One of the strongest pieces of advise we in Chinese medicine give our patients is to avoid “cold food.” What do we mean by cold food, and what makes it so bad for fertility?
Cold food isn’t only to be avoided for fertility, but minimizing the intake of cold food is considered better for our digestion and overall health too. Cold food, in terms of Chinese dietary advice, would be certain food types, the temperature it is consumed at, and food that is uncooked. So the main categories of cold foods are:
- Consuming food at a cold temperature, i.e. out of the fridge, or freezer.
- Dairy products (those containing, or made from milk).
- Raw foods.
Generally speaking, cold and raw foods consume more energy to break down. When we cook foods we are adding heat to it. We are doing some of the breaking down and digesting for our bodies. In a similar way, when we at eat cold foods our body needs to expend energy to warm it up, so enzymes can work to digest it. So, by warming it up we spare our bodies the cost of that.
This is not to say that all raw foods are bad. Raw foods contain enzymes that are lost when cooked. But as Americans, we tend to eat too much cold food and raw foods, when it would be better that we be eating warm and cooked foods mainly. Women especially, are vulnerable to too much cold in the body, and they are more likely to be munching on salads to save some calories.
In fertility, warm energy is valuable, and is responsible for the circulation of blood, and warming the tissues. We want a lot of warmth and circulation- in the uterus especially. You probably have heard the terms “yin” and “yang?” When the uterus is cold, there is too much yin and not enough yang. Having warm cooked meals helps to bring that yang in to balance the yin.
If you would like to consult with me concerning your fertility issues, please contact me at the link below.
Eric Hollander, L.Ac. has a practice in San Diego, CA specializing in treating infertility and women’s health issues. He can be reached here and at 619-817-6447.