This message is for future dads too!
For those of you that realize you have the opportunity to do a little planning and a little body-work prior to conception, consider yourself fortunate! For others, you may start thinking about this while you are pregnant, or even breastfeeding. Every little bit, good or bad, has an epigenetic influence. Epigenetics is defined as changes in an organism caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. This means we can up-regulate or down-regulate the expression of certain genes with certain factors. And guess What! A lot of these factors are lifestyle and diet. So many moms out there may not have had the thought or know how to consider this. I don’t believe in living in regret, we do the best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time. But, since we are bombarded with so many insults in this world, anything that we can do ahead of time to be shored-up will help with resilience and possibly even avoidance of a future health-related issue for your baby and yourself.
Planning for Mint Condition
Some things that will help in growing a healthy baby:
- Minimizing exposure to toxins. Using household cleaning products with a safe ingredient list; see EWG.org for ratings.
- Baton Rouge has very clean water, but nevertheless, getting a good water filter and using this with beverages and cooking can help to reduce exposure to toxins.
- Avoid dry cleaning
- Non-toxic skin care products.
- Eat grass feed beef (FYI- Omega 3 to 6 ratio is 1:1 (good) with grass fed and 1:20 with grain fed (very bad!))
- Pasture raised organic chickens
- Pasture raised organic eggs
- Grass fed yogurt
- Sardines and anchovies
- Avoid high mercury fish
- Fermented cod liver oil
- Fermented foods and beverages
- Probiotics with a variety of strains (at least 10 different) and 25-100 billion per day
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Unrefined, unfiltered, cold pressed oils from avocados, olives, sesame, coconut, etc
- Avoid plastics; use glass and stainless steel
So what are some things that future parents can do to help create a better environment within their body to grow a healthy baby? The great majority of what can be done comes back to lifestyle and diet!! .
It takes a lot of vitamins and minerals to keep our body running well, and unfortunately we can’t depend solely on our food to provide us with this when we are eating SAD. EatingSAD refers to the S tandard A merican D iet.
Foods can be nutrient poor even when we are eating better quality whole foods. This is because the soil the foods are grown in are deplete of nutrients. Eating organic fruits and veggies seems to help with getting higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
We are getting the wrong kinds of fats….. too many bad fats that lead to inflammation in the body. At Mint Health
we routinely check omega 3 and 6 levels, and it is uncommon to see ideal and healthy levels. Americans are consuming way more omega 6s than necessary and not enough omega 3s; both are necessary but when out of balance, lead to inflammation. Balanced, healthy levels of fats are necessary for hormone production, making certain fat-soluble vitamins, and in your growing babies- for brain and nerve development among many other things. We want to make sure you have the right fats so that your baby’s brain is not made up of fats from corn-dogs and donuts (Eeekkk!).
We need certain types of sugars to grow a healthy baby. We don’t get those from cokes and cookies; we should be avoiding these types of junk foods. There really is no such thing as junk food- there is JUNK and there is FOOD. If you are eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods (fruits, veggies, and meats) including mushrooms and seaweed and some natural sweeteners like stevia, xylitol, coconut sugar, inulin, and fructooligosaccharides, then you should be good getting all of the important sugars to provide for your growing baby. Refined white sugar, maltodextrin, aspartame, saccharin, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and sucralose should be strictly avoided preconception and throughout pregnancy and breast feeding as these sugars may even contribute to infertility and birth defects as well as inflammation.
It is a good idea for you and your partner to have bodies that are well stocked in vitamins and minerals prior to conception. Getting adequate amounts of nutrients is best done through natural sources like food-sourced vitamins and minerals and doing your best to get nutrient dense foods in your diet. Nature provides a synergy among nutrients in their natural state as well as allows for ease of absorption of nutrients.
Other things that will help in growing a healthy baby:
Minimizing exposure to toxins; the earlier you start doing this, the better. This can be done by using household cleaning products with a safe ingredient list; see EWG.org for ratings. Baton Rouge has very clean water, but nevertheless, getting a good water filter and using this with beverages and cooking can help to reduce exposure to toxins. Avoid dry cleaning and make sure you have non-toxic skin care products. Woman commonly put anywhere from 150-200 different chemicals on their skin before they even get to work in the morning. We assume these products are safe, but do we really know?? Babies come into this world with an average of 200 chemicals already in their cord blood. When I hear things like this, I say, no wonder people are getting sicker…. our bodies can only take so much.
So I hope you find this message useful! Dr. Buchert and I work so hard to encourage people to make the changes that are truly life saving and lead to better quality of life for you and your loved-ones. We are so passionate about this topic! (Maybe even obsessed!) We can’t help it, because we see so many good things happening in the people that work with us in Functional Medicine
We understand change is a process, but we feel sad when the message falls on deaf ears, and we see people struggling with health issues that we know could improve with some key life style changes.
If you are seeing us on the Ob/Gyn days (Tuesday/Thursday), and you want to take a deeper dive than we are able to do with conventional medical workups and recommendations, where we evaluate for imbalances and work on true resolution of problems so the body is able to stay thriving, then please click on the ” get started
” tab below to begin your life-changing journey into Functional Medicine (these appointments are on Mondays and Wednesdays and are longer, more in depth, and offer more thorough “lab” evaluations to help us figure out YOU!).
Take a look HERE
at what some of our patients have to say about Functional Medicine!
And if you have missed some of our previous write-ups, you can access these HERE
Happy New Year, and we hope you have a wonderful day!
·1 /2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets), scrubbed clean, cooked, and peeled
· 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
· 5 Tbsp lemon juice
·1 small clove garlic, chopped
· 1 Tbsp ground cumin
· 1 Tbsp lemon zest
· Generous pinch of sea salt
· Fresh ground pepper to taste
Consider sweet potato chips for dipping!
Sweet Potato Chips
· 2 organic sweet potatoes (~150 g each)
· 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
· optional: 1/4 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (121 C) and position oven rack in the center of the oven.
2. Slice them as uniformly thin as possible. If you have a mandolin, use it.
3. Toss slices in a touch of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 2 hours, flipping chips once at halfway point to ensure even cooking.
4. Remove once crisp and golden brown. Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes or so to crisp up before sampling. Serve immediately.