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Herbs & Nutrition
One of my favorite dieticians and nutrition authors, Lily Nichols, released a prolific blog post this week about postpartum foods from traditional cultures. Lily's articles are always well researched and packed full of nutrition information I support. If you want to get her great insight and recipes, you can follow the link at the bottom of the page and check her out.
As a Chinese medicine practitioner and clinical whole foods nutrition practitioner, the kind of whole food recipes using traditional foods Lily recommends are similar to the recommendations I give my clients because these foods supply higher levels of the important nutrients your body needs during pregnancy and postpartum.
For example one of the foods I recommend for all my clients is bone broth. Bone broth contains high amounts of specific proteins, including glycine, and minerals, like calcium, phosphorus and zinc, that assist healing from pregnancy and birth and for producing healthy breast milk. Homemade bone broth may contain up to 19% calcium, and if you add veggies to your broth, you will get even more minerals than the broth alone. If you compare the contents of homemade bone broth to a conventional prepared version, you find only 4% DV of iron, 2% of calcium and 6 grams of protein.
Other traditional, nutrient dense foods I recommend during pregnancy and postpartum are pastured eggs, fermented vegetables, wild caught salmon, soaked and sprouted grains, berries, seeds and nuts and high amounts of protein. This variety of foods provides the full complex of amino acids, essential fatty acids and whole food based vitamins and minerals.
I will link to Lily's article for an amazing array of recipes, but I will leave you with one from the repertoir of traditional Chinese healing recipes, Pig Trotter Soup with fennel, goji berries and ginger. Pig trotters, or pig feet, may not be an everyday food for you, in fact, you may have never knowingly consumed them ever.
Pig trotter soup recipe: fennel, goji berries, ginger
Pig trotters (feet) 1-2 pounds (ask your local butcher, may be in the frozen section with other assorted "scraps" meats)
Fresh ginger root ~4 ounces
Garlic 4-6 cloves
Fennel seeds 1-2 tbsp
Goji berries 1/4 cup
Salt & pepper to taste
Vegetables as desired
Rinse the pig trotters in cold water, then place them in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and rinse.
Place the boiled pig trotters in a slower cooker, pressure cooker or pot, cover with clean water, add ginger, garlic and vegetables and cook as directed for your slow cooker or pressure cooker, or on med-low with a lid on the stovetop. For a slow cooker, cook 12-20 hours, in an instant pot cook 60-90 minutes, or on the stove top cook 2 hours.
At the end of the first cooking session, add fennel seeds, goji berries, salt and pepper. Cook 1 hour in a slow cooker, 10 minutes in a pressure cooker or 30 minutes on the stovetop.
Strain and reserve the broth. The broth will thicken when cooled due to the gelatin in the pigtrotters. Drink or eat the broth warm and add extra veggies or cooked meats if desired to make a hearty soup.
You might think it sounds unappetizing, but give a try, you might find it is just what your body is craving!
For 50 amazing recipes for pregnancy and postpartum, check out Lily Nichols' post here!
Listen to my interview with Lily on the Unschooled Homebirth podcast, Episode 20, wherever you get podcasts!
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