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  • Anna’s News Article: Eating a Warming Diet During Summer

    Anna Pyne LAc, MSOM, FABORM

    There are so many cold foods and drinks to enjoy during the summertime, like gazpacho, frozen yogurt, fresh fruit, and ice water to name a few. However, will eating these foods and drinking these drinks in this season be harmful to your fertility? Not necessarily. The philosophy behind a warming diet in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is that it builds the body’s qi (energy) and blood to have the strength to conceive, and carry a pregnancy through to our goal of having a healthy baby. Following a warming diet also helps focus qi and blood circulation on the lower abdomen where the reproductive organs reside. By improving blood flow to this area we are able to enhance fertility. A warming diet means consuming foods and drinks that are lightly cooked, as well as warm-propertied such as garlic, cinnamon, onions etc. Abiding by this helps boost the body’s qi and blood which will augment fertility.

    In the summertime, when the weather is warm, the body does not have to expend any extra energy to stay warm, like it does in the wintertime. This means that during the summer months, consuming cooler propertied foods and drinks, in moderation of course, is fine. Consuming these on a daily basis however is most certainly not advisable as that is excessive and from the TCM perspective could be detrimental to fertile health. Mostly try to stick to a more warming diet in general, with the exception of summertime when you can have the occasional cool treat. To learn more about following a warming diet during the summertime feel free to contact us via email or phone.

  • Happy Gut Happy Gal?

    by Beth Heller, MS

    Back in the day, the country physician (we’ll call him Doc Baker) often attributed depression and other mood disorders to his patients’ digestion.  The old adage that  ”regularity in the bowels promotes regularity in emotions,” was at the core of much medical intervention.  Depressed?  Tell me about your bowel movements.

    Oddly enough, new research into the relationship between gut health and emotion suggests that old Doc Baker was on to something and that nutrition and gut health may play a much greater role in major depressive disorder (MDD) than modern medicine has recognized to date.  The hypothesis goes like this.  Stress, a significant factor in major depressive disorder is known to alter the profile of our gut bacteria, lowering levels of lactobacilli and bifidobacterium.  When levels of beneficial bacteria are lowered in our digestive tract it becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients and more permeable to toxic substances and microbes.  This in turn leads to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, conditions which can negatively impact other health parameters, including fertility.

    It has been clinically demonstrated that people with depression have higher levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals in their bodies.  They also have increased oxidative stress, altered gastro-intestinal function and lower levels of the omega-3 fatty acids important for normal mood states. In response to this new line of thinking, researchers are now looking at gut flora as a novel treatment for depression and anxiety.   Recent studies have shown that rats who receive a probiotic formulation including bifidobacterium and lactobacillus organisms show a reduction in anxiety behavior.  In a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial, humans who received the same probiotic formulation experienced reduction in psychological distress.   Both humans and rats who took probiotics had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and an attenuated (less intense) stress response.

    At the Moon, both our ART Recovery/Prep Nutrition Program and our First Line Therapy for Fertility weight loss program start with gut health.  We focus on weeding out sugary, processed foods and introducing foods rich in the fiber that beneficial gut bacteria need to thrive.  In support of this goal, our Pulling Down the Moon Nutritional Program includes a Powder Probiotic and a 100% organic PhytoNutrient Powder that can be mixed together to make a low-calorie “probiotic power drink” that supports beneficial gut bacteria and combats oxidative stress.

    While it is still too early to say for sure whether probiotics improve fertility or measurably combat stress and depression, there is strong evidence these supplements can work together to provide support for good digestion.  And that, as Doc Baker would attest “can only help your head.”