digestive health and pregnancyA few weeks ago, my husband asked me to make five salads for him so that he could have one for lunch each day.  I cringed at the idea.  It is so against everything I believe in.

I tell all of my fertility patients to stay away from raw and cold foods.  When I start the “no raw foods” conversation with them, reactions range from shock to confusion.  After all, in America, raw foods are quick and easy, and full of nutrition, right?  Let me explain why you should be eating cooked foods, and how it will help you conceive.

Raw Food vs. Cooked

Let’s think of your tummy as an oven.  When you put something raw in the oven it take a lot longer to cook and uses a lot more energy than if you are heating something already cooked.  Similarly when you eat raw and cold foods, it’s going to take a lot more energy to digest than it would take to digest cooked foods.  The organ system that is in charge of digestion is the spleen organ system.  The spleen is a disposable organ in the Western Medicine world, but it’s an indispensable organ in the Chinese Medicine world.  It supplies the energy to nourish the body by extracting them from the foods we eat.

Foods and Your Organs

Each food is associated with a certain organ system.  If the Spleen is overworked by eating excessive amounts of raw and cold foods, it becomes sluggish and energy production slows down.  As a result, the rest of the body becomes sluggish as well, and the rest of the organ systems become malnourished.   Symptoms of Spleen deficiency include fatigue (especially after a meal, known as the “food coma”), bloating, gas, loose bowel movements, bruising easily, heavy menstrual bleeding, and cold hands and feet.

Raw Foods and Fertility

How will all this impact your fertility?  In addition to working hard to supply energy for the body, the Spleen has the additional tasks to send energy to the uterus every month to help thicken the lining, and sustain the pregnancy when conception occurs.  When it’s sluggish, the energy in the uterus will be sluggish.  Not a good scenario when you are trying to get pregnant!  When you eat warm foods, you nourish the spleen, in turn nourishing the rest of your body.  Think of it as preheating the oven.  You wouldn’t want to throw a casserole in the oven without pre-heating it first.  Same thing when it comes to getting pregnant.  We want to preheat the uterine oven, so when that little embryo travels down to the uterus, it has an inviting home to become a sticky bean!