Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vitamins and Minerals for a Healthy Reproductive System

Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential to the development and proper performance of the reproductive system. Nutrition plays a vital role in the development and maturity of the reproductive system through childhood and adolescence and can even affect the endocrine system which regulates the hormones that rule the functions of the reproductive system. Nutrition can affect fertility and fetal development as well. Striving each day to consume the standard recommended daily intake levels of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the body needs is an important part of the good health and proper functioning of the reproductive system.

The nutrients that a child consumes while growing up can greatly affect the developing reproductive system. Zinc for example is essential to the development of the reproductive organs themselves. A deficiency in zinc can result in significantly delayed sexual maturity. Zinc also serves in the regulation of male hormones and has a role in prostate functions and sperm production. Iodine helps to regulate thyroid function which in turn helps to regulate growth and body weight. Body weight has to do with the onset of puberty which will not begin until the appropriate threshold of body weight and fat has been crossed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Healthy Moms Make Healthy Babies

This article is written for moms-to-be and wanna-be moms-to-be. Healthy babies begin even before babies begin...before conception.

It's no secret; pregnancy adds a whole new dimension and need for excellent nutrition. You've been told to eat well, exercise and take your vitamins, but what does eating well really mean? And what vitamins are the best for you?

A wholesome diet before conception will significantly increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

• Research shows that women who ate a vegetable-rich diet before pregnancy had a much lower risk of having a baby with birth defects such as Spina Bifida (compared to women who indulged in high sugar diets).

Nutrition isn't just about vegetables and fruit. Yes, good quality organic produce are essential and provide valuable vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; but let's take this a step further because moms and babies need so much more.

• Raw whole milk & heavy cream: Raw milk from pastured cows provides the proper balance of natural vitamin D, absorb-able calcium and the right amount of phosphorus. It's also easier to digest than pasteurized milk and can even be used to treat morning sickness.
• Eggs from pastured chickens: Eggs from pastured chickens contain vitamins A and D as well as choline and omega-3 EFAs. Choline is particularly important for proper teeth and brain development.
• Meat from grass-fed lamb, beef & poultry: Grass-fed animals have significantly more Omega-3 and CLA than their grain fed counterparts.
• Liver and organ meats: Liver is a rich source of folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin A.
• Cold water fish, fatty fish & fish liver oils: Fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin A, are the catalysts on which all other biological processes depend. For minerals to be properly absorbed and used, sufficient vitamin A is essential. A lot of vitamin A insures healthy reproduction and strong kids with healthy bones and brains.
• Butter, coconut oil, avocado oil: Improve reproduction and minimizes birth defects.

The take home message is this...
1. Chemical free foods are essential for moms and babies.
2. Grass-fed and pastured animals give you a ton more nutrients.
3. Fat and fat soluble vitamins, especially vitamin A, are extremely important for both boosting fertility and proper baby development.

What foods should you definitely avoid?
• Sugar and fructose
• Processed foods (Most foods that come in bags, boxes and cans are processed)
• Fast-food

Let's talk about supplements-this goes way beyond a pre-natal vitamin.
Here are a few really important nutrients. If you don't get them from your food, you should get them through supplements.