Ladies - this message is important!
We all know that folate is important if you’re in the preconception period or if you’re pregnant (scroll down in my feed for my post on folic acid vs. folate). Our physicians tell us to take a prenatal that contains folic acid and we are good to go. Sometimes, however, this isn’t the whole story.
To keep things simple, the MTHFR (which stands for methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase) genes (there are two) are responsible for converting folic acid (in many prenatal vitamins and fortified foods) to the active form of folate that the body can actually use. Some people have a mutation in one or both of these genes and, as a result, cannot adequately convert folic acid into the useable form in the body (for reference - it is estimated that 30-50% of us have this gene mutation). Why should we care about this? This gene mutation can result in folate deficiency (and folate is a CRITICAL preconception/pregnancy nutrient that helps to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida or anencephaly), high homocysteine levels and miscarriage.
You can get genetic testing done to confirm whether or not you have this gene mutation but for all of my preconception/pregnancy clients, I recommend a good quality prenatal vitamin that already contains the active form of folate (simply look at the label of your prenatal to see that it says 5-MTHF or L-methylfolate instead of folic acid)
If you’ve had recurrent miscarriages, preeclampsia or genetic issues with another pregnancy, I recommend talking to your physician about testing for this gene mutation.
Have you heard of this gene mutation before? Let’s chat in the comments!
Please share this post - if 30-50% of is are affected, someone will benefit from hearing this message.
Until next time,
Chromosomal abnormalities are one of the major causes of miscarriage during the first trimester. What isn't really talked about is how much our diet and lifestyle can impact the health of our eggs and sperm. One of the major areas of focus are antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect eggs and sperm from the impact of oxidative stress. We want to make sure that we're incorporating at least 4-6 cups of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables every single day to optimize our intake of these nutrients. I love berries as a great source of antioxidants (and a great source of fibre as well - if you haven't seen my last post about the importance of fibre for eliminating excess estrogen, I encourage you to check it out).
Are you eating 4-6 cups of fruits and vegetables each day? What is your favourite way to prepare your vegetables so that you enjoy eating them?
Let me know in the comments.
Hope you enjoyed this quick tip!
Until next time,
One thing I focus on with my clients is fibre intake. Fibre intake is important for general health but it is especially important when my clients are dealing with issues related to hormone imbalance.
One of the major ways we detox excess estrogen from the body (among many other things) is by having a bowel movement everyday (and we all know that fibre can be really helpful for regularity). Research has shown that by increasing our fibre intake, we can reduce the amount of circulating estrogen in our body.
Some of my favourite sources of fibre are cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.) and things like chia seeds and ground flaxseed.
I like to aim for between 25-40 grams of fibre per day (tip: make sure you increase slowly so that you don't cause too much digestive upset and also make sure you’re drinking enough water!)
To give you an idea of the approximate amount of fibre in these foods - I'll outline them here:
Broccoli (2 cups): 5 grams
Cauliflower (2 cups): 4.5 grams
Brussels sprouts (2 cups): 8 grams
Chia seeds (2 tbsp.): 7 grams
Ground flaxseed (2 tbsp.): 8 grams
Raspberries (1 cup): 8 grams
With a good strategy, you can hit the 25-40 grams of fibre per day but it takes a bit of thought, in most cases!
Have you thought of how much fibre you're getting each day? What is your favourite source and how do you incorporate it?