Our hormones are the messengers of our bodies. It is thanks to them that our different systems can talk to one another. The tricky thing is that they fluctuate and suddenly we find ourselves dealing with symptoms such as energy changes, sleep disruption, backaches, anxiety, jagged temperature changes, headaches and pesky skin conditions. Weather you are looking to smooth out your monthly cycle, regulate thyroid or relieve symptoms associated with menopause – PRH is the place to experience safe & effective non-hormonal approaches to feeling your best at every stage.
There is a ton of information out there (some true and some not true) about fertility. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Having a baby and growing your family should be celebrated and exciting! We want to offer you some sensible, easy to follow advice on how you can increase not only your chances of getting pregnant, but of being healthier and happier in your life in general.
First, some simple ancient Chinese theory.
JING, YIN, QI, and BLOOD
Jing is the life source, or energy inherited from our parents. Jing, similar to adrenal health, is finite, and cannot be replenished once spent. It is very important to conserve your Jing, which is critical for fertility. Jing can be exhausted through a “sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll” lifestyle. Ways in which you can help conserve jing are through stress reduction practices such as meditation, qi gong, and a proper diet. Here are some foods that nourish jing: Eggs, Seeds & Nuts, Royal Jelly, Bone Marrow (pig or cow), Brain, Kidney Seaweed & Algea.
Yin And Yang
The root of Chinese medicine theory is based upon the duality of yin and yang. Yin can be described as calm, dark, nurturing, quite, internal, rest. Yang is bright, active, energy, warm, stimulating. One cannot live without the other, and they are consistently transforming into each other. We are both yin and yang, just as the earth is yin and yang, and we must stay balanced. A fast paced western lifestyle drains yin. We don’t rest enough, we don’t allow ourselves time to recuperate. Restoring yin is easier than restoring jing, and can be done by: Meditation, Tai Chi, Walks in nature, Decreased mental stimulation, Rest and relaxation.
In Western medicine we can draw parallels between yin and our parasympathetic nervous system or “rest and digest”. Fertility deeply depends on healthy yin which can include development of follicles and eggs, and cervical mucus. To nourish yin: Eat healthy fruits and veggies, avoid heavy consumption of coffee and spicy foods, avoid soy products (men produce a 3rd less sperm on a soy diet). Avoid yoyo dieting, fasting, recreational drugs, over exertion & heavy sweating.
Yang is our energy, fire, and light. Yang is important for embryo implantation, and libido, sperm motility, and count. Yang needs adequate yin to flourish. It needs movement and stimulation. Nourish yang by exercising regularly, even just a 30 min walk a day is enough, also cooking your food or adding warm & slightly spicy foods to diet. Avoid: Ice cold drinks, swimming in a cold pool (unless it is summer), eating raw uncooked food. Add garlic, ginger, onion, lamb, or salmon to boost yang.
Qi And Blood
Qi and blood are substances that nourish and flow through our bodies every day. They are the source of energy we get from the food we eat & the air we breathe. Healthy Qi requires rest, movement and flexibility, a healthy balanced diet which is eaten slowly and on a daily routine. It is important for Qi to move freely through the body. When trying to have a baby, adequate amount of blood is important. Iron builds blood and is a good supplement for those that are borderline anemic or vegan/vegetarian.
Drinking enough water is important to general health. It helps with digestion, lubrication of joints, and keeps blood circulating. Water nourishes yin and is important for follicle and egg development, and quality and quantity of semen. Drink warm water or tea throughout the day.
What is a healthy diet for fertility? This is such a huge questions and depends on many factors including culture, environment, individual constitutions, and financial situations. How about we keep it simple and not get too overwhelmed. Choose whole grains (only a few times a week) and absolutely no unrefined carbohydrates and processed food. Eat organic meats, milk, eggs, and fruits and veggieseat more beans, nuts. Avoid trans fats, fast foods, and fried foods. Get plenty of iron from fruit, veggies, and supplements as well as organic lean meats. Drink coffee, tea, and alcohol in moderation. Absolutely no soda or diet soda. Take a multi-vitamin that contains folic acid and B vitamins, make sure that you do your homework and choose a multi-vitamin that is from a reportable source. (Usually health food stores) try to avoid generic!!!