If you didn’t read September Baumgartner’s first post, read it here. It is quite intriguing and you won’t want to miss it. Then you will up to speed…
Why am I not getting pregnant?
By September Baumgartner
In my last post I strongly encouraged reducing/eliminating gluten and sugar from your diet as well as adding in lots of leafy greens. If you’ve started doing those things chances are very good that you are already well on your way to unlocking your fertility. Today, I want to talk about how to speed things up—help your reproductive system kick into gear much faster.
How an unhealthy digestive tract can lead to infertility
First, I want to discuss what gluten does to the body. As the word suggests, gluten is a gluey substance. It causes incredible irritation to your digestive tract which is forced to work overtime to digest it. The irritation leads to inflammation. When the digestive tract is irritated and inflamed a couple of things happen…
1) It becomes permeable, kind of like having tiny little holes. Your digestive tract is your first line of defense against pathogens, and any toxic substances. When it becomes permeable, that means it’s allowing particles to escape into the bloodstream that should be kept safely inside the digestive tract and eliminated from the body. These escaped particles can wreak havoc on every different organ system in the body, including the reproductive system.
2) Inflammation means swelling. Inside your digestive tract you have tiny little hairs called villi. These villi have the responsibility of extracting good nutrients from your food and sending it out into the bloodstream to be utilized, as necessary, by the body. But, when the digestive tract becomes inflamed the villi are “swallowed” up. They’re inaccessible. When a body isn’t able to get nutrients to support it, it’s not going to have the necessary building blocks to create a new life.
How do you heal the digestive tract?
In one study that followed women with celiac disease for 10 years, they found that many of the women who adhered to a strict gluten free diet were able to restore regular menstrual cycles after 6-8 months on the diet. Keep in mind that these are women who had true celiac disease, an extremely severe form of gluten intolerance. That means the average woman who has a much milder form of gluten intolerance will heal her gut, and restore regular menstruation as well as possibly unlock her fertility, much faster by adhering to a gluten free diet (remember from the last post that this means switch to sourdough, NOT gluten free products). Be aware that gluten can lurk in unexpected places, including many prenatal vitamins and even lunchmeats.
Your best line of defense against any inflammation in the body is omega-3 fatty acids. This is an absolutely essential nutrient that most of us are simply not getting anywhere near enough of. Typically when we think of omega-3 fatty acids we think of fish, which is indeed an excellent source. However, the reputation of fish has been tainted due to mercury and other toxins in the ocean. One thing to understand about this is that a nice, tight digestive tract does not allow these toxins to make their way into the bloodstream. There are also several specific nutrients which hold the responsibility of ridding heavy metals from the body. Sadly, most of our modern diets don’t contain enough of these nutrients so we can end up with heavy metal toxicity.
Personally, I take a fish oil supplement everyday but there are also vegan sources of omega-3. Things like walnuts, flax, chia, and even some vegetables such as cabbage are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Keep in mind that vegan sources need to be converted into useable forms of omega-3 and some believe the conversion rate to only be about 10%. This is why I’m not a fan of veganism or vegetarianism. The animals have already converted many fatty nutrients from the unusable to the usable forms. Why make our bodies work harder than they already do?
The omega-3 fatty acids will help to reduce the inflammation in your digestive tract but to “seal up the holes”, I strongly suggest bone broth. Nearly every civilization throughout history has acknowledged the healing power of bone broth. The reason it works so effectively is because it contains very specific amino acids as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc, among others. When all these nutrients work together synergistically they are able to repair damage, reduce inflammation, and close up the little holes that are allowing unwanted particles into the bloodstream. Your digestive tract is your protector but you have to provide it with shields and weapons to be able to defend itself and fight off enemies.
What are some other fertility superfoods?
Now that we’ve talked about eliminating gluten and sugar to prevent further damage to the body and adding in bone broth to speed up the healing process, let’s talk about some other great foods to include in a fertility diet.
- Figs-great for increasing sperm count
- Avocados-strengthen the uterus
- Camu berry-it’s not clear why it’s so effective but it is among the world’s most potent fertility foods (available in powder form)
- Maca-promotes healthy eggs and sperm, can help increase progesterone if you’re low
- Royal jelly-the queen bee is the only fertile one in the colony, she is also the only one who consumes royal jelly
- Spirulina and chlorella- these are super greens
- Wheatgrass juice and barley grass juice—another super green that oxygenates your cells and brings them back to life. (There is no gluten in these grasses).
The first suggestions of avoiding gluten and sugar and adding in leafy greens, omega-3 fatty acids, and bone broth are much more important than these super foods. Do those things first, get comfortable with the changes, then consider trying some of the super foods.
To learn more about September Baumgartner, visit her website.