Clean Eating boosts your immune protection to help you heal from HPV, increase fertility and the factors that contribute to a healthy pregnancy. In Part 3 of her series on HPV and fertility, Dr. Doni lays out five Clean Eating Actions you can take right now, even in the midst of your busy lifestyle!
Part 3 of Dr. Doni’s Series on HPV & Fertility
In Part 2 of this series on HPV and Fertility, I talked about environmental toxins in your home (and your beauty cabinet) and how they may be affecting you. By now, I hope you are beginning to see just how much epigenetics (i.e. stress exposure and recovery) plays a HUGE part in your HPV status and in your health in general!
Part 3 is about how what you eat can be a major factor in HPV healing as well as fertility. I’ll explain what Clean Eating is, how to do it, and some practical tips on how to get started using food as medicine.
Clean eating is absolutely essential for boosting your immune protection to fend off HPV. It can also increase the healthy mechanisms in the endocrine and reproductive system that contribute to a healthy pregnancy.
What Do I Mean By Clean Eating?
Clean eating may sound like a pretty vague term, but there is actually a LOT packed into it. In the following sections, I’ll get into the details of what clean eating is. But before I do that, I want to ask you a question.
Have you ever thought of food as not just something you put in your mouth? What if you began to think of each bite as either helping you or hurting you when it comes to HPV and your desires for a healthy baby?
The truth is that food can hurt you or it can be powerful medicine that can greatly contribute to your healing. And the good news is that the same clean eating actions you take to address HPV can give you more energy and vitality, help you to recover from stress, and increase the chances of making your health dreams (including your pregnancy goals) a reality.
5 Easy Clean Eating Actions
#1 Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods are unprocessed, unrefined, and in their natural state. They do not have any manufactured ingredients nor added flavorings, preservatives, colors, or sweeteners. Simply put, you use them just as they are made in nature.
Think of an apple or a carrot. You clean it off and bite into its juicy goodness. These are examples of whole foods!
Whole foods don’t necessarily need to be eaten in their raw form, however. For example, a cooked whole grain like quinoa can be a whole food if it is organic and simply cooked with other natural ingredients. Meats and dairy can be whole foods too if they are pasture-raised, organic, and free of additives, GMO ingredients, hormones, or antibiotics (given to the animal when they were alive or added after the meat is harvested).
Summer squash that is thrown into a sauté with a little butter or avocado oil, a fresh salad with all the fixing, even a home-baked pizza made with fresh ingredients can all be whole foods.
Who said whole foods can’t be delicious?
So what is not whole food? Basically, anything that is packaged, preserved, wrapped up, or frozen. Think chips, dips, cookies, prepared frozen meals, prepared juices, flavored beverages, or anything that comes from a fast-food restaurant.
Selecting whole foods over processed foods is the foundational guideline for clean eating since whole foods form the basis of almost all anti-inflammatory, healing diets. If you want to heal HPV and increase fertility, do your best to ditch all the packages, pouches, boxes, and plastic-wrapped products and bring in more whole foods. You can’t go wrong!
TIP: Prepare your whole foods meals for the week ahead of time to minimize the prep time for your busy lifestyle. Pick a day, maybe during the weekend for the following week, to plan your meals and make up the fixings for lunches and dinners. Be sure to use glass storage containers.
#2 Eat Organic
Once you have chosen the whole foods that you love (and that are right for your body, we will talk about this in Part 4), the next step is to “go organic!”
In this day and age, going organic with certain whole foods is a must. Pesticides are sprayed on the surface of produce. In addition, harmful, hormone-unbalancing, and cancer-causing chemicals can exist within the fruit or vegetable as well. These can come in the form of GMO, ‘Roundup Ready” foods. GMO foods have been genetically modified to accept Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide. A 2019 report published in the journal Nature found that glyphosate, a known endocrine disruptor, and the main ingredient in Roundup, can produce detrimental effects to the endocrine and reproductive system that can carry over from generation to generation within the same family.
It is also really important to choose organic meats and dairy too. Commercial animal products contain added antibiotics, hormones, and steroids as well as pesticide and metal residues. These residues exist within the meat and byproducts of animals who have been fed GMO corn, wheat, or soy.
The best resources to determine which whole foods you need to “go organic” with is the “Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen” list, as well as the Healthy Living App, put out yearly by the Environmental Working Group.
#3 Eat Metal-Free Fish and Drink Fresh Filtered Water
Some whole foods may also contain heavy metals and metalloestrogens. These chemicals not only affect immunity and brain health; they may also have xenoestrogens which can negatively influence the reproductive system and lower immunity.
One of the biggest culprits is tuna fish and other large, deep-sea fish. Mercury can get stored in their bodies and go right into us when we eat them. In addition to affecting the brain and the nervous system, mercury can also slow methylation. This can be problematic for those with the MTHFR gene mutation especially.
Other kinds of seafood may also contain mercury as well, including shrimp and lobster. Farm-raised fish is also given antibiotics and other hormone-disrupting substances so make sure you always get them with the “Wild Caught” label and that they come from a reliable, responsible source.
And even then, don’t eat fish or seafood every day!
Heavy metals, including mercury, can also be found in municipal water supplies. Tap water may contain halide toxins that can affect the thyroid and throw hormones off. PFAS, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl, are harsh chemicals that come from many industries in our toxic world. PFAS affects the endocrine and reproductive systems in many ways. A 2020 Swedish study found that PFAS exposure led to low infant birth weights as well as early pregnancies.
Make sure that you always filter your water using an RO system and that you supplement with the right amount of Himalayan or sea salt to replace the minerals extracted in the water cleaning process. Consider a filter for your whole water system as well, since your skin is also an entry point for harmful water-borne chemicals. The filter I recommend is AQUASANA.COM.
Finally, be aware of what you cook your food in! Cooking with aluminum may cause the absorption of up to 3 times the recommendations put out by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Aluminum has been connected to neurotoxicity as well as nervous system disorders and kidney dysfunction in children. Avoid Teflon as well. Even though it is convenient, Teflon contains PFOA, which has a direct link to reproductive system cancers.
A little note about PFOAs: in 2006, major companies promised to phase it out by 2015. However, a report conducted by the Environmental Working Group a full three years later found that the EPA was still approving products that contained it and the companies were not doing much to move forward on cleaner alternatives.
TIP: There are many ways to support detoxification safely and effectively including using specific herbs and upping your water intake, and even getting enough soluble fiber in your diet. Be sure to check out my podcast episode #58 for more information on how to detox for HPV and fertility health!
#4 Eat with Awareness
Now that you are starting to think about what you eat and why, this is the best time to also zero in on how you eat as well.
You may say at this point: I get it! What I eat matters. But how I eat? Come on!
I know it may sound a little way out there but hear me out. The “how” of eating includes everything from how much you eat to what time of day and even your state of mind while you are dining.
For example, did you know that, while a lot of us were trained to “eat everything on our plate,” that may not be the best thing to do, especially if your plate contains a mountain of food?
A lot of time we eat all that is there out of habit. Then we may get a second helping out of habit, courtesy to the person who prepared the meal, or just because it is there. Then we eat in a hurry, maybe talking or doing multiple other things while shoveling every bite down.
But if you are eating quickly and a lot, how do you know when you are really full?
Science has confirmed that it actually takes at least 20 minutes for the neurotransmitters in the gut (yes, they are in there) to tell your brain you have had enough. And that is if all the chemical messengers, such as the satiety hormones leptin and ghrelin, are working correctly! For many people, they are not.
The end result of all the above is “dysbiosis.” This is basically an imbalance in the gut flora. In particular, bad bacteria starts to proliferate and this can lead to not only gas, bloating, mood changes, and brain fog but also Leaky Gut. Be sure to check out Part 4 of this series when I will talk about Leaky Gut and how it is related to both HPV and low fertility.
Even if you don’t have severe Leaky Gut, gut dysbiosis can potentially create the perfect environment for viruses to spread, according to a 2020 study on dysbiosis and COVID-19.
Portion control is only one aspect of the “how’s” of healthy eating. There are so many more. The time of day you eat, your state of mind, and whether we are focusing on our food as we eat or distractive all play a part in our ability to absorb and assimilate food.
As another example, did you know that eating late at night, especially high carb, or sugary foods, can cause an insulin spike and affect your blood sugar levels? This, in turn, can have a negative effect on your sleep.
The body is a miraculous instrument for healing and for living life to the fullest. But we have to meet it halfway and create the best environment we can for it to thrive.
TIP: Good digestion equals good immune function and solid absorption of nutrients that your whole body needs, including your reproductive system. Setting up practices, routines, and habits that assist is paramount. This week, think of one “eating with awareness” habit you can incorporate into your days and then stick to it for the rest of the week!
#5 Eat Healthy When You Go Out (and Still Have Fun)
Now that businesses are starting to open up again after COVID, local restaurants are busier than ever. It is wonderful to be able to sit and enjoy a good meal with family and friends in your favorite diner or fancy restaurant. But how do most restaurants fare when it comes to clean eating? Are there really restaurants out there that can fit the bill?
Indeed, a reliable phone app would be a GREAT resource for those of us who strive to eat healthy while out and about or while on the road (anyone?). In the meantime, a great strategy is to check the Trip Advisor or other travel and entertaining app for listings of healthy options in your area. I also find it helpful to search for “farm and table restaurants”, which are more likely to offer organic, whole foods.
TIP: Another idea is to keep it local and make an adventure out of eating at home by taking a trip to get ingredients at the farmer’s market! If you have small children in your household (or even kids at heart), pile them in the car and head down. Your local farmer’s market is the best place to get fresh, organic produce, dairy, fresh bread, and even meats. What’s more, the farmer will often be there to ask any questions about their product.
Can You Eat Your Way to HPV Recovery and Increased Fertility? You Bet!
Food is powerful medicine. And you get to choose with each bite if you are going down the path of healing with your HPV or further down the rabbit hole of disease. Remember that as you remove all of the things that are causing illness and replace them with healthy alternatives, your body begins to eliminate inflammation and toxins. This creates improvement on all levels, including for your reproductive system and immune system.
For support to transition to eating clean, I suggest following my Stress Remedy 21-day Program, which includes a meal plan and teaches you to eat in a way that tastes good and supports your health at the same time.
And for those of you looking for more information about HPV and how to get it to leave you alone, you can watch my FREE masterclass: What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About Your Pap Results.
Be sure to stay tuned for Part 4 in this series when I will talk about how improving your gut and liver health as well as cutting down on stress can all lower inflammation and improve both fertility and your ability to fend of HPV.
20th April 2021
- Human papillomavirus linked to auto-immune disease
- Basic Information on PFAS
- Gut-lung axis and dysbiosis in COVID-19
- Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review
- Assessment of Glyphosate Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Pathologies and Sperm Epimutations: Generational Toxicology
- PUBLIC HEALTH STATEMENT -Aluminum
- LEAD AND MERCURY EXPOSURES: INTERPRETATION AND ACTION.
- Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Teflon, and Related Chemicals
- Credibility Gap: Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging
- What are the benefits of bone broth?