Settling into a new season brings change, and is an ideal time to introduce lifestyle modifications to improve our fertility and overall health. As we say goodbye to the carefree days of summer and welcome the cozy nights of fall, there are a number of things we can do to detox for fertility.
Cary L. Dicken, MD of Sher Fertility Institute in New York, New York explains the benefits of detoxifying and offers tips on how to work changes into your life to help prepare your body and mind for conception and a healthy pregnancy. The healthier you are, the healthier your little bundle of joy will be!
What do you picture when you hear the word detox? All juice, all day? “Cleaning out” your system? Removing every last bit of fun from your life? Detoxes vary greatly, some are more extreme than others. We advise a moderate approach. The goal is to help rid your body, and mind, of toxins that are preventing it from operating optimally. Getting your hormones in balance and alleviating stress from your life, as much as possible, goes a long way toward preparing you to handle whatever may come on your specific path to parenthood.
You Are What You Eat (and Drink)
Cleaning up your diet helps your overall health in so many ways. A few standouts include:
- Weight loss (Obesity, BMI over 30, decreases a women’s fertility and increases the chance of miscarriage and premature birth.)
- Brighter, clearer skin
- Improved mood
- Disease prevention
- More energy
- Increased longevity
Our bodies are designed to detoxify naturally. Unfortunately, processed foods are excellent at short- circuiting this process. Eating whole, unprocessed foods helps natural detoxification. Lean protein, fresh fruits and high-fiber vegetables, whole grains, and anti-inflammatory foods and spices should be key components of your fall equinox detox for fertility, and will have lasting effects on your health. And don’t forget h2o, ideally with lemon. Lemon water helps your liver, the hardest working detoxifier in your body, do its job well.
Since it’s National PCOS Awareness Month we’d like to make special note of the importance of a healthy diet for women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Because PCOS is linked to a hormone imbalance, and excess weight affects hormone levels, weight loss is advised to help get those hormones back in balance. Overweight women who lose as little as 5-10% of their body weight may see an improvement in ovulation, menstruation, and insulin sensitivity. If you think PCOS may be affecting your ability to become pregnant, reach out to Sher Fertility Institute New York to schedule a consultation.
Find Your Workout Groove
Exercise goes hand-in-hand with eating well and feeling great. The benefits of regular, moderate exercise include:
- Better circulation
- Strong muscles
- Increased oxygen intake
- Better digestion
- Stress and tension reduction
- Weight loss
- Better mood (endorphins!)
- Increased energy
When our bodies are running well, they’re much better able to naturally detoxify excess hormones and toxins. Moderate exercise isn’t daunting. It can be virtually anything you want it to be – dancing around the house in your PJs, a gentle yoga class, biking, hiking, walking around your neighborhood. Anything that gets you moving and that you enjoy counts as exercise. Shoot for 30 minutes daily.
Evolution has wired us to think in terms of survival; and survival means escaping sabre toothed tigers. At least it did thousands of years ago. Unfortunately, our bodies haven’t quite lost the fight-or-flight response that kept us safe from scary predators. And that leads to negative thought patterns…which leads to stress and all the ill effects that come with it. Stress produces cortisol and other hormones that may affect your ability to get pregnant; meditation has been shown to reduce cortisol levels.
Learning to quiet your mind can be one of the best gifts you ever give yourself. It can be as simple as sitting quietly with your thoughts for a few minutes each day. The key is to not judge those thoughts. Focus on your breath and how it feels throughout your body, if your mind wanders redirect it back to your breathing. The point is to simply be present and live in the moment. Practicing meditation produces the relaxation response – the exact opposite of the fight-or-flight response, which leads to less anxiety and a more positive outlook.
These are just a few ideas to kick-start your fall equinox detox for fertility and assist you on your journey to building your family. If you’d like more information call (646) 792-7476 at Sher Fertility Institute New York to schedule a consultation and discuss the fertility treatment plan that’s best for you.