Eating for fertility

Eggs

I’ll first point out the obvious by saying that you must eat the WHOLE EGGS. Not just the fricken whites.

Egg yolks are rich in choline which is a relative of the B vitamins. Research shows that choline positively benefits the memory function and the development of the hippocampus in babies when you are pregnant (1). What’s more alarming than this, is that 94% of women do not meet the recommended intake of choline per day (and please note that this RDI is the amount to SURVIVE, and not necessarily THRIVE). Eggs are one of the few non-seafood sources of DHA which is an important omega-3 fatty acid that is linked to a higher IQ in infants (2). Eggs are also high in folate, B vitamins, antioxidants and trace minerals (iodine and selenium notably) which is all vital for fertility and a healthy baby. Pasture-raised eggs are also much higher in vitamin A which is crucial for the production of sex hormones and fertility.

 

 

A note on vitamin A.

Beta-carotene found in vegetables does NOT get converted into enough Vitamin A to actually sustain your body. Vitamin A (also knows as retinol) from grass-fed butter, animal fat, meat, liver, and eggs is crucial for fertility health. Traditional cultures used to give couples certain foods to increase fertility. Dr. Weston A. Price did multiple studies around the world and recognized that cultures with very fertile women and healthy babies were eating a diet high in fish, organ meat and butter (3).

 

 

Liver

Liver is one of those foods that really does have superpowers. Although the idea might disgust you, a little bit goes a long way and having it mixed in with a spag bol is the best way to get it down.

Liver is the single richest source of iron which protects you from maternal anaemia and many other health problems. Low iron levels can result in infertility and many pregnancy issues. Low levels of iron in you will also be passed onto your baby and this is associated with impaired brain development and stunted growth (4). Liver is also very high in b12 which is kay for maintaining healthy red blood cells and low levels of b12 can result in miscarriage (5). Liver is also very rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D and K which are all vital for fertility and maintaining and healthy cycle as well as carrying a baby.

 

 

Meat on the bone, slow cooked meat, and bone broth 

These meats products contain complete proteins, minerals, B vitamins, and several other micronutrients that can be hard to match in other food sources. Animal foods contain the most readily absorbed forms of iron and zinc (6). Zinc is the most widely studied nutrients for fertility in both men and women.  It is an essential nutrient and without it, consequences include anemia, miscarriage, premature delivery, impaired thyroid and much more. Meat is also rich in B6, which 40% of women of childbearing age in the United States are deficient in (7). Bone broth is one of the healthiest foods you can have. Bone broth contains more minerals per ounce than any other body tissue.

 

 

Carbs

In case you weren’t aware, I thought I’d throw in the fact that women do need carbs and more than men. I include starchy carbs into my dinner almost every night now in the form of carrots, pumpkin, beets, sweet potato and parsnips to help lower my cortisol and get in the good carbs for the day.

 

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory which can be helpful in reducing PCOS symptoms and endometriosis. Additionally, it’s great for detoxifying the liver and getting out excess estrogen. It also helps to blunt cortisol, reducing the stress response and HPA dysfunction which disrupts ovulation (8). Turmeric has also shown to improve circulation to the organs – including the uterus and ovaries. With a better blood flow, comes along boosting fertility! (9)

 

 

 

Fat from grass fed/pasture raised animals, coconut, olive oil, avocados, activated nuts, and seeds

Fats from animals and healthy sources (not vegetable oils) provide a building block for cell membranes and hormones. Your body needs fat in order to make your sex hormones (this is for both men and women) and without adequate fats, your body doesn’t see the world as a safe place for a baby so you won’t’ be fertile. Fats also play an important role in the absorption of A, E, D and K vitamins which are crucial for fertility. Dr. Weston A. Price went to great lengths to show that high-fat foods are linked to fertility and a better and stronger pregnancy.

 

 

 

Refrences

1) http://zycia.com.au/publications/nutritional-importance-of-choline.pdf

2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16242603

3) https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/womens-health/pursuit-healthy-fertility-via-fertility-awareness/

4) https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/womens-health/pursuit-healthy-fertility-via-fertility-awareness/

5) http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/15648265080292S114

6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27598193

8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17022948

9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

This is for informational purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose or treat anyone. 

6 Things You Need To Know About Hormones And Your Menstrual Cycle

Today, it’s very rare to find a woman with a perfectly timed, natural cycle who is able to avoid Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and other symptoms commonly associated with the female body. It is more common to hear of women with heavy periods, period pain, bloating, cravings and mood swings. Yet, this was not the way that Mother Nature intended it to be.

When we discuss the menstrual cycle and hormones, there are often so many misconceptions about what is ‘normal’. Here are six things you need to know to gain a better understanding of the female body and how it works at its optimal functioning.

1. Bad periods are not normal. It’s common, but not normal

Bloating, fatigue, cravings, mood swings, headaches, back pain, clotting, heavy periods, light periods, spotting and acne are caused by hormonal imbalances – and are not symptoms that we should be experiencing during our menstrual cycle. Just before ovulation, your estrogen peaks and then drops right off, causing headaches and mood swings in some people. Having estrogen dominance or too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone, makes the fall even more pronounced, leading to some of these PMS side effects. Increase your cooked brassica veggies (such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli), turmeric, healthy fats and leafy greens to flush out your liver and ensure that your body is detoxifying estrogen from your system. Adequate macronutrients and micronutrients are also really important for a pain-free cycle so dose up on zinc, magnesium and iron.

2. You can’t get pregnant at any time

Avoiding a bun in the oven isn’t as difficult as it’s been made out to be. You are only fertile for six days every menstrual cycle. These are the five days before ovulation and one day after. After ovulation, there is a short 24-hour window where it is possible to ovulate again (and this is when twins would be made). After that, our baby maker function has shut up shop and it is extremely rare to get pregnant (a 1.8% chance of getting pregnant combated with a 9% chance of getting pregnant while taking the pill).

3. You don’t get your period on the pill

Let’s be clear on one thing: When you choose to go on the contraceptive pill, you are not ‘regulating your period’. Instead, you’re stopping your cycle. Hormonal birth control can definitely suppress symptoms associated with your period, however it cannot give you a period. These bleeds are arbitrarily coordinated into a 28-day cycle to ensure that you feel as though your body is operating naturally.

4. The pill doesn’t regulate your hormones

The natural hormones made by your body are estradiol and progesterone. They have amazing benefits for mood, bones, thyroid, muscles and metabolism. The steroid drugs in hormonal birth control (not just the pill) are ethinylestradiol, drospirenone, levonorgestrel to name a few. These hormones mostly do the opposite of what the natural hormones will do i.e. progesterone speeds up your metabolism, but drospirenone slows down your metabolism.

5. Ovulation is more important than your period

When it comes to period health, we should be more concerned with ovulation than our period. Regular ovulation is not only intended to make another human, it is also how we make hormones that are so beneficial for bones, muscles, metabolism and mood.

6.The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is more reliable for contraception than the pill!

In case you haven’t heard of FAM, it uses observations of three concrete signs of fertility; waking body temperature, cervical fluid and cervix changes. It has been around for thousands of years as women would abstain from having sex for certain times of their cycle to avoid pregnancy. Obviously they couldn’t measure their temperature, but they could see their cervical fluid.

When comparing the perfect use failure rate of the pill and FAM, the pill’s perfect use failure rate is 0.3% and FAM is 0.6% (so it’s pretty close). But here is the juicy bit… when comparing the typical use failure rate, the pill has a rate of 9% in comparison to FAM which is only 1.8%! It’s important to look at the typical use rate because no one takes the pill or does anything perfectly. They miss a day here or there, take it a few hours later than they should, which then becomes the typical use failure rate. That’s a big difference between 9% and 1.8%. Personally, I prefer to choose the 1.8% failure rate, know my body, not have synthetic hormones and get all the benefits of a natural cycle.

These are six things that I never knew before I started studying the female body and became passionate about spreading the word about hormones and the menstrual cycle. It is so important to be educated and well informed on these topics, so that we can give our bodies what they need to function at its best (this might mean filling your body with specific nutrients if you choose to be on the pill). Speak to your doctor or a health professional to find out your options.

 

This article first appeared on Sporteluxe. 

Wanna get your GUT RIGHT?

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I was talking about a product called GUTRIGHT. I hate that I have to do this because I hope you know that I would NEVER endorse a product I haven’t used and love…but this is not sponsored and they haven’t sent me this product to try. 

 

GUTRIGHT isn’t a probiotic or a prebiotic – it’s a modbiotic. Basically, in short, it kills the bad bugs that feed off sugar in your gut and helps to balance the good bugs. Many people think that we need to keep adding more bugs to our gut when in fact we have PLENTY. Even after antibiotics, Steve (from ATP science who I trust with my life) told me that antibiotics won’t wipe out all your bugs and GUTRIGHT will help feed those that you do still have after you’ve finished the course.

 

In our guts today, we have too many “Firmicutes” and not enough “bacteroidetes”. Firmicutes are sugar feeders that generate inflammation and slow down out metabolism whereas bacteroidetes are fat feeders that reduce and block inflammation as well as boosting our metabolism.

 

A study conducted in obese and lean twins shows that Firmicutes were dominant in the obese twins and that bacteroidetes were dominant in the lean twins. They also observed that the abundant bacteroidetes enhances the genes linked to carbohydrate metabolism. Meaning the bacteroidetes enhanced the lean subject’s ability to burn carbs as fuel instead of storing fat.

In fact, Lactobacillus was initially created after the war to help people GAIN weight. Now we are popping them left right and center!

So what has caused this? 

  • there is more sugar in our fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains
  • there is less fiber
  • we eat less antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal parts of fruits and vegetables from the skins, peels, and seeds
  • we eat fewer micronutrients

Probiotics are mostly just firmicutes (e.g. lactobacillus) which don’t fix the overgrowth of bad bugs.

 

My experience with GUTRIGHT

I took GUTRIGHT 3 times of day, for 10 days and boy did I see progress.

My results are as follows after finishing my antibiotics after my last surgery:

  • For the first 2 days, I was a little bound up. Unlike my usual poos that slide straight out, these antibiotics made me feel really heavy in my gut and I was just so keen
  • On day 4, my poos were AMAZING! For me (everyone is different), I had the smelliest poos (which is a sign that dead bacteria was coming out) and I think I pooed 4 times that day. My poos were also the poos where you walk out of the loo and want to high-5 everyone because it was such an epic shit. I probs lost 8kg just in that one dump
  • Day 5 – didn’t do any poos today which was VERY unlike me — the frustrating thing was that I actually wanted to poo yet I couldn’t – I felt quite heavy in the gut
  • Day 6 – I was constipated as fuck to the point where I took like 8 psyllium husk capsules
  • Day 8 or so – all poo was let loose (THANK GOD). ATP talks on their podcast about how some people do get bound up and this is because normally your gut is inflamed and creating a lot of mucous which is what makes you shit. Soooo don’t stress if you don’t poo for a couple of days because everything is just settling

Since finishing the 10 days, I am now taking the GUTRIGHT about every second day (to save money) on top of a very healthy diet that is mostly plant-based and organic when possible.

I now poo twice a day, with no problem at all. Poos are beautiful, good smelling and good consistency and leave me feeling nice and empty. It’s a full evacuation. Bloating is also gone from my antibiotics and hospital drugs since my second surgery.

 

Please remember that everyone’s experience is different. I know some people have done the GUTRIGHT 10-day protocol and had nothing changed – that’s a good thing because it means that you didn’t have many bad bacteria to flush out.

 

Would I recommend this product? HELL YES! I‘ve been recommending it to all my life coaching clients and health coaching clients. 

 

A healthy gut contributes to healthy hormones. 

 

You can read lots more about this product here