diet & nutrition

What is the "Junk" in Junk Food and Why Do We Love It So Much?

The recent issue of the New York Times has an amazing article in it that outlines the extraordinary science behind creating junk food and making it so irresistible. With all the additives and chemical modifications that are being used to create so many of the pre-packaged foods we see in our local grocery stores, it is not surprising that our bodies have such a hard time utilizing these foods for nutritional purposes and for sustaining healthy functionality.

Improve Your Sperm Quality with a Handful of Walnuts

A group of researchers in California conducted a randomized control trial to determine if walnuts provided the some of the necessary components for improved sperm production. It was discovered that as little as 75 g of walnuts per day added to a Western style diet improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology (normal forms). The improved semen quality was associated
with increases in blood serum omega-6 fatty acids and in the plant source of omega-3 (ALA).

Sperm Motility & Protein in the Diet

A good place to find out about how to optimize sperm is the dairy and beef industries. Basically, the whole purpose of a bull (stud) is to produce sperm of high quality, and lots of it, so that all the heifers and cows on the farm can make calves, which grow into beautiful heifers, then have calves of their own, become a cow, and then have more calfs. It goes without saying that it is a fundamental requirement to optimize semen quality.

Foods to Improve Sperm Motility and Morphology

Recent research published in a peer reviewed medical journal, 'Fertility & Sterility' displayed correlations between the intake of lycopene and sperm morphology, and carotene and sperm motility. I have always pushed for men to add more colorful foods to their diet, as many studies confirm the importance of good nutrition and sperm quality.

Lycopene Rich Foods for Sperm Morphology:
tomatoes (sun dried are best, raw and cooked are also good), guava, watermelon, grapefruit, parsley, basil, asparagus, liver, red cabbage.

Sperm Health, Fertility and Food

The respected journal “Fertility and Sterility” published a significant study this month, relating to meat intake and how it is related to sperm quality and male fertility in conjunction with IVF. The study was focussed on couples undergoing infertility treatment with the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), but I believe that these results are important for all men to consider as they move forward on their journey to grow/build their family.

What should I eat during my IVF cycle?

As a naturopathic doctor, I get this question A LOT. Women generally aren’t given very specific guidance around how they should be eating when undergoing fertility treatment since IVF clinics are so busy and there is lots of information like injections, labs, imaging, schedules, etc, to go over without delving into nutrition. However, this often neglected aspect of a woman’s life is of great importance. After all, you are what you eat.

Managing PCOS by Changing our Cooking Habits

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine abnormality, affecting 6-8% of the female population. There can be a cascade of hormonal imbalances causing irregular menstruation, insulin resistance and weight gain, excess androgens (male hormones) resulting in hair growth and other symptoms, and also systemic inflammation.

Exploring the link between healthy weight, thyroid function and fertility

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If you have been to the grocery store lately and waited in the check out line you will most likely have been bombarded by the annual obsession with weight loss and fad diets. On either side of the line the magazine rack will be taunting you with questions like Are You An Emotional Eater? (Marie Claire) , or suggesting you Shed Two Sizes (Women’s Health) or luring you with 15 ways to lose 15 pounds (Glamour).

Understanding Fall: how to live and eat

Autumn follows on the tail of the harvest, signaling that it is time to prepare for winter. The sap of trees settles into the interior, sinking down toward the roots. With fall comes a sense of gathering in, stocking up, mingled with a sense of loss as the light begins to fade and the air chills. It is a time to eliminate what is unnecessary and become aware of what is essential. In our human body we find that our "Qi" dives deeper; for preservation of cold weather ahead. We are more likely to want to "toast" in our beds each morning rather than jump out of bed to start our day.

Dr. Oz - Hormone Balance 101

Both mine and my wife's favorite magazines (Success & Oprah, you guess which is who's!) always feature an article by the famous Dr. Oz. Below are the pearls of one of his recent columns on Hormone balance. He likens the hormones that run a women's body to an orchestra: '...each plays its own part in creating a perfect concert - until the day one is out of tune and throws off the entire melody.'

Killing us softly: The detrimental effects of environmental toxins on fertility rates

This past Wednesday, the Health Day News (a publication of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health) published an article quoting a recent study by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Rockville, Maryland about the serious risk to fertility that exposure to common chemicals can cause. Specifically, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found to be the major concern and the chemical that had the greatest effect on pregnancy rates.

7 Dietary Principles for Reproductive Health

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Over the years working in the reproductive health field I have seen many diets come and go. What is effective is a diet that is simple & sustainable, meaning one that people can actually stick to for the long term.

BPA (Bisphenol A) and Healthy Babies

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Bisphenol A (BPA) is a current topic of environmental and health concern. BPA is a chemical used to improve the durability of materials without adding weight. It directly affects consumers as it is found in polycarbonate plastics, resins lining food cans and water bottles, dental composites, and on thermal paper receipts (frequently used in point-of-sale machines).

The health concern with BPA is that it is a xenoestrogen and therefore acts as a hormone in our bodies and disrupts hormonal function including the hormone-sensitive developing brain.

Lifestyle Changes to Decrease Estrogen Excess

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Excess estrogen or ‘estrogen dominance’ refers to a state of hormone imbalance that may be due to stress, toxins, or poor detoxification. Excess estrogen causes uncomfortable symptoms in women including:

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