A 'ginger vinegar soup' and other special dietary practices have been traditionally recommended for postpartum Chinese women. This paper describes these practices in the first 6 weeks postpartum, and details of the calcium and iron content of the 'ginger vinegar soup'.
Results of this paper were generated from a longitudinal study on the nutritional status of Hong Kong Chinese postpartum women. 'Ginger vinegar soup' samples were collected at the 2 week home visits. Calcium and iron content were measured by the combination of dry ashing method and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results were compared with other types of soup and food sources. A food frequency questionnaire was completed at the 6 week interview to assess the special dietary practices during this period.
Fifty-one subjects completed the food frequency questionnaires. Twenty-two ginger vinegar soup samples and six other soup samples were collected. Consumption of special food items such as ginger, pig's trotters, egg and chicken varied greatly among subjects. More poultry and similar amounts of egg were consumed by our subjects as compared with the Hong Kong general population. Chicken soup and ginger vinegar soup were commonly consumed. Median calcium and iron contents of the ginger vinegar soup were 4.65 and 0.84 mg/dl, respectively. This calcium content was higher than that of the other six soup samples, but was low as compared with other calcium-rich foods. Iron content of ginger vinegar soup was higher than that of the other six samples and was comparable to some iron-rich foods.
Hong Kong Chinese postpartum women followed traditional dietary practices to different degrees. These practices were characterized by an increased poultry consumption. Iron content of ginger vinegar soup was comparable to some iron-rich foods.