Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food- Hippocrates
We have put a lot of energy and resources into creating the Acubalance Fertility Diet Plan. Its inspiration came from years of counseling couples in our clinic on how to eat to best optimize their fertility.
While Chinese physicians have been treating infertility with diet for centuries, Western science is just starting to catch up to the significant role that diet plays in the ovulatory causes of infertility. A landmark study published in 2008, based on the Harvard Nurses Study, makes startling connections between diet and conception. As the most comprehensive research to date on diet and fertility, this study associates a slow carb, whole food, mostly plant-based diet with a six-fold increase in fertility.
The Acubalance Fertility Diet Plan is an effort to blend the wisdom of Chinese medicine with groundbreaking Western research to help women and couples learn what and how to eat for maximum fertility. The diet includes meal plans, recipes, shopping lists, and tips on mindful eating to help you get started.
Once you have decided to embrace a fertile way of eating, the Acubalance Fertile Diet makes it easy for you to begin. If you love the science behind why certain foods negatively impact your fertility and why others positively increase your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby, this book is a great resource: Chapter 1: Fertility Diet Research & Recommendations.
If you want to know how to restock your pantry and where to shop for whole, locally grown foods, then we have that information for you: Chapter 4: Getting Ready for Change, Chapter 5: Shopping for Fertility Foods.
If you just want some menu plans and tasty recipes, then check out our recipe section: Chapter 8: Recipes.
If you have a complex condition, such as PCOS, endometriosis or male factor, then we have chapters specifically dedicated to help you manage these conditions naturally and, perhaps, avoid expensive invasive treatments: Chapter 3: Fine Tuning for Special Conditions.
The essence of research and ancient practice is that healthy eating for fertility is based on a natural, whole foods, plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet that includes the following:
Whole foods are minimally processed and refined as little as possible before being eaten. Whole foods provide maximum nutrients, fibre, enzymes, antioxidants, and taste without added artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, sweeteners, or trans fats. Whole foods are simple, local, unrefined foods, where processing is limited to enhancing digestibility (soaking, fermenting) or to food preservation such as canning, smoking, curing and drying.
Slow carbohydrates are a group of carbohydrates that are slowly digested, causing a slower and lower rise in blood sugar after being eaten. They include beans, peas, lentils, whole grains, and most vegetables. Eating slow carbs help to minimize insulin resistance, regulate blood sugar, improve fertility, and prevent gestational diabetes.
Plant-based foods include a rainbow of high fibre, high antioxidant fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. A plant-based diet means that most (but not necessarily all) of the diet is based on plant foods and is associated with health promotion, disease prevention and longevity around the world. It may be vegan, vegetarian, or include small amounts of red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy.
High Antioxidant Foods
High antioxidant fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices help to decrease oxidative stress and cellular inflammation associated with decreased fertility. Organic produce has been shown to be higher in antioxidants.
Healthy fats and oils that are pressed (slow, low temperature and unrefined - free of chemical solvents) naturally from whole plant foods (coconuts, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives) and found in wild, deep sea, short-lived fish. Healthy fats combat cellular inflammation, and improve hormonal sensitivity.
High Quality Dairy
Small amounts of full fat (non-homogenized) dairy products – in particular, live culture plain yogurt and kefir as well as high quality artisan (naturally fermented) organic cheese as all of these are associated with increased fertility.
Weight balance, through attention to balanced diet, portion size, daily exercise and mindful eating. Weight balance for optimal fertility includes a healthy body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 25 and a waist circumference (WC) of less than 35” for women and less than 40” for men.
Mindful eating as a way of eating that can help you slow down and tune in to your body, mind and spirit. It offers a daily way to practice mindfulness (paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment), which has been shown to be helpful to manage stress, blood sugar, blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and unbalanced (disordered) eating.