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Processed Foods and Your Fertility
a Green Fertility blog by marie lee
There are a million diets and health books out there, so what do you look to when cleaning up for better health and fertility?
I’m a big fan of the writer Michael Pollan, who writes about our food culture. In his latest book, In Defense of Food (he’s also the narrator of the documentary on industrialized food, Food, Inc., that just came out), I was amazed to see Pollan's a big proponent of the work of Dr. Weston Price. Dr. Price is someone whose work I base our diet on, but who I thought was very much a fringe figure (even though what he says is so logical).
Basically, Dr. Price, a dentist, traveled the world in the early 20th Century trying to figure out why so-called “primitive” people who didn’t have dentists had perfect teeth. Along the way he found that they all shared certain dietary characteristics that seemed to contribute to their good health: no cavities, no crooked teeth, and awesome fertility.
His findings aren’t surprising: People in remote villages in Switzerland, the Pacific Islands, Africa, South America etc., etc., didn’t eat any processed food — duh. Their milk was unpasteurized (raw). They ate a lot of fish eggs for fertility.
The fish eggs thing made me laugh because I remember a fish-egg Korean soup that I thought was disgusting, which I mentioned to my friend that I should start liking it. Now, my friend (who is 40, mind you) is so dang fertile, she forgot a SINGLE birth control pill for only a few hours … and oops, there’s her daughter. She reached into the fridge and pulled out these little Korean fish things (whole fish) that she loves to eat for snacks. “Hey, these things are FULL of eggs!” she said. (I now eat them for snacks, they aren’t bad, but there are other ways to get fish eggs: salmon eggs will do; that Greek dip, taramosalata, is all eggs.)
Anyway, fish eggs are just part of it. I was happy to get a copy of Healing Our Children: Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting, by Ramiel Nagel. Nagel has basically taken much of the Weston Price philosophy and made it user friendly for people (men, too) who are specifically trying to conceive. It’s a great book, one that not only gives ideas, but also gets into the spiritual side of conception, pregnancy, and childrearing, something that is often forgotten in the quest for the pregnancy.
The other reason I think this wisdom makes so much sense is that Dr. Price noted that in cultures where people get proper nutrition, their jaws are wide enough that people have perfect teeth (i.e., don’t need braces) and don’t get cavities. My parents left Korea in the 50s and had us shortly thereafter, and until they came to America, they didn’t have ANY processed food. White rice was about as processed as it was, so they ended up eating whole foods, TONS of vegetables (especially raw), lean meats, organ parts, fish eggs, seaweed, odd sea creatures, even insects.
So my father passed away without a single cavity. None of us kids had braces, and we have perfect teeth. (I don’t have any cavities, either. I also notice when my pH seems balanced, I don’t even get tartar.)
At the very least, Nagel's book might help in this recession to keep your dental bills down! Check it out. You can get a free chapter download at the site.