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Pregnancy Nutrition: Foods To Build A Healthy Baby

Many people understand the importance of eating healthy during pregnancy because food plays a huge role in a baby’s development. Many cultures around the world have famous foods that are prized for nourishing people before, during and after pregnancy.

Your body will do everything in its power to reproduce successfully, however it’s up to you to provide it with the necessary nutrients to build the healthiest baby possible.

The Plate Method

A good place to start is by having a good balance of macro and micro-nutrients at each meal (vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins and fats).

The plate method is an excellent guideline to use when planning meals and measuring proportions. Aim for half of your plate being composed of non-starchy vegetables, one quarter composed of protein and fats, and the remaining quarter composed of fruits or vegetables.

For example:

  • 2 or more cups of vegetables with some healthy fat, like a good quality oil or avocado.
  • 3-4 oz of protein, either plant-based or animal-based
  • 1/2 cup of starchy or root vegetables 

If you feel better on a low carb diet, aim for less starch and more greens, healthy fat and protein.

The Plate Method Components:

1. Protein

Strive to have a variety of protein sources in your diet to ensure you get a good balance of amino acids and other key vitamins and minerals. Try not to get caught in eating the same thing again and again.

For example:

  • Organic beef, lamb, bison, chicken, turkey
  • Seafood (wild caught)
  • Organ meats such as liver, heart, kidney
  • Eggs (pasture raised, organic)
  • Almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seats, chia seeds
  • Beans, peas, lentils, brown rice

2. Fat

Your body’s need for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)  increases during pregnancy. A baby’s brain is made up of 60% fat and depends on omega fatty acids, choline, and fat soluble vitamins for development. The key is to prioritize high quality/healthy fats and avoid trans and saturated fats.

For example:

  • Fish
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Olives, coconuts, avocados
  • Organic butter or ghee

Avoid processed vegetable oils such as corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil or margarine. Try to stay away from anything deep fried or processed, as they are usually cooked in these low quality oils.

3. Vegetables

Vegetables are little powerhouses packed with vitamins and minerals necessary for building baby’s bones, blood, joints and much more. Aim to fill half your plate with an assortment of vegetables. And just like protein, don’t get caught up in only eating the same few vegetables again and again. Choose from a wide variety of vegetables.

For example:

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Bells pepper
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprout
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Greens: spinach, kale, collards, watercress, bok choy, arugula, dandelion
  • Tomato
  • Leek
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Zucchini
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Snap pea
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Beet

4. Fruit

Fruit is an excellent source of hydration, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. These are all required for collagen/skin formation, immune development, iron absorption, wound healing and much more.

When craving something sweet, try fruit such as baked apples & cinnamon, peaches & yogurt or a berry smoothie. Try to satisfy your sweet tooth with whole foods.

For example:

  • Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Bananas
  • Mangoes
  • Melons

5. Fluids

When you’re pregnant, your fluid intake needs to increase. Your baby is swimming in amniotic fluid and your blood volume increases significantly. Water plays a huge role in nutrient absorption, digestion, transporting oxygen, and more.

Try to drink good filtered & mineralized water. Chlorine in tap water disrupts the gut flora for both the pregnant parent and the baby. Aim for about 10 cups of water a day.

In Summary

Make it a priority to add more real foods and minimize processed foods.

Think variety! Try to avoid eating the same dishes over and over again, incorporate new proteins, new vegetables, and new fruits.

Eat healthy omega-rich fats and avoid trans or saturated fats.

Stay hydrated!

For more information on how we can help you optimize your Pregnancy Nutrition, book a free 15-minute online consultation today!

Does Our DNA Determine Our Destiny?

It’s not uncommon to have some type of illness in our genetic lineage that is attributed to genetics: cancer, Alzheimers, heart illness, etc.  Many of us have learned that these are generally hereditary conditions, which can leave us with a feeling of inevitability.  However, this may not be completely true.

A common misperception of the body is that our physical fate is destined by our genetic makeup.  ‘If I have the gene for cancer, I will most likely end up with cancer.’  Or, ‘if I have the DNA for Alzheimers, the future of my poor mind is indubitably doomed’.  However, while our DNA does hold the blueprint for our entire genetic makeup, the expression of our DNA is most certainly not written in stone.  

Epigenetics

Scientists have recently discovered that while the double helix strands of DNA generally remain the same, there are small organic molecules that chemically attach themselves to the outsides of the strands that can alter the expression of the DNA molecules.  These have the potential to turn a predisposition on or off.  This mind-blowing science is referred to as epigenetics.  

For example, there have been many cases of identical twins, with identical DNA makeup who have the gene for a disease.  Yet, one of these genetically identical twins will manifest with the disease, and the other one will not.  Wherein lies the difference?  It is all about our body responding to the choices we have made and the environment that we live in. 

Some of you might be thinking, “Uh Oh!!!”.  Like me, perhaps you have made choices in your life that have made your outlook a little bit detrimental?  Fortunately there is still hope for us.  

Telomeres: Chronological Age vs. Biological Age

The human body has two different ages: a chronological age and a biological age. The chronological age refers to the actual time a human has been alive, while the biological age refers to how old that human’s body seems. 

Experts consider telomeres — the protective ends of chromosomes — when calculating this age difference. Telomeres work to keep chromosome ends from deteriorating or fusing with a neighbouring chromosome, affecting how quickly cells age and die.  So, basically, the older you grow, the shorter your telomeres are.  

In a broad study, a hundred random people guessed the age of test subjects.  To a fault they guessed the biological age, rather than the chronological age.  This means that they guessed closer to the participant’s telomeres, rather than how old they actually are.  

Five years down the road, they took pictures of the same people, and once again the public guessed the biological age of telomere lengths.  Some of the participants had engaged in healthy lifestyles while in the 5-year waiting period.  The most exciting part of this study is that the public’s estimates of the participants’ ages reflected the positive effect that a healthy lifestyle had on the telomere length! 

Through the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, through both a healthy diet and regular exercise, we can maintain our telomere lengths and prolong the advent of serious illness.  One study suggested that mindfulness-based stress reduction can even lengthen the telomere lengths. (1) Telomere shortening, or biological aging, is preventable, and even perhaps reversible.  

This is just one example of an epigenetic mechanism.  Ultimately, epigenetic processes occur at the interface between our environment and our genes.  By cultivating a healthy environment outside of ourselves and within our bodies, we can impact the expression of our DNA.  This is why working with lifestyle advice to cultivate a deeply healthy environment within yourself is key in long term preventative health care.

The Epigenetics of Chinese Medicine

The concept of epigenetics is mirrored by some of the theories in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In TCM we have the concept of Pre-Heaven endowment and the Post-Heaven compilation of resources.  

The Pre-Heaven Essence is inherited from the mother and father at the moment of conception, and determines each person’s basic constitutional make-up, strength, vitality and individual uniqueness.  It is likened to a person’s genetic blueprint.

The Post-Heaven Essence is refined and extracted from the food and drink consumed after birth, the air we breath, the way we process emotions and how we enjoy our lives.  It is the summation of how our lifestyle impacts our body’s internal environment.  This is similar to epigenetics.

We perceive that the health of the body is controlled by the interface between our Pre-Heaven endowment, and this Post-Heaven compilation of resources.  Pathology arises surreptitiously from an imbalance between these two aspects of our body and manifests uniquely in each individual person, as no two humans have the same genetic makeup or set of lifestyle circumstances.

Through the intricate diagnosing practice of TCM, we can see the general direction that each person is heading.  The constellation of subtle signs and symptoms that present in each body, conglomerate into various patterns through which we can perceive the relative health of the Post and Pre-Heaven Essence.  (This is why our forms are so long and comprehensive – every detail matters!)  Following the recommendations from a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner are an excellent way to have a preventative and deep rooted relationship with your health.

I invite you to break free from any preconceived notion that you are at the whim of your genetic fate, and grasp on to the fact that we do have a choice in this matter.  Every day, when you choose to get out of your chair and exercise you are choosing to engage with the health of your DNA.  Every day, when you choose to eat real whole foods instead of processed alternatives, you are choosing to engage in your destiny as a healthy human being.   It is possible to steer our bodies into old age with our health intact.  

For more information on how our preventative medicine can support your DNA health, book in for a free 15-minute consult.

References:

(1) PMID: 24486564

photo: www.carlacascales.com
IG @carla_cascales_alimbau

Gratitude Is Medicine

Thanksgiving is looking a little bit different this year, amid these extraordinary times. Our Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending that we take care to protect ourselves and to keep our gatherings small this weekend. Our neighbouring BC’s provincial health officer is encouraging people “to make our celebration large in thanks, large in gratitude, but small in size”

Gratitude knows no boundaries and although I am personally missing the big turkey dinner gathering this year, it feels like a small and temporary sacrifice to keep my cohort small this weekend – an offering of kindness and generosity to our vulnerable community members and frontline workers. We have so much to be grateful for, and to have one another’s backs is an act of love. Although we don’t need research to prove it, studies do show that practicing gratitude is good for us.

‘The Telomere Effect’, written by a molecular biologist and a psychiatric researcher, is a collaboration explaining how stress reduction and promotion of mental health can positively affect the length of telomeres and improve health and longevity.

Telomeres are protective cap-like structures at the end of each of our chromosomes. They play a critical role in cellular health, as the DNA in telomeres protects against chromosomal damage. Being in good health is associated with having longer telomeres, whereas shorter ones are associated with having health issues. Studies indicate that our positive habits and social environment can encourage telomere growth.

The book explains that in earlier tribal days, we lived in groups and each group had a delegation of trusted members who would stay up on watch during the night. The community relied on them to stay awake and alert to dangers like fires, predators or enemies. Belonging to a group and having trustworthy night-watch people was critical for survival and a healthy sense of safety.

Today, our brains are still wired to need the security of someone who ‘has our back’. Social connection is a basic human need and studies reveal that having good friends is like having good night watchmen, and even protects our telomeres.

Studies also confirm that practicing gratitude and keeping a gratitude journal increases happiness and resilience as well as physical health and longevity.

Happy thanksgiving friends, may we all take refuge in knowing that we’re all in one another’s hearts and remember to feel deeply grateful for the moments that we share near and far.

For more information on how we can support you on your path toward well-being please feel free to book a free 15-minute phone consult.

photo: www.fieldandsea.com @fieldandsea

References:

Nutritional Program: PCOS Recipe

Special offer : 4 week PCOS Nutrition Program

$256 (reg $320)
until Sep 30

In honour of PCOS awareness month, I have created a four week nutritional program to help manage symptoms and balance hormones using food. Each week comes with a different lesson, protocol, meal plan, grocery list and recipes.


Week one: 

Focuses on detoxing the home and body to remove endocrine disrupting chemicals. We will touch on what to avoid, and how to remove a chemical buildup within the body.

Week two: 

Focus on understanding hormones, how to nourish each endocrine gland and what nutrients are needed for proper hormone production. I provide recipes that use the proper foods with the specific nutrients needed.


Week three: 

Focuses on gut health; the impact of low stomach acid, candida, and blood sugar imbalance on hormonal function. I touch on how to know if you have any of these imbalances and how to correct it.


Week four: 

Focuses on lifestyle, stress management, the effect of cortisol on the reproductive system, and I provide stress reduction tools.

Here’s a sample PCOS recipe from the PCOS Nutritional Program:

Chicken Thigh Shredded Salad
40 minutes 

Ingredients

1 lb Chicken Thighs with Skin 
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Thyme (dried)
1/2c Red Onion (thinly sliced)
3 Carrots (shredded)
1c Radishes (thinly sliced)
1/4c Mint Leaves (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/8 tsp Ground Ginger
2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375oF (191oC).

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken thighs and cook skin side down for 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken over and transfer to the oven to cook for 16 to 18 minutes or until cooked through. Remove, let cool and then shred. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the red onion, carrots, cucumber, radishes and mint. Add the avocado oil, lime juice, ginger and coconut aminos and toss to combine. 

Serve the salad with the shredded chicken on top. Enjoy! 

Notes

Leftovers. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days. For best results, store the dressing separately. 

More flavour. Add additional herbs such as cilantro or seasoning such as chili flakes. Top with sesame seeds. 

Make it vegan. Omit the chicken and use tofu or roasted chickpeas instead. 

No avocado oil. Use extra virgin olive oil instead.

Meal prep. Save time by slicing the veggies ahead of time and cooking the chicken. 

No coconut aminos. Use tamari or soy sauce instead.


Let me explain why this meal is medicinal and how it will function within the body

  • A healthy dose of protein from the (preferably organic) chicken thigh will help to balance blood sugar.  Symptoms of PCOS are the result of insulin and inflammation disrupting your cells. The insulin resistance is what drives increased weight gain and the ovaries to produce testosterone.
  • The raw carrots provide the correct type of fibre that binds to old hormones and will carry it out of the body, promoting daily bowel movements.
  • Radishes are antibacterial, anti-fungal, and diuretic. They are rich in Vitamin C, folate, and anthocyanins. These are excellent for killing candida, opening the liver’s phase 2 detox pathway, and providing enzymes that will help digest & metabolize the chicken.
  • The ginger warms the meal to ensure proper blood flow, since the blood is responsible for carrying hormones to where they need to go. It’s important to include foods that promote healthy blood circulation.
  • The lime juice also stimulates liver detoxification to excrete old hormones from the body such as testosterone and estrogen.
  • The thyme is antibacterial and antiviral it can kill any unproductive bacteria in the gut that may be blocking nutrient absorption. Optimal nutrient absorption is vital for hormone balance because the body needs to actually access the nutrients from food in order to produce the necessary hormones.
  • This meal tastes delicious and will provide a sense of nourishment and contentment!

For more information book a free 15 minute phone consultation today.

PCOS and Mental Health

If you are new to learning about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, welcome. PCOS is the most frequent endocrinological disorder affecting people of reproductive age (1).

You may have read our previous blogs explaining what PCOS is, but you may not know that it can affect depression, anxiety and stress. In fact, studies report an overall higher prevalence of depression, perceived stress and anxiety in people with PCOS compared to people without (2).

You may be reading this if you have PCOS and saying to yourself, “why did my doctor never bring this up?!” Unfortunately, it’s still something that is not discussed as often as it should be. Let’s change this!

PCOS and Depression

Why does there seem to be higher rates of depression in those with PCOS?

Currently, there are still only theories to hypothesize what might be the cause of this correlation. People with PCOS have hormonal imbalances and this could contribute to the cause.

It is very common in people with PCOS to be insulin resistant. This basically results in their pancreas working overtime and their bloodstream having higher levels of insulin. There is still much more research needed in this area, however there is growing evidence that insulin resistance and depression could be correlated (3). 

Several other factors could also play a role, such as our societal “norms”. People with PCOS have excess androgens which can cause excess facial hair, body hair, and thinning of head hair. This can cause embarrassment and self esteem issues and further impact the depression, stress and anxiety experienced.

Further tests have shown that people with PCOS show increased salivary amylase and cortisol levels; indicating overall higher stress markers in their systems (1). These higher stress markers were found to have a significant affect on a patient’s BMI as well (1).

There seems to be multiple possible causes of the link between PCOS and stress, depression and anxiety. The more we discuss these important aspects of the disease, the more awareness and hopefully research will be done.

PCOS Mental Health Support

What can we do to combat the effects of stress, anxiety and depression with PCOS?

Well, we can do a few things. Stress reduction is crucial to getting our bodies healthy.

Acupuncture

I suggest starting with a regular Acupuncture routine. Acupuncture influences your Parasympathetic system; it allows your body to flow into a state of rest. This is oh-SO-important when PCOS is causing the body to constantly fire higher levels of cortisol and thus kick us into that Flight or Fight response.

But don’t just take my word for it. There have been studies done to show the positive effects Acupuncture has on women with PCOS in regards to their depression and anxiety (4). 

Mindfulness Meditation

Having the ability to set aside time for yourself and help find solutions to treating your PCOS is empowering! Along with Acupuncture, Mindfulness is another amazing tool to add to your tool box of stress butt-kicking techniques.

Our own Dr. Alda Ngo is offering an Online 8-week Mindfulness course that teaches you Mindfulness Meditation training. Check out this link for our Guided Mindfulness class.

Empowerment

The way I like to approach treatment of conditions such as PCOS is to access more resources. The more resources you are able to have, the better equipped you are for empowering yourself and treating your PCOS in the best way that you possibly can.

You may be experiencing higher stress, depression and anxiety as a result of your PCOS, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer silently. There are several tools we can add to get you feeling healthy and empowered!

To see how we can support you, contact us to book a free 15-minute phone consultation.

References:

  1. DOI: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_78_17
  2. PMID: 30131078
  3. PMID: 29908775
  4. PMID: 23763822

Photo: Aline + Celia
www.sacreefrangine.com

PCOS Acne: A Natural Approach

What is PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is an endocrine disorder and one of the most common reproductive disorders in women of reproductive age.  This syndrome affects roughly 4-12% of women and can have a huge impact on fertility as well as an increased risk in other health conditions such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity. 

PCOS is diagnosed by hyperandrogenism, and menstrual irregularities, it is considered to be a syndrome with a spectrum of severity.  So while you may have been diagnosed with PCOS you may exhibit only some of the symptoms that hallmark this disease. 

PCOS Acne

While none of these symptoms are ideal, one of the most disheartening and frustrating symptoms that 14-34% of women diagnosed with PCOS exhibit is acne.

While other PCOS symptoms can be managed and hidden, acne is not one of them. This can cause self confidence issues and ultimately affect quality of life.

Acne in PCOS is caused by hyperandrogenism, a hormone imbalance which causes an increase in the male hormone called testosterone. Testosterone causes an increase in the natural oils in our hair follicles called sebum.

The increase in sebum along with bacteria being trapped beneath the hair follicles causes comedones and cystic-like lesions which can appear on the face, neck, upper back and chest. These under the skin cysts are often very painful, inflamed and can leave behind scarring. 

If you suffer from PCOS and acne, here are some easy natural remedies that can help heal and reduce the prevalence of these unwanted blemishes:

Nutrition: Treating PCOS Acne From Within

Our skin is a representation of our digestive system. If you have PCOS and acne you most likely have some level of chronic inflammation in the body as well as insulin resistance.

Sounds scary but the good news is there are many foods and supplements that can help to reduce these symptoms.

An anti-inflammatory diet including lots of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, mackerel, flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil) can have a positive effect on PCOS and acne.

Limiting our carbohydrates and increasing our protein consumption can level out the insulin in our body and reduce metabolic symptoms of PCOS.

PCOS Skin Care

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be a life saver. This natural product has strong anti-microbial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

This over-the-counter product also contains natural acidity which balances the pH of your skin and encourages the growth of healthy bacteria flora on the skin.

Studies have shown that lactic acid can help reduce the prevalence of acne. Use this product as a toner after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Turmeric Face Mask 

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

Here is a great home remedy to reduce redness, the prevalence and size of blemishes as well as reducing hyper-pigmentation and scars caused by acne:

1/2 teaspoon of organic turmeric, 

2 tablespoons of organic plain yogurt

1 teaspoon of raw honey (Manuka provides the most health benefits)

Combine the above ingredients into a thick paste. Gently cleanse the skin, and apply to the face with clean hands avoiding the eye area.

Let sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse.

*Turmeric can cause temporary staining for those with light skin.

If staining occurs gently, wipe the area with a milk soaked cotton ball.

Clean Makeup Brushes

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes and sponges?

These forgotten beauty products can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause and worsen acne.

Clean your brushes weekly with a mild soap, and allow then to dry completely before use.

Facial Renewal Acupuncture 

Facial Renewal Acupuncture can also be a very effective way to treat and reduce cystic acne.

Acupuncture works by inserting tiny needles into the face, causing positive micro-trauma to the area. This micro-trauma signals the production of collagen and elastin to the area, healing blemishes, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and smoothing skin complexion.

If you want to know if facial acupuncture is right for you, contact us for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Although PCOS and acne can be troubling, the good news is there are lots of ways to naturally manage and improve these unwanted symptoms.

References:

  • PMID: 23210095
    PMID: 15931331
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5

Photo: Elena Ryzhkovich @yadoohari

PCOS: Top 3 Supplements

I typically get asked “what more can I do if I have PCOS?”

Supplementation along with regular acupuncture treatments is one way that you can positively affect your PCOS diagnosis.

Insulin Resistance

With the correct supplement regimen you can impact your menstrual cycle and increase ovulation by treating insulin resistance.

What does insulin resistance have to do with ovulation, you might ask? A major component that contributes to anovulation in people with PCOS, is insulin resistance. This is when muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond efficiently to insulin, making it more difficult for the cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.

This in turn leads to anovulation because higher blood glucose levels cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone, which interferes with the development of the follicles and prevents normal ovulation. It might go without saying but irregular ovulation is a key factor that can contribute to difficulty in getting pregnant.

Top 3 supplements to help reduce insulin resistance and improve ovulation: 

1. Myo-Inositol 

Myo-Inositol is a part of the B complex vitamin group. It is involved in the metabolism, transport and breakdown of glucose and its conversion to glycogen.

It’s a key factor involved in insulin signalling and it acts as an intracellular secondary messenger, regulating a number of hormones such as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) (1).

People with PCOS typically have low levels of myo-inositol so supplementation can help improve insulin sensitivity, hormone regulation and improve menstrual/ovulation cycles. 

In a double blind clinical trial, people with PCOS received myo-inositol or a placebo. Results showed that myo-inositol increased insulin sensitivity, improved glucose tolerance and had a positive effect on ovulation.  The myo-inositol group had a 70% ovulation rate, compared to a 21% ovulation rate in the placebo group. Also, the Myo-inositol group had a 66% reduction of serum total testosterone (2). 

2. N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

NAC is an amino acid that helps to replenish glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants our bodies need. This antioxidant improves circulating levels of insulin and insulin sensitivity in hyperinsulinemic women with PCOS (3).

Due to NAC’s ability to positively improve insulin sensitivity, it helps people with PCOS to ovulate more regularly. Also, because of its ability to support ovulation, NAC has been used effectively as an adjuvant to Letrozole to help it perform better for ovulation induction. Letrozole is a common medication that is used to help those with PCOS ovulate. 

In a double blind study comparing 2 groups of people with PCOS, the first group was in the NAC + Letrozole group and the 2nd group was in the  Placebo + Letrozole group. The NAC + Letrozole group had bigger follicle development and a 20% higher pregnancy rate compared to the Placebo + Letrozole group (4).  

3. Omega 3 from Fish Oil (DHA + EPA) 

Omega 3’s from fish oil help to improve PCOS by decreasing testosterone, helping to increase ovulation and menstrual regulation.  As mentioned before, insulin resistance increases the ovaries’ production of testosterone and contributes to anovulation. 

In a double blind clinical trial, people diagnosed with PCOS that had elevated testosterone and irregular menstrual cycles were divided into two groups. 

The first group was given Omega 3’s from fish oil for 8 weeks while the second group was given a placebo for 8 weeks. The omega 3 group had a reduction of serum testosterone and were 24% more likely to have a regular menstrual cycle compared to the placebo group (5). 

Not all omega 3’s are the same though: omega 3’s from fish oil are more effective than omega 3’s from non-animal products (plants). This is because omega 3’s from non-animal products are composed of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and only a small portion of this is converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

DHA + EPA are what make up the omega 3’s from fish and they don’t need to be converted.  

Contact Us

It is important to mention that it’s best to speak with a qualified practitioner prior to starting a supplement regimen for safety and dosing.

The practitioners at Whole Family Health are always happy to assist you in your fertility journey, contact us today to book a free 15-minute phone consultation! 

References

  1. PMID: 17035995
  2. PMID: 19499845
  3. PMID: 15145276
  4. PMID: 30050888
  5. PMID: 24639805

photo: @byeen0402

PCOS Holistic Nutritional Program

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 people and is the leading cause of infertility. It is commonly associated with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.

Research has shown healthy eating habits and regular physical activity helps to manage PCOS.

Our Holistic Nutritional Consultant has formulated a comprehensive nutrition program to help reduce symptoms, balance hormones, and optimize organ function by using food as medicine.

She uses a combined approach of both Eastern & Western philosophy to get to the root of the problem.

The 4 week PCOS Nutrition Program includes:


– Customized meal plans tailored to your unique body
 – Recipes & grocery lists
 – Weekly support check ins
 – Specific protocols to balance hormones
 – Lifestyle modification support

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to nourish your body so you can feel happy & healthy in your body – here is your chance!

Special Offer $256

until Sep 30, 2020
(Reg. $320)

For more information book in for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Tune in to our Facebook Page on Thursday, Sept 24 @ 7pm MT

for our Video Premiere on PCOS Nutrition.

Alicia is going to give you a little sample of her PCOS Nutritional Program!

photo: Elena Ryzhkovich

PCOS Awareness: Facebook Live Events

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) effects 1 in 10 people. It is a genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder that can lead to life-long complications.

It can lead to severe anxiety, depression, obesity, endometrial cancer, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cardiovascular disease.

10-15% of womxn are estimated to have PCOS. It affects millions of people worldwide and carries serious potential long term health consequences. Yet 50% of people living with it are undiagnosed.

It is the leading cause of infertility.

According to the National Institute of Health 50% of people with PCOS will develop type 2 diabetes before age 40.

Some studies show that people with PCOS have 3 times higher risk of developing endometrial cancer and may also be at increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer.

But there’s plenty one can do to address PCOS naturally and through lifestyle changes.

Tune in to our upcoming

Facebook Live Events for supporting PCOS:

Sep 10th:
Supplements for PCOS
with WFH Fertility expert Christina Pistotnik @yegacupuncture

Sep 14th:
Mindfulness for PCOS
with WFH Mindfulness Instructor Dr.Alda Ngo @mindfulnessforfertility

Sep 18th:
Yoga for PCOS
with WFH Fertility Yogi & Acupuncturist Mykayla Sorensen @mykayladoesacupuncture

Sep 24th:
Holistic Nutrition for PCOS
with WFH Women’s Health Holistic Nutritional Consultant Alicia Hamilton @wildbloom.botanicals

For more information on how we can support you with your PCOS symptoms, contact us for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

PCOS Awareness Month: 5 Common Signs

Today is World PCOS Day of Unity. Today is about coming together in solidarity for PCOS Awareness in support of the hundreds of millions of people impacted by polycystic ovary syndrome worldwide.

This day marks the beginning of PCOS Awareness Month, which is about improving the lives of those affected by PCOS and helping them to overcome their symptoms as well as prevent and reduce their risks for life-threatening related conditions.


5 common signs of PCOS are:

1. Irregular periods or maybe even no periods at all. The hormonal profile (ie. high androgens) of someone with PCOS disrupts ovulation, which often either delays ovulation, causing irregular and/or longer cycles or in some cases, no cycles at all.

2. Hair Growth on the Chin, Upper Lip, Chest or Stomach. This is called hirsuitism. Again those with PCOS often have increased androgen levels, which cause this pattern of hair growth.

3. Weight Gain, Particularly Around the Stomach Area. People with PCOS often present with insulin and leptin resistance. Insulin resistance makes our bodies store fat more readily and gain weight especially around the abdomen, which we know is a risk factor associated with cardiovascular health. Leptin resistance confuses our brain into thinking that we are in starvation mode, which disrupts our hunger signals.

4.Acne. Again those elevated androgens are the culprit, stimulating excess sebum production in the skin, which leads to bacterial growth and clogged pores.

5.Depression and Anxiety. People with PCOS have higher rates of depression and anxiety. This can be related to underlying hormone imbalances, increased inflammation and straight up stress from having to deal with PCOS symptoms.


We’ll be posting some more juicy info and resources throughout the month to support you with your PCOS symptoms.

Also check out www.pcosawarenessmonth.org to find out more about the National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association. They’re doing such amazing work!

Check out @annaremarchuk on IG – thank you for your absolutely stunning work!

If you or someone you know has PCOS, we can help! Book in for a free 15-minute consultation to find out how we can support you.

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