Bone marrow has been a popular delicacy in many restaurants for the past few years, but did you know that it dates back to prehistoric times? Early humans used to crack open the bones of prey, such as lions, and eat the marrow inside.
Pork bone marrow, in particular, is a nutritious and flavorful addition to any meal. Not only is it loaded with good saturated fats, minerals, and proteins like collagen, but it also contains significant portions of your daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of eating pork bone marrow and how you can incorporate it into your diet. So, can you eat pork bone marrow? Let’s find out.
Can You Eat Pork Bone Marrow?
Yes, you can eat pork bone marrow. In fact, it is a popular ingredient in many dishes, especially in Asian cuisine. Eating bone-in meat is not only fun and rewarding, but it also provides more collagen, gelatin, and glycine, which promote gut health and strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation.
Pork bone marrow is also an excellent source of different vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12. However, it is high in fat and calories, so it’s essential to consume it in moderation to avoid weight gain.
The Nutritional Value Of Pork Bone Marrow
Pork bone marrow is a nutrient-rich food that offers various health benefits. One serving of pork bone marrow contains 110 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein. It also provides some vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, iron, calcium, and Vitamin A.
One tablespoon (14 grams) of raw pork bone marrow provides 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin B12, which is essential for the production of red blood cells and DNA synthesis. It also contains 6% of the RDI of Riboflavin, which helps convert food into energy and supports healthy skin and eyesight. Iron, another important nutrient found in pork bone marrow, makes up 4% of the RDI and is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
Pork bone marrow is also rich in collagen, the most abundant protein in the body that promotes skin health and reduces joint pain. Additionally, it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that could decrease inflammation and enhance immune function.
Consuming pork bone marrow can help to reduce inflammation, repair the stomach lining, and restore gut health. It is a nutrient-dense food that can rev up any meal and provide a unique experience when eaten on its own or used as an ingredient in various dishes. So go ahead and enjoy some pork bone marrow in moderation for its delicious taste and numerous health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Eating Pork Bone Marrow
Pork bone marrow offers several health benefits that are worth considering. Here are some of the most notable ones:
1. Improved Digestion and Lower Risk of Weight-related Diseases: Pork bone marrow is rich in a hormone called adiponectin, which helps break down fats and maintain insulin sensitivity. This hormone has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity-associated cancers. Consuming pork bone marrow can help increase adiponectin levels in the body, leading to improved digestion and reduced risk of weight-related diseases.
2. Maintains Skin, Bone, and Joint Health: Collagen is abundant in pork bone marrow, which improves the health and strength of bones and skin. It is also rich in glucosamine, a compound that helps against osteoarthritis, relieves joint pain, and reduces inflammation in the joints.
3. Reduces Risk of Inflammation-related Diseases: Pork bone marrow contains glycine and conjugated linoleic acid, both of which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s.
4. Boosts Immune System: Pork bone marrow contains myeloid and lymphoid stem cells that transform into white blood cells and red blood cells. These specialized cells move oxygen throughout your bloodstream and reduce the chance of blood clotting. Consuming pork bone marrow can help improve immunity of the body and contribute to cell repair and regeneration.
5. Alkylglycerols: Pork bone marrow contains alkylglycerols (AKGs), immune-boosting lipids also found in human breast milk. AKGs have been shown to improve white blood cell production in leukemia patients.
How To Cook And Serve Pork Bone Marrow
Cooking and serving pork bone marrow is surprisingly quick and easy. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Soak the pork bone marrow in ice water with coarse sea salt for 12 to 24 hours, changing the water every 4 hours and replacing the salt each time. This will remove any impurities from the marrow.
2. Drain the bones and pat them dry with a paper towel.
3. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
4. Place the bones in a roasting pan or on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side up.
5. Roast the pork bone marrow for 15 to 25 minutes until it has puffed slightly and has an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) in the center when measured with an instant-read thermometer.
6. Once done, remove the bones from the oven and let them cool down for a few minutes.
7. Scoop out the marrow and serve it on toasted bread or crackers.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For added flavor, you can also pan-fry the pork bone marrow in butter with shallots, garlic, herbs, and a squeeze of fresh lemon before returning it to the bone.
Pork bone marrow is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. You can serve it as an appetizer with bread or crackers or use it as a base for sauces and gravies. It also pairs well with roasted vegetables or as a topping for steak or burgers.
Remember to consume pork bone marrow in moderation as it is high in fat and calories. But when enjoyed in moderation, it can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.
Potential Risks And Precautions To Consider
While pork bone marrow has numerous health benefits, there are also potential risks and precautions to consider before consuming it. One of the most significant risks is the potential for foodborne illness. Eating undercooked or contaminated pork can cause illnesses like salmonella, E. coli, or listeria, which can be severe and even life-threatening.
It’s crucial to cook pork bone marrow thoroughly to avoid any risk of food poisoning. The internal temperature of the meat should reach at least 145°F (63°C) to ensure that all harmful bacteria have been eliminated.
Another precaution to consider is that pork bone marrow is high in fat and calories. Consuming too much can lead to weight gain, which may increase the risk of developing health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
If you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease, it’s essential to limit your intake of pork bone marrow. Additionally, if you’re on a low-fat or low-calorie diet, you may want to avoid consuming it altogether.
Lastly, it’s important to note that some people may have an allergic reaction to pork bone marrow. If you experience symptoms like hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing after consuming it, seek medical attention immediately.
Conclusion: Is Pork Bone Marrow Worth Trying?
In conclusion, pork bone marrow is definitely worth trying for its delicious taste and potential health benefits. It contains essential nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, and collagen, which can promote skin health and reduce joint pain. Moreover, pork bone marrow is a great source of glycine, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which are vital for important bodily processes like energy production.
While it is high in calories and fat, consuming pork bone marrow in moderation can provide a rich meaty taste to dishes and reduce their cost. So, if you’re looking to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals, give pork bone marrow a try!