Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your Fertility Diet: One Aspect You Can Control

Today we are honored to have Dr. Robert Greene, Medical Director of SIRM, our gracious host, and the author of several books, write today's guest blog for us on an important topic: food, fertility and empowerment. His own blog, The Greene Guide to Pregnancy and Fertility, is filled with resourceful information. Check it out!

by Robert Greene, M.D.

I have long understood that the one of the most frustrating aspects of trying to conceive is the loss of the sense of control. My insights were only deepened when my wife and I went from being fertility treatment specialists to just another couple that deeply wanted a child.  I’ve long tried to advise my patients on what steps that they can take to empower themselves by correcting their diet and lifestyle. Here’s an excerpt from my book PERFECT HORMONE BALANCE FOR FERTILITY (p. 61) on the relationship between dietary choices and fertility:

"Food has always been intimately linked to our ability to reproduce. A quick look back to primitive times provides evidence of how our bodies function and reproduce most naturally. The fertility rates of our hunter-gatherer ancestors ebbed and flowed with the availability of food. A bountiful fall harvest would result in a springtime boon in deliveries. During times of drought and famine, fertility rates would drop—a natural protection against malnourished pregnancies. In these extreme circumstances, the brain’s nutritional sensor would literally turn off the hormonal signals to ovulate, a response that still lingers in our society today as witnessed in people with anorexia, who starve themselves. But history doesn’t provide us with any insight on the opposite condition—the impact of an over-abundance of food on fertility. In today’s world of sustained food production, we are learning that calorie excess can be just as, if not more, harmful to fertility as food deprivation. It causes its own set of hormone imbalances that shut off the brain’s fertility signals. So, too, does the type of food we eat—processed high sugar, high-fat foods—and the food we don’t eat enough of—fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Fortunately, the artificial and unhealthy diet we have created can easily be corrected."

In my book, I go on to explain the latest scientific evidence supporting the link between nutrition and pregnancy. Even though I have gone through efforts to translate the latest science into helpful tips for people to incorporate into their own diet and lifestyle, Cindy Bailey has gone one step further. She’s actually created a wealth of tasty recipes to guide individuals and couples through the steps toward to producing a healthier and more fertile future. Having achieved her own successful pregnancy, I applaud the efforts she’s now putting forth to help others.