way to love yourself. That’s why we say it’s like giving yourself a hug from the inside out. Wishbone Broth is coming onto the scene with a feminine touch. No less tough, just maybe a little more elegant.
Wishbone Broth is coming onto the scene with a feminine touch. No less tough, just maybe a little more elegant.
How can people order your bone broth?
We do a weekly contact-free delivery in Santa Barbara County. We currently have one option—a 4 pack of 32 ounce Wishbone Broth, frozen and delivered in a little cooler bag to ensure it stays cold.
The broth can live in the freezer for up to a year, or once thawed, it lasts 3 weeks in the fridge.
Try adding bone broth to:
Any type of soup! (Just substitute for whatever stock or water the recipe calls for)