The study, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that ham bones have peptides that may have cardioprotective properties.
When animal bones are cooked and digested, the proteins that they contain are broken down into smaller pieces known as peptides.
Peptides possess different properties from intact proteins. To illustrate, certain peptides from collagen act as antioxidants or inhibitors of disease-related enzymes.
In the study, Leticia Mora and a team of researchers ground up Spanish dry-cured ham bones and simulated conditions of cooking and human digestion. The researchers wanted to determine if the ham bones are a viable source of beneficial peptides.
The scientists then ran some tests to see if the bone samples could block the activities of several enzymes linked to cardiovascular disease. Their findings revealed that the bone peptides, mostly from collagen and hemoglobin proteins, were able to inhibit cardiovascular disease-related enzymes even after heating and simulated digestion.
The researchers also reported that the treatments released additional bioactive peptides, suggesting that using ham bones to make broths and stews may significantly improve cardiovascular health. (Related: Why You Should Eat Bone Broth and Easy Ways to Make it.)
Bone broth doesn't just boost your heart health. Below are several reasons why you should drink bone broth.
Bone broth is versatile. You can consume it on its own, or you can use it as a nutritious base for gravies, soups, or stews.
Follow the recipe below if you want to make a batch of bone broth.
To make the most nutritious broth, use a variety of bones like feet, knuckles, marrow bones, and oxtail. Mix and match bones in the same batch if you want to.
Add vinegar to "pull" all of the valuable nutrients from the bones into the water. You can also add vegetables (e.g., carrots, celery, garlic, or onions), herbs (like parsley or thyme), or spices in step one to enhance the flavor of the broth.
Use bones from organic meats and add vegetables to make a delicious and nutritious bone broth that can also boost your heart health.