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The word “superfood” has been thrown around a lot these days, to describe everything from goji berries to coconut oil, and while much of this labeling is marketing-driven, there are a few foods that truly deserve the praise, and bone broth is one of them. This delicious and nourishing concoction has been gaining in popularity over the past couple of years, thanks to the Paleo movement and our culture’s desire to return to our roots of enjoying real food. There are few things as simple and healthy as bone broth, which is both tasty and supportive to almost every physiological process.

It’s no coincidence that your grandma fed you warm broth when you were sick, or if you were outside in the cold too long. Bone broth, made the traditional way with grass-fed meat bones, organic veggies, and fresh spices, is a powerhouse of flavor and sustenance for the entire body. There are many reasons why this food deserves a place in your Paleo kitchen, but here are five to get you started.

If you’ve been eyeing that homemade broth recipe, but haven’t yet taken the plunge to make it, these five reasons may be just what you need to whip up a batch!

  1. It’s nutrient-dense

Complete with proteins, healthy fats, and packed with vitamins and minerals, bone broth can stand alone as a source of nutrition. This is mainly due to the slow simmering of the bones, which release life-giving compounds into the broth that can sustain you during times of illness or stress. Bone broth is ideal for people who are in a weakened state, from disease, surgery, or grief, and is great for people young and old – even your pets too!

  1. It’s supportive for joints

Anyone who regularly participates in load-bearing activities like running, dancing, weight-lifting, tennis, and the like, as well as people over the age of 40, should be paying extra attention to their joint health. Over time, and with stress, our joints degrade and lose both elasticity and range of motion. Luckily, bone broth is packed with minerals and nutrients like collagen, which help to replace that lost or worn tissue and allow more mobility and longevity.

  1. It’s healing to the gut

If you’ve been suffering from leaky gut syndrome, or have recently taken conventional antibiotics, your GI tract could really benefit from some grass-fed bone broth. It is soothing and protective of the mucosal lining, helps to maintain the tight junctions (to prevent hyperpermeability), and provides vitamins to encourage healthy bacteria growth. Broth is ideal to include daily after food poisoning, surgery, or any other upset to the gut flora.

  1. It’s anti-aging

Thanks to the extremely high levels of collagen and gelatin, bone broth can help keep you looking young and feeling supple for years to come. Don’t pay hundreds for fancy creams and procedures, just drink bone broth every day and you will support your skin, hair, nails, and musculoskeletal system. The nutrient profile replaces that which is lost over time, and is the perfect addition to any anti-aging Paleo protocol.

  1. It’s an immune-booster

Always buy canned chicken soup for a cold or flu? Take it up a notch with your own homemade bone broth, which is jam packed with immune-modulating compounds that can help you body recover faster. The warm liquid is also great to break up mucous, soothe a sore throat, and get nutrition when you don’t feel like eating. And if you include marrow bones in your bone broth recipe, you can enjoy even more cellular support for your immune system during times of stress and illness.

There are many qualities that may make something a Paleo superfood, but the fact that bone broth is so versatile and easy to use puts it at the top of that list. Grass-fed, homemade broth is hands down the best way to keep your body healthy, strong, and resilient, no matter your age. The great thing is, it’s pretty simple to make, and you can freeze the leftovers if needed, so no more excuses- start incorporating this amazing primal power food in your diet today!