Mar 19, 2010 11:01 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Fertility Diet: The Fertile Kitchen Cookbook

Cindy Bailey and her husband Pierre Giauque embrace every second of parenthood. Especially since at age 40, doctors told Cindy her chances of conceiving were slim.

"I was devastated to hear I had only a 2% chance," said Cindy.

So Cindy went to work researching ways to improve her diet to boost her fertility. After four months of eating specific foods, she got pregnant and delivered a healthy son, Julien.

Now there's another product of her research. The couple wrote the Fertile Kitchen Cookbook to help others struggling to conceive. The recipes are rich in organic vegetables, fruits, lean meats and healthy fats -- and call for a ban on processed sugar.

Dr. Philip Chenette, the medical director at Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco, agrees with that recommendation. "We know also that fertility is very closely related to the insulin system. And we don't want to have your insulin system activated when you're trying to conceive. And that means avoiding simple carbohydrates like vanilla cake and white bread and things like that. And concentrating on complex carbohydrates."

The book also discourages women from eating dairy products and wheat, in part because they're difficult to digest.

"When your digestive system is doing more work, that means there is basically less energy available to nourish and heal other systems in your body. For example, reproduction," said Cindy.

She also suggests women only drink purified water.

"But to be extreme to say you only need to consume for example purified water that's been distilled, that's not realistic," said Dr. Marjorie Freedman, a nutrition professor. "There's really no evidence that this type of recommendation will help a woman get pregnant."

Doctors may not agree with all of the suggestions in the cookbook, but they do agree there is a food-fertility link.

"I think in the big scheme of things, when you're thinking about trying to conceive, your diet is a very important part," said Dr. Chenette. "But it's probably about 10% of what goes into producing a baby."

Cindy's convinced her diet made all the difference. And with her research and Pierre's cooking skills, the two hope the recipes they've created will one day help other couples enjoy the fruits of parenthood.



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