I’d like to share with you two interconnected steps in eating your way to fertility:
Step 1: Maintain a Healthy Metabolism
In the world of Tibetan Medicine we call the metabolism the digestive heat or me drod. How does the digestive heat aid in conception? Basically when trying to conceive you need to be well-nourished. And this is one of the main tips on how to increase fertility. In Tibetan Medicine we consider the reproductive fluid to be the most essential part of our bodies. If we eat buttered toast, eggs and chai for breakfast, the essence of this will be our reproductive fluid on the 7th day. Each day our food nourishes one of 7 of our bodily constituents. Our food goes through this process:
- Right after eating, the food is broken down into chyme, the partly digested food ready for nutrient extraction
- The second day the chyme turns into blood
- The third day the blood turns into muscle/flesh
- The fourth day the flesh turns into fat
- The fifth day the fat turns into bone
- The sixth day the bone turns into bone marrow
- Finally on the seventh day the bone marrow is refined into reproductive fluid
A healthy digestive heat is needed to make sure the most refined of all, the reproductive fluid, is strong and healthy which is one of the three necessities for conception.
How Do We Maintain A Healthy Digestive Heat?
There are 2 basic rules to follow in maintaining healthy digestive heat:
1. Eat in the correct way
Follow this basic rule: Fill the belly ½ with food, ¼ with of liquid, and ¼ left for air. Then leave 4-5 hours for the belly to fully digest what you’ve eaten.
2. Eat the correct foods
The quality of the foods to be eaten should be warm and light. Foods can be warm in temperature, warm in preparation (such as cooked with spices) and warm in nature (such as onions). Light can mean light in preparation (such as boiled, not fried) and light in nature (such as fish).
Examples of warm and light foods:
- Fresh foods are lighter while old foods are heavier (refrigerated for a few days, canned, stale, rancid, wilted, etc).
- Boiled, steamed and stir-fried foods are lighter and warmer while deep fried, raw and barbecued foods are heavier.
- Spices and aromatic herbs (fennel, cumin, sage, thyme, basil) are light and warm and impart lightness and warmth when added to foods.
Step 2: Choose Foods That Are Predominantly Sweet and Delicious in Nature
Trying to conceive? Eat nourishing sweets! That’s right, if we are wondering how to increase fertility we should eat foods that are sweet in nature and are delicious. These foods also increase our strength and vitality. With foods that are sweet and delicious we instinctively say YES! That’s an important attitude when trying to conceive – say YES to life.
But sweet isn’t always what it seems :)
In Tibetan Medicine there is a broad definition of sweet. Tastes are defined by their action in the mouth. This reveals how all substances considered food have some portion of sweet. From the Four Tantras the action of sweet is that which: “coats the mouth, is easily accepted by the body and creates a desire for more.” However, since the introduction of refined white sugar our perception of sweet has become dulled. And, in fact, regular use of refined white sugar and refined white flour decrease fertility and do not nourish the body because they are very heavy and cold nature so weaken the digestive heat.
Let’s look at the foods available today that fall under this category of sweet and delicious and thus nourish our body fertile. In general we are looking for foods that have a high nutrient content, contain good fats, are in their whole form and are grown and raised without chemicals. It is especially important that foods containing fat are bought organic.
Meat, dairy and eggs from animals raised on pasture without chemicals.
Fish and fish oil (preferably cod liver oil) from sources low in mercury and radiation. Check the Environmental Working Groups site on fish safe for pregnancy.
Nuts and seeds:
All should be soaked and dried before consuming in quantity, the exception being flax which can be ground then used immediately. Look up Sally Fallon nut recipes to find out why and how. When prepared in this way nuts and seeds are full of easily assimilated nutrition. Flax seed is especially great eaten daily, 1-2 tablespoons ground.
When prepared correctly these can be a great grounding, nourishing staple. Rice, basmati and brown, can be cooked straight away. Basically all other grains should be soaked for 6 hours or over-night to enhance digestibility.
Root vegetables are best as they have more of a sweet quality.
All of this building nourishment is best combined with a plethora of various colors of vegetables and fruits. Check out Environmental Working Groups page on what needs to be organic and what not. It explains the clean 15 and dirty dozen.
Whole sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and molasses in moderation are very nourishing to the body. If you have issues with yeast infections I suggest leaving these out. All these foods tend to be heavier and cooler in nature. To increase lightness and warmth they should be prepared the following way.
- Foods that are fresh
- Well spiced
- Grains should be soaked before cooking or dry-roasted
- Dairy should be cultured
The answer to the question how to increase fertility is in these 2 joyful steps:
STEP #1: Maintain a strong digestive heat with correct amount and space for digestion and eating light and warm foods.
STEP #2: Eat building, nourishing foods that are sweet and delicious in nature following guidelines for increased digestibility.
Remember EVERYBODY is UNIQUE. The guidelines here are to be adjusted to fit into your current state of health.