Here at The Fertility & Pregnancy Acupuncture Clinic we are always trying to help our clients improve their general health so they can fall pregnant, remain pregnant and grow a healthy baby. To do this we talk a lot about diet and try to provide ideas to our clients that they can incorporate into their daily lives. One of the foods we often recommend is bone broth. Bone broth first came to my attention when I was listening to a talk about improving pregnancy rates in women having embryo transfers. The presenter was recommending its use for women who were taking certain medications at the time of transfer but I feel it would benefit many clients who are experiencing fertility issues for the following reasons.
- In Chinese Medicine, we love warm foods! So broths and soups are ideal, especially in our cooler months.
- Women struggling to fall pregnant often have an element of cold in them so these foods have an added benefit of providing warmth and sustenance to the body.
- Cooking your own foods is an great way to know what you’re putting into your body and to eliminate unwanted preservatives, sugars, fats and salt.
- Bone broth is cheap and easy to make, low in calories, a great source of electrolytes, and can be bulked up with vegetables, noodles, pulses and many other foods to provide a more substantial meal.
- Bone broth is thought to improve the chances of falling pregnant in a number of ways.
What is bone broth and how could it improve fertility?
Bone broth is essentially water and bones that is cooked for a long period of time to extract the nutrients from the bones and their marrow. When bones are simmered for a long time the fat (gelatine), protein and nutrients seep from them into the broth to make it a nutrient dense soup. Broths are also easily digested and absorbed. I didn’t find a lot of science behind it but there are many reported benefits from bone broth.
Some benefits include:
- It is rich in minerals required for fertility such as calcium, magnesium, sulphur, silicon and more.
- Reduces inflammation with amino acids (extracted from boiled cartilage), such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Collagen and gelatine in bone broth may assist in healing the gut lining.
To get the most nutrients from our bone broth, ensure to ask your local butcher for organic grass-fed bones.
How to make bone broth
Essentially you need to buy (organic grass-fed) bones from your local butcher, add some water and something acidic (slightly acidic vegetables such as tomatoes or apple cider vinegar) to help extract the goodness from the bones and boil them up. Some of my clients can not stomach the taste of their meaty broth on it’s own but find making a soup out of it (as in using it for stock) is the way to go. Below are some easy to make recipes we have found.
An easy slow-cooker recipe
A stovetop recipe
Or for those of you who don’t have the time to cook you can buy it from organic shops, butchers or delis. My clients have reported difficulty in actually finding it in their local shops so here’s a link for a Gold Coast company who delivers it to your door.
Whether you agree with the nutritional benefits attributed to bone broth or not I have found no evidence to suggest it is harmful and is most definitely better for you than any sort of stock you can buy from a supermarket. So it sounds pretty reasonable to head to the butcher, put on the slow cooker and make yourself a big batch of broth.