Whether you are currently trying to conceive, pregnant or just gave birth to your precious little one, homemade bone broth should be like the best friend you talk to every day. Bone broth has been getting a ton of attention lately, especially here in NYC, and rightly so: it’s literally one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can consume. Loaded with every amino acid and mineral our body needs, along with protein, fat and collagen, it’s the ultimate almighty when it comes to improving health, digestion, immunity and fertility in every aspect--from preconception to conception to pregnancy to postpartum. Literally every part of the pregnancy journey can be supported by this wonder food.
In my clinic, I actually call bone broth ‘baby glue.’ The collagen from bone broth works as an amazing tonic to not only improve a woman’s fertility when she is trying to conceive, but to hold her pregnancy once she does conceive.
If you’re pregnant, the nutrients in this yummy broth are amazing for baby, and according to an ancient South American proverb, drinking bone broth regularly through your pregnancy will help ease labor pains! Lastly, when it comes to postpartum, bone broth is wonderful for regulating hormones, supporting ample milk production, helping your body heal from delivery and building back all the energy you put out during labor and delivery.
As a women’s health and fertility expert who is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), bone broth has been a part of my health optimizing protocol for over a decade. I use bone broth as the cornerstone of my fertility-enhancing protocol because it has an ability to improve not just hormonal health but also the quality of egg (and sperm).
In addition to using acupuncture and Chinese medicine to restore my clients’ health and fertility, I also guide my patients to overhaul their lifestyle—nutritionally, emotionally and physically. In TCM we see animal products, particularly the bones, as providing not only imperative nutrients for the body but supplying us with what we call Jing. Jing, in TCM is kind of like the fountain of youth. When we begin to run out of Jing, we age faster than we should. Alternatively, when we have plenty of Jing our health is vibrant, our skin is radiant and we age at a much slower pace. I mean, who doesn’t want to age more slowly?
Get on the bone broth wagon and not only slow down your aging process (and improve the quality of your hair, skin and nails) but also preserve your fertility.
Why bone broth?
Let me break it down. When one cooks down the skin and bones of an animal into a broth (I usually use a whole pastured organic chicken as it’s bit easier to work with), the nutrients—namely fat, collagen, protein and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium—seep out into the broth making it a rich, nutrient dense and fertility-boosting concoction. Bone broth also helps improve digestion, boost the immune system, strengthen bones, teeth and joints, nourish hair, skin and nails, balance the thyroid and combat the toll stress takes on the body.
Clinically, I have seen a dramatic increase in the fertility of my patients who are compliant and drink a cup of bone broth daily. And, for myself—I got pregnant with ease at the age of 40 and think that my daily bone broth consumption had a lot to do with it!
It’s not as hard as it sounds
I know many of you are saying, “I don’t have time to cook this!” Aha! I assure you it’s really not that much time. Yes, the soup needs to cook down for about 8-12 hours, but prep time is literally 30-45 minutes all in. And, one batch will make at least a 3-4 week supply of broth. Personally, making homemade bone broth is one of my favorite things to do—in the hectic-ness of life, it really slows me down. Cooking this concoction feels nourishing, therapeutic and really, really good for my soul.
My favorite bone broth recipes can be found here. I have adapted these recipes from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
But, actually, before you link to the recipes, here are 5 secrets to making good bone broth:
1. Use the highest quality of bones you can find -- bones from grass-fed animals ONLY.
2. One hour before cooking, add vinegar to the stock pot (or slow cooker) full of water and bones to draw the minerals out of the bones into the broth.
3. For a more robust taste, roast and brown the bones in the oven before adding them to the stock. Do this especially if you’re using beef bones. When I use a whole chicken, I don’t typically roast it.
4. Always used filtered water and cook slowly for 8- 12 hours. The longer you cook the bones the more medicinal value you will receive from them. Be mindful that more water will have to be added due to evaporation.
5. Be in the moment when you're making it and see the process as a therapy in and of
You deserve a daily dose of bone broth! Happy cooking!
Get more tips on how to naturally improve your fertility here.
Learn more about author, acupuncturist, herbalist and women’s health and fertility expert Aimee Raupp here!