Replenishing Vital Nutrients Lost During Pregnancy
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Replenishing Vital Nutrients Lost During Pregnancy

Women in Korea are taught at a very young age about their biological connection to the ocean; that the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in mommy's tummy is the same as ocean water.  During their pregnancy, it is tradition to rub seaweeds or place pieces of seaweeds, specifically Alaria kelp, across their bellies so they can absorb the nutrients that are so important for fetal development.  As the fetal brain requires twice as much iodine for proper brain development as a healthy woman and here in North America most women are 100 to 1000 times deficient in this essential mineral and don't even know it.  It is known that a baby or person with lower levels of iodine in their body/brain develop a condition called 'Cretinism', which is associated with a lower level of intelligence or IQ. After childbirth it's tradition, even today in Korea, that the mother-in-law makes the new mother seaweed soup called Miyeok Guk. It is actually called 'Birthday Soup' and they have it every year for their birthday. However during the 100 days after birth, the soup is eaten by the new mother at every meal, to replenish the nutrients lost to the baby during gestation.  In North America, most women don't know about iodine or replenishing nutrients lost during childbirth and therefore develop conditions like thyroidism, eczema, anemia & baby brain. We're lucky to have the best seaweeds in the world here in Canada & the US to use and it's a tradition we're yet to start practicing.

NOTE: Iodine was the 1st mineral classified as 'essential for life' and yet most health journals, periodicals or books don't even mention it's existence. Especially since iodine was used to treat Goitre (hyperthyroidism) since the 11th century in Traditional Chinese Medicine and by MD's prior to the advent of prescription drugs in medicine in the 50's. Living here in Ontario, known as the Goitre Belt since the 1920's, it's a good place to know this!

RECIPE: Miyeok Guk (Korean Birthday Soup)

Ingredients: 1 oz dried miyeok (Alaria Seaweeds/yields about 2 cups soaked) 
10 mussels/10 beef strips (optional) 
1-2 med. organic onions 
1 cup shredded organic carrots 
2 minced organic garlic 
6 cups water 
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Braggs Liquid Aminos) 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil* 
1-2 tablespoons Extra/Virgin Coconut Oil 
1 tablespoon unpasteurized lemon juice or fresh squeezed organic lemon 
Sea salt to taste 
Ground pepper to taste 
(*Do not substitute. Sesame oil is a key ingredient in authentic miyeok guk. It adds a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness when it blends with miyeok.)  

Soak the dried Alaria seaweeds for about 30 minutes (in enough water to cover them). Rinse and drain. Soak again in water and lemon juice. Let stand another 15 minutes. Rinse 2 or 3 times, squeezing or kneading after each rinse (as if you are working with bread dough) to remove excess salt used in the drying process and rinse off any hidden sand. Drain well and cut with scissors, into bite sizes.  

In a large pot, sauté the onions, carrots, sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the seaweeds and saute for 5 more minutes. Add more coconut oil if needed. Add water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium/low and boil for 20-30 minutes. 
If using mussels, drop them in. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Boil for an additional 5 minutes.  

Beef variation: You can make the broth first and add the sautéed miyeok (seaweed) and then boil for 15 minutes over medium heat.  For the quicker version, cut the beef into thin bite size pieces and sauté with the miyeok. Add water and boil for 20 minutes over medium heat.

Makes 4-5 servings

5 Comments to Replenishing Vital Nutrients Lost During Pregnancy:

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Mahia Ruma on October 3, 2012 10:53 PM
Yes just yes I'm totally agree with this info that replenishing vital nutrients lost during pregnancy. All this information seem to me very important at all. Thanks for this allocation. :lol:
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