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SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Does stock/broth have nutritional value?

Asked by SadieMartinPaul (8950 points ) February 19th, 2013

For years, I’ve prepared vegetable stock regularly, maybe once a week or so. I use the stock to make soup and sauces, for cooking rice or vegetables, and to add to casseroles and stews.

There’s no question that the stock makes my vegan creations taste delicious. But, I’ve long believed that stock is a “liquid vitamin pill” that boosts the nutritional value of every dish. While the stock simmers, the vegetables’ nutrients should leech into the water.

I recently read that stock has no nutrional benefits; it’s just tasty liquid and nothing more.

I’m not sure that this makes any sense, or that I believe it. Can anyone provide some better information?

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13 Answers

snowberry's avatar

My mother, who researched such things said yes. Broth is a good first food for invalids. It provides many vitamins, minerals, and some protein in liquid form. It does not provide bulk fiber, and is no substitute for chew-it-and-swallow-it food.

Coloma's avatar

Heat kills or at least seriously diminishes the vitamin content of a veggie stock.
Add too much salt and it is even worse, in terms of the sodium content and little nutrition.
I am a cabbage freak and eat tons of it raw, red and green, in various salads, slaws and just by itself dipped in a little dressing of choice. I recently read that as soon as you cut the cabbage it’s high Vit. C content starts leaching out.
Now I am paranoid that any cut head of cabbage over a couple a days old is being rendered nutritionally moot.

I don’t know if meat stocks, beef or chicken lose their protein content upon boiling.

Rarebear's avatar

Not much. Mostly fat and salt.

flo's avatar

Generally speaking the less you cook things (Edited to add: the more) they retain their nutritional value. There are exceptions carrot is one so broth/stock would have little value, I think.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think the vitamins stay in the broth. Proteins would get denatured by the heat, especially high heat. But vitamins are retained in the stock.

Mariah's avatar

Some electrolytes I think, but I’d be surprised if I learned that a person could stay alive on only broth.

fundevogel's avatar

If we’re just choosing between water and broth in our cooking isn’t the real question whether or not broth has a higher nutritional value than water?

marinelife's avatar

“Vegetable stock delivers 10 percent of your daily allowance for vitamin A. Although a typical stock contains only trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals, adding vegetables and other ingredients will raise its nutritional profile.:

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/273875-nutrition-information-for-vegetable-stock/#ixzz2LOzL5bWF

RandomGirl's avatar

My mom has made broth by simmering large beef or other bones in water for a few hours. If it’s done right, it tastes great and the nutrition is especially good for your bones and joints (which makes sense). I’ve used it in the past and it seems to work to help my messed up knees.

fundevogel's avatar

@RandomGirl When I first started making my own stock (without any instruction) there were a few times where it gelled in the fridge. Like chicken jello. That’s got to be good for your bones.

jaytkay's avatar

This is not a claim about nutritional value. But the word restaurant is from the French word for “restore” – restaurer.

In the 1700s, Paris restaurants served broths and soups as food to restore health.

Restaurants serving soup were the 18th century equivalent of our health food stores.

Am I Cliff Clavin?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@jaytkay I can turn into Cliff Clavin without warning! I try so hard to resist my Cliff-like tendencies.

rooeytoo's avatar

I wouldn’t worry too much about it, it tastes good and it is not bad for you so go ahead and enjoy. I admire your ambition, stock is the one processed food that I use with abandon. I buy the Campbells salt reduced chicken stock. Here it comes in a cardboard container with an aluminum colored lining. I know it is not good for me because it lasts for months on the shelf. You give me inspiration, perhaps I will start making and freezing my own! But not tonight, maybe tomorrow…...........

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