Reproductive health: Going back in time
On my social media newsfeed today I came across a post which read “Diet cures more than doctors.” I cannot agree more with this statement. Of course, I’m going to take that “diet” here means eating healthy and not starving oneself.
In the world we live in, the poor struggle to get a basic meal a day because they can’t afford it. Whereas the rich can buy whatever they fancy because they can afford it. The type of food we eat is being compromised across the board irrespective of wealth. As a result, many of the health problems we see today are simply because of not eating right.
Reproductive health also tends to be pretty directly related to the diet. Fertility is not like a switch you can just turn on once you decide to have a baby. It is a function of our bodies for which we need nurturing throughout. So when you decide to conceive naturally, your body is well equipped to do so.
Many young girls these days are being diagnosed with PCOS because of poor eating habits, lack of exercise and a stressful lifestyle. PCOS is the formation of cysts in ovaries caused by an over-production of hormones known as androgens. This, in turn, can disrupt the ovulation process making it hard for women to conceive. Majority of the fertility issues in women today are because of this condition.
Men who have an unhealthy diet also tend to develop low sperm count issues leading to problems with conception. There are a lot of medical options to support couples that are unable to conceive naturally. But frankly speaking, no one really looks forward to that. In an ideal world, I’m sure we all wish we never need to visit a doctor or pop any pills.
So let’s look at 3 positive eating habits that you can inculcate from a young age for better reproductive health.
1. Chemical Free Diet :
Back in the day, the variety of food products available and the supply may have been limited, but the quality was not. The vegetables may not have been picture perfect to look at, but they were full of nutrition. Milk was a precious commodity and the cow it came from was revered. A lot has changed with time and progress in science. But somewhere the comforts and convenience we enjoy come at a price. Sadly, that of our health.
Overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to grow crops has a direct impact on reproductive health. Studies show that high levels of pesticide residue in food impact the sperm quality in men and cause hormonal imbalances in women.
In trying to be healthy we may eat more fruits and vegetables but in turn, have to bear the brunt of improper farming practices. Which is why it is recommended to carefully select the source of your food. I can’t use the word organic enough number of times to emphasize this. As a society, we need to make the move towards consuming food that is grown in the right manner free from harmful chemicals.
It doesn’t take much to even start a small vegetable patch at home to grow your own herbs etc.
2. High-quality dairy :
Cows were the most prized possessions for many of our ancestors. Apart from being considered as holy, they were the givers of health and abundance to the families. What they ate was thanks to the cows. We don’t really have the luxury of having that level of control over what we eat. We need to depend on others. It’s important to really get the source right.
Milk from the Gir cows is pure A2 milk and is said to be the best in terms of quality. The creatures themselves are really gentle and loving. They need to be treated with kindness and allowed to nurture their young before we try to source milk for human consumption. When the cows are happy they yield the best quality milk. The nutritional value of this milk is really high and the best part is that there is no need for any artificial hormones to boost production.
There is usually a debate about the benefits of milk for fertility. However, the fact is that since centuries our ancestors have been incorporating large amounts of milk in their diet without any issues. In fact, some studies even go to show that consumption of good quality full-fat milk acts as a fertility catalyst. Skimmed milk, on the other hand, may lose some of the properties that whole milk possesses in the process of removing the fat. This actually shifts the debate to what type of milk is recommended rather than milk itself.
Other properties of milk that are a boost even for general health include Calcium, Proteins, Omega 3 fatty acids, and multiple vitamins. Calcium also helps create the alkaline environment in the reproductive tract which is especially important for conception.
3. Healthy Fats and Fibre :
Healthy fats and fiber help the body regulate blood sugar levels which in turn help with fertility. Issues such as PCOS and other hormonal imbalances usually arise from an unregulated diet of highly processed foods. Add to that the nutrient value in processed foods is also extremely low. There is usually a lot at stake when you choose to pick up a meal that is not really doing your body any good. It’s the number one reason for childhood obesity and early onset of problems such as PCOS in youngsters.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables procured from reliable sources are great for reproductive health. They provide the body with the required amount of fiber and nutrients while also ensuring that sugar levels are regulated.
Healthy fats like ghee are also great for general health and fertility as well. Fats are required by the body to produce not just energy but they also help with hormone production and functioning. The key drivers of fertility. Ghee also happens to be a great source of fiber in the diet and helps keep the digestive system on track.
If you are still reading this, will you please make a commitment to yourself and your family that your “diet” is the last thing you will compromise on. Starting today!