Nutrition and Fertility: Foods to Increase and to Avoid
When it comes to diet and fertility it is a good rule of thumb to not eat in excess. It is however important to listen to your cravings. We often crave for the nourishment that our body is missing. As seen in new vegetarians a meat protein is craved. Listen to your body and keep in mind that moderation is the best choice.
There are many reasons why women experience infertility. What is most important is that we treat the cause at its root level. One of the most productive ways is through the diet. By eating specific foods and or eliminating foods it is possible to improve the body’s constitution to a point of harmony. Symptoms causing infertility such as stress, anxiety, endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, delayed ovulation and low follicle production will dissipate given enough time. It is important to keep in mind that change through diet takes time. Nutrition in its nature is gentle and accumulative.
FOODS TO AVOID
1. All fried foods (fried foods create a mucous accumulating environment in the body that makes digestion difficult). Moderate hot sauces!!!!!!!!!!!
2. Cut back on all refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.
3. Avoid all intoxicants such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee and recreational drugs.
Bringing the body back into harmony takes time and patience. The sooner you start to make the appropriate adjustments in your diet the better.
FOODS TO INCREASE
1. Go Organic! It is possible that some of the infertility problem is diet based. With all of the insecticides, herbicides, pesticides hormones and antibiotics in our food it is no wonder our fertility levels are lower. When switching to organic consider switching your soaps and toothpaste first. These are the substances we come in contact every day. Dish, body and laundry soaps are the most used products. Next consider changing all cleaning products. Industrial cleaning products are toxic and we are usually exposed to them in small unventilated areas.
2. Eat Seasonally: Try to eat seasonally. Foods grow at particular times of the year for specific reasons.
- Summer Foods: In the heat of the summer months you will find fruits and vegetables that naturally remove heat from the body. Examples of this are watermelon, cucumbers and tomatoes. Since these fruits have such high water content they are natural diuretics. Naturally cooling summer foods include lemon, lime, and celery. Stay away from heavy foods. The heavy rich foods can cause sluggishness in the summer heat. Avoid too many meats, eggs and nuts.
- Fall Foods: It is at this time of the year we need to prepare for the upcoming winter. It is time to leave the cooling summer foods behind and focus on moistening our bodies to adapt to the dryness of fall. Pear, apple, honey and dairy products help moisten the body.
- Winter Foods: Winter is a time to go inside yourself. A time to concentrate on energy, vitality and strength. Energy exercises such as meditation, yoga and tai chi are good ways to stay healthy over the dark months. Potatoes, squash, root vegetables are all good foods to help adjust to the darkness and cold of winter. Try to add sour and salty foods. Use salt sparingly. Examples of sour foods are turnips, brussel sprouts, rye and cabbage. Meals in the winter months should be cooked or steamed.
- Spring Foods: Spring is a time to rise up. The best foods are leafy greens that are raw or slightly steamed. Fresh herbs, kale, onions, garlic and rice.
Polycystic Ovaries, Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis and Fibroids:
Cyst formation can be a sign that the body is unable to process damp accumulation in the body. Damp accumulation can occur from several factors. First being too many dairy products are being consumed and or a side affect of fertility medication is damp accumulation. Dampness in the body should not be seen as a liquid but as a substance. When too much dampness accumulates a cyst can form. Some simple dietary changes can help remove or prevent dampness. The most important dietary change should be a reduction in dairy products, fried foods and sugar. When dealing with cysts a low carbohydrate diet is recommended. 100% whole grain breads, corn, radish, lean protein such as fish and a good multi-mineral and vitamin all help prevent and dissolve cysts. Another factor leading to cysts as well as endometriosis is blood stagnation. When blood fails to circulate properly in and around the uterus existing blood begins to stagnate. The lack of proper blood flow with a damp accumulation greatly increase’s the chances of abnormal uterine or ovarian growths. Foods to increase blood flow are: Eggplant, sweet rice, ginger, basil, chives, vinegar and turmeric.
Donald Clarke, L.Ac.
CNY Healing Arts – Syracuse