Fertility Food Friday: Grilled Vegetable and Farro Salad

Fertility boosting recipe by Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver


Recipe by Krista A. Parr

Farro is an ancient strain of wheat with a much lower gluten content and a much higher protein content than common wheat. It’s also packed with magnesium, zinc, iron, B vitamins and fiber; all important elements of a balanced fertility diet. With a mild nutty flavor and a chewy but firm texture, farro really works well in salads. Better than quinoa, in my opinion, because it won’t become soggy after marinating in the fridge with veggies and dressing after a few days. While there are many nutrients in this salad that are supportive of male and female fertility, its best quality may be that it sets you up for healthy eating success.  Once you have this salad in your fridge (it makes a very large batch!) it is a quick, healthy, nutrient-dense meal or snack that is ready to eat with no further preparation. It’s also versatile: bring to a potluck or picnic, serve as a side dish with whatever is going on the BBQ, or pack it for lunch on top of a bed of lettuce and an avocado on the side. You may wonder why the recipe asks you to melt butter to grill the veggies rather than simply drizzling on olive oil. Butter is a saturated fat which is not easily damaged by high heat cooking (ie. BBQ). Damaged fats behave like free radicals in your body, causing damage to your tissues. As a mono-unsaturated fat, olive oil is more delicate than butter and easily damaged by heat, light, and air. When you consume olive oil raw, it rewards you with numerous health benefits, but when you heat it (especially high heat like BBQ grilling), olive oil becomes a damaged, dangerous fat. If you don’t want to use butter, coconut oil is another great option for high-heat cooking.

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Wellness Wednesday: Breath and Balance

holistic fertility health

Photo credit: Pat Young for Lululemon

By Karen Weggler of the Movement Studio

Balance is our true nature. We are comprised of 50 trillion cells all living together in the complex, cooperative community of our body; and that body inherently has the capacity to be balanced. Yet it often doesn’t feel that way in the day to day, busyness of life.

Breath is a fabulous way to connect to your body, your centre, and the balance that is our true nature.  We take approximately 26,000 breaths a day.  We breathe in, we breathe out.  Sounds simple, yet many of us don’t breathe well, having adopted less than optimal strategies due to stress or poor postural habits which affect our body and mind in a plethora of ways.  We need to reconnect with breath to allow it to become the friend it once was – one that we can take comfort in and go to for support both emotionally and physically.

Becoming connected to the breath asks that we become inquisitive and bring a quality of attention to it that is investigative and curious.  When we experience something differently – really feel and experience it in our bodies rather than just thinking it – we begin to change habits and develop new patterns that might better serve us.  Because the way we breathe, or don’t breathe, is integrally linked to our bodies neurologically, cellular and chemically, attending to it connects us with these systems in a healthier, more meaningful way.

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Wellness Wednesdays: Taking Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to Enhance your Fertility

By Dr. Jeda Boughton, BodaHealth

Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to enhance both female and male fertility.

Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to enhance both female and male fertility.
(Photo Credit: RenegadeHealth.com)

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that we consume naturally in our diets. It functions much like a vitamin to increase energy production and acts as an antioxidant in your body. Although CoQ10 was originally touted as an important supplement to increase cardiac and neurological health, today studies are showing that this vitamin-like substance also enhances fertility. Though CoQ10 is a substance found in meat, fish and specific fruits and vegetables, supplementation is a worthwhile consideration for women hoping to conceive.

Scientists believe that the fertility-enhancing effects of CoQ10 on women are due to the roles this substance plays on energy production. Levels of CoQ10 in women’s bodies diminish as we age which leaves fewer energy resources to endure the high-energy activities of fertilization and the subsequent development of an embryo. A recent study in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility found that older women could benefit from supplementation with CoQ10. The health of a woman’s eggs was improved by supplements of 600 mg per day and fertilization rates were increased as well.

CoQ10 has also been shown to enhance male fertility.  A study published in the Journal of Andrology examined the role of CoQ10 on male fertility. The research found that supplementation with 200-300 mg of CoQ10 each day significantly increased sperm motility as well as sperm count and the overall health of sperm. Another important study, which appeared in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, measured CoQ10 levels in seminal fluid and found that low levels are correlated with low sperm motility. Supplementation with CoQ10 was shown to increase sperm motility thereby enhancing fertility.

In my practice treating fertility holistically with acupuncture and herbal medicinals, we also offer our patients one of two forms of CoQ10:

CoQ10 Ubiquinone (oxidized) – be sure to choose a product that contains 100% natural tran-isomer.  If it does not use the word “trans” on the label then it is likely a synthetic version that will not be effective.

Ubiquinol – a reduced form of CoQ10. Studies suggest that this form has increased bioavailability for mitochondrial energy production.  This is a more expensive product, however, a lower dose is needed to achieve the same results.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist and Director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, B.C. To book a free consultation call 604-733-2632 or visit www.bodahealth.ca. For more tips on thyroid health, like our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BodaHealth.


Dr. Jeda Boughton and our clinic’s medical director, Dr. Sonya Kashyap, will be hosting a free seminar during Canadian Infertility Awareness Week. During the talk, you will receive valuable strategies to increase your change of getting pregnant:

  • Improve your reproductive health through Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Lifestyle choices that work best to increase fertility
  • Learn how our clinic has helped thousands of families realize their dreams of a happy, healthy baby

Bring your questions to this rare opportunity to dialogue with the two doctors.

Topic: Discover the 5 Essential Keys to Optimizing Your Fertility
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Location: The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (300 – 604 West Broadway, Vancouver)
Cost: Admission is FREE (seating is limited)

To register, please call 604.733.2632 or email info@bodahealth.ca

Wellness Wednesdays: How and Why Optimizing BMI Improves IVF Success Rates

By: Dr. Sonya Kashyap & Dr. Spence Pentland

how BMI affects your fertility and IVF

BMI Index Comparison (Women) [Image Credit: Weightlossmex.com]

 A recent article by Postmedia News’ Sharon Kirkey highlighted Canada’s fertility specialists’ on-going discussion about whether guidelines should be established for helping (or not helping) severely obese women get pregnant.

So why is weight playing a role in the fertility treatment debate?

Most people are already familiar with the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight: being overweight increases your risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes while being underweight can have negative effects on your heart, immune system and bone density. But your body mass index (BMI) can also play an important role in the success or failure of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

BMI-based body size guides for women and men [Image Credit: International Journal of Obesity]

BMI-based body size guides for women and men [Image Credit: International Journal of Obesity]

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