Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skip the Dairy

I promise to take a break from writing dietary tips soon and talk a little more about hope... to remind everyone of the possibilities, and the power we have to make a difference in our own fertility...

But for now, another tip: skip the diary! This means no milk, cheese, cottage cheese or the myriad of other milk-based products out there. A number of studies link dairy to a decline in fertility.

Dairy products can have an adverse effect on endocrine and immune health. In the body, they produce galactose, a milk sugar which is apparently toxic to human eggs. Also, many adults can become sensitive to lactose, a sugar in milk, without even knowing it, and most adults lose the ability to digest lactose altogether. This means your body has to work even harder to digest dairy products, which are already hard to digest in the first place.

These are all good reasons to give up dairy. If you notice you have less mucus and generally feel better after a few weeks, you might consider giving up dairy for life.

For a milk substitution, consider almond, soy or rice milk. Just be careful not to consume too much soy milk (see my blog about soy). If you find you must have dairy on occasion, go organic to avoid the hormones, among other additives.

If you worry about getting calcium, alternative sources include leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and spinach; oranges; black beans; salmon; sesame seeds and almonds.

You can make one exception in the elimination of dairy, and that's for yogurt, which is easier to digest than other dairy products. Organic, all natural, minimally processed yogurt with live cultures can be helpful to those suffering from candidas and yeast infections. Check labels, though, to make sure nothing is added, especially sugar!

After a two or three weeks, you'll see. You won't miss the milk and cheese. Your body will be grateful, too.