Every year we celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. This is a day each year to engage in activities that help support and improve our communities. So take some time today to find a way to help support your community! For more information or to find opportunities near you check out the links below.
Infertility and desire for children – can nutrition help? In fact, countless couples would like to have children, but pregnancy may not happen. According to the Cologne-based Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), every seventh partnership remains unintentionally childless. The causes of infertility are manifold if the longed-for desire to have children is not fulfilled. In addition to the advancing age of the partners, body weight also plays a role. Stress, hormonal disorders, diseases, medications, as well as an unbalanced diet, luxury products, especially alcohol and nicotine, can also have an impact. If pregnancy does not occur one to two years after stopping contraceptives, both partners should consult a specialist in order to clarify possible medical reasons for infertility. Sperm quality, fallopian tube dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, diseases such as endometriosis, thyroid dysfunction, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are possible causes that can stand in the way of pregnancy. Very few of these causes are congenital, but arise from diseases, surgery or an unhealthy lifestyle. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) About 15 percent of women of childbearing age suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is one of the most common hormonal imbalances in women. It involves the increased production of male hormones such as testosterone. Too much testosterone interferes with the development of the follicles. The follicles cannot mature and atrophy prematurely. In addition to an excess of male hormones, insulin resistance can also be a cause for the incomplete formation of the follicles. As a result, ovulation fails to occur, menstrual cycles lengthen or menstrual bleeding (amenorrhea) stops completely. This process is controlled in the pituitary gland – the “control center” for hormonal balance – because the pituitary gland produces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH). Both together regulate the menstrual cycle, i.e. FSH ensures that the oocytes mature and LH stimulates ovulation and corpus luteum formation. In PCOS, LH production is increased and FSH production is decreased. Higher levels of LH contributes to the increased production of androgens, male sex hormones, in the ovaries, which are converted to estrogen with the help of FSH in fatty tissue. However, since FSH levels are reduced in PCO syndrome, less estrogen is converted, resulting in excess androgen that prevents a normal cycle. Other accompanying symptoms that can occur, in addition to infertility, with an increased androgen level (male sex hormones) are acne, hair loss, disturbed fat metabolism or high blood pressure. In overweight women, PCOS occurs much more frequently, especially when fat cells increasingly settle on the abdomen. The abdominal fat is the production site for inflammatory molecules including TNF-α, interleukin-6. Likewise, hormones are increasingly produced in the fat cells, which can create a hormonal imbalance. As early as the late 1980s, scientists drew attention to the fact that the distribution of fat in the body has an impact on our health. In many people, body weight and BMI (body mass index) are not significantly elevated, but they still have fat deposits (visceral fat) on the abdomen. The measure used to determine whether increased visceral abdominal fat is a risk factor is waist circumference, which should not exceed 35 inches (88 cm) in women, according to the International Diabetes Federation. For men, the limit is an abdominal girth of 40 inches (102 cm). However, obesity not only increases the probability of PCO syndrome, but also the probability of insulin resistance (which often occurs in connection with PCO syndrome). The body’s cells hardly respond to the signals of the insulin, which transports sugar from the blood into the body’s cells. The decisive factor is the fact that less adinopectin is produced in fat cells. Adinopectin is needed to activate the GLUT-4 transporter present in the cells, which allow sugar to enter the cells. As a result, less sugar is absorbed into the cell for energy supply. The body tries to counteract this and signals the pancreas to produce more insulin in order to maintain the sugar utilization. A vicious circle is triggered, because a constantly high insulin level promotes fat storage and allows fat cells to continue to grow. At the same time, the production of male hormones in the ovaries and kidneys is increased. Obesity is also a problem for men and their sperm quality. Studies have shown that overweight affects sperm quality, i.e. with a body mass index of 25, men lose an average of 25 percent of their sperm. It can be assumed that hormonal changes also take place in men with an augmented increase in fatty tissue, which influence sperm quality. Furthermore, it is known that the fat that accumulates around the testicular vessels increases the temperature in the testicles and thus harms the sperm. The temperature in the testicles is usually 2-3 degrees below the actual body temperature. In addition to clarifying whether a medical cause is the reason why pregnancy is delayed, one should also focus on nutrition. Nutrition has a great influence on fertility in both men and women. With a balanced diet rich in vital substances, as recommended by Metabolic Balance, weight can be gently reduced, hormones can be brought back into balance and thus a basic prerequisite for pregnancy can be created. Furthermore, the acid-base balance benefits from a change in diet, as detoxification processes are stimulated. Weight reduction is absolutely desirable in case of overweight or obesity. The diet should be designed in such a way that the underlying insulin resistance can be reduced, i.e. the insulin sensitivity of the cells can be reactivated. However, this requires stable blood glucose levels and moderate insulin levels. Diets with a lower carbohydrate content and a higher protein content are predominantly recommended. This is easy to practice with Metabolic Balance. In addition to high-quality proteins and complex carbohydrates, an optimal supply of micronutrients is important. Numerous studies have shown that an adequate supply of folic acid is not only important for women who want to become pregnant, but also for men, because folic acid is said to significantly improve the quality of sperm. In addition, a diet rich in folate can reduce the number of sperm with a chromosomal defect and thus prevent possible malformations. Natural folic acid is found mainly in green vegetables, pulses, oatmeal, peanuts and tomatoes. Another trace element that plays a decisive role in the desire to have children is zinc. Zinc promotes the body’s own production of the male hormone testosterone and thus also influences a better quality of sperms and their mobility. In addition, the quantity of sperm is also increased. However, zinc deficiency also significantly affects fertility in women, because cycle disorders can occur and serum concentrations of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone fall below the normal range. Zinc deficiency, even if it prevails only for a short period of time, contributes to limited fertility in both sexes. Meat lovers can now relax, because zinc is found in abundance in various types of meat such as lamb, beef, turkey, but green vegetables, pulses and nuts can also contain a lot of zinc. Science has not yet studied all the micronutrients associated with fertility However, it is certain that selenium, magnesium, vitamin E, C and the B vitamins also help to regulate the hormonal balance in men and women and increase the ability to conceive. Vitamin E – the Greek denomination is tocopherol – roughly translated means “to beget a child” – “to expect a child” – in fact, sufficient vitamin E improves oocyte quality and, incidentally, with vitamin C, also acts as a powerful antioxidant. Perhaps this is the reason why it is now and then called the “vitamin for the desire to have children”. Vitamin E is abundant in cold-pressed oils, seeds, nuts, egg yolk and also in whole grain products. Numerous studies have already shown how important omega-3 fatty acids are for our bodies. In particular, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) have a positive influence on our immune system and are predominantly recommended for inflammatory diseases. After the first trimester of pregnancy at the latest , it is also increasingly important for expectant mothers to be supplied with sufficient omega-3 fatty acids to promote the healthy development of the child. Studies have also found out that EPA and DHA promotes fertility in women and also supports egg implantation. In the study, the recommended amount of EPA/DHA via fish oil capsules was 480 mg per day. Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in fatty sea fish, nuts and linseed oil and should enrich the diet more often. For example, every day a handful of nuts and at least 3 tablespoons of cold-pressed linseed oil can help ensure the supply of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Just as, on the one hand, a balanced diet can have a positive effect on fertility, on the other hand, alcohol, smoking, drugs, excessive exercise or even environmental pollutants can limit fertility. Regular alcohol consumption or smoking disrupts the hormonal balance in both sexes. While oocyte maturation is delayed in women and the menstrual cycle is disturbed, the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate decreases in men and the proportion of defective sperm cells increases.
Studie des Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung und des Institutes für Demoskopie Allensbach, 2007 „Ungewollt Kinderlos“
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Ramezani-Binabaj M, Motalebi M, Karimi-Sari H, Rezaee-Zavareh MS, Alavian S: Are women with polycystic ovarian syndrome at a high risk of non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease? A meta-analysis. Hepat Mon. 2014 Nov 1;14(11):e23235
Richard M. Sharpe;Environmental/liefestyle effects on spermatogenesis; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B; 2010 DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0206
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Dtsch. Aerztblatt 2008 – Studie in Human Reproduction (2008 doi:10.1093/umrep/den036)
Hunt, Curtiss D., et al. “Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentrations, and sperm morphology in young men.” The American journal of clinical nutritions 56.1 (1992): 148-1571
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Joham AE, Ranasinha S, Zoungas S, Moran L, Teede HJ: Gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes in reproductive-aged women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar;99(3):E447–452.3):E447–452.
With Metabolic Balance, no one is on their own with their nutrition plan. The heart of our program is the intensive support of the participants our certified coaches. Our coaching services are as unique and varied as our nutrition plans themselves. Today we introduce you to one of our colleagues: Pia Funfack is not only the daughter of the company founders, but has been a successful coach for many years.
Metabolic Balance: Hi Pia, especially at the beginning of the year many people want to lose weight, eat better, simply live healthier. What do you recommend? Pia: The most important thing in order to lose weight safely and permanently, to feel fit and active and to live healthily is food and that in sufficient quantity. So we should not eat too much, but in no case too little, either. In this way, we provide our metabolism and body with all the important building blocks to be able to master all the processes physiologically necessary. Which diet is right for the individual depends, of course, on the person, lifestyle, nutritional goals and much more. People who have a sedentary work and little exercise in their daily lives should be limiting quickly available and short-chain carbohydrates, such as those found in white flour products, sweets, rice or potatoes, and consume long-chain carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and whole-grain rye products. This means simply omitting or reducing the satiating side dish – for example, not eating all the rice at the Asian restaurant, two dumplings or a plate full of mac and cheese at a restaurant, but rather focus on the protein and vegetables first. A meal should always consist of a portion of protein and long-chain carbohydrates such as vegetables and/or salad, as well as be enriched with high-quality oils that contain a lot of omega 3 and omega 6, and thus provide essential fatty acids. If needed, whole-grain rye bread can serve as a filling side dish. Those who don’t want to replace wheat pasta, rice, etc., should at least reduce the amount and consume only little of it. Endurance athletes or people who are a lot on the move are welcome to eat a bit more of the satiating side dish, as they really need the energy from quickly available carbohydrates. It is also important to be mindful and pay attention to personal feelings of hunger and satiety. Often, we eat not because we are physiologically hungry, that is, the body really needs food, but for various other reasons. Often, when we feel hungry, it is enough to drink something instead of eating. We should also ask ourselves where the hunger or appetite comes from. In many cases, one of our senses has been addressed, which then triggers feelings of hunger. Thus, it can happen that only the sight or smell of a food causes a feeling of hunger to arise in us, although we are actually full. In addition to appealing to the senses, various emotions such as stress, loneliness, sadness or boredom can also trigger hunger and cravings. Eating mindfully and paying attention to where hunger comes from can cut down on some unnecessary snacks. The important thing is to consciously decide for or against something and not eat and snack completely without rhyme or reason, just because something is available at that moment. In addition to eating consciously, it is also a good idea to set a goal for your own nutrition. There are various methods of achieving goals, such as the “SMART” principle or, my favorite, the “WOOP” method. If I have a goal in mind, analyzing the way to reach it exactly and setting myself certain milestones, uncovering obstacles on the home stretch and developing strategies to master them, the implementation of a plan usually succeeds best. With all plans and projects, however, one thing should not be forgotten: You should not stress yourself too much and try to treat yourself well. This works especially well with a Metabolic Balance nutrition plan, because you can stop worrying so much about food. You automatically give your body everything it needs by simply sticking to what the plan tells you to do. Healthy eating has never been so easy!
Metabolic Balance: What distinguishes Metabolic Balance from other nutrition programs? Pia: Metabolic Balance differs from other nutrition programs in many ways. We are the only nutrition program that creates an individual nutrition plan for each participant based on 36 blood values as well as the participant’s medical history. Another difference is that Metabolic Balance, contrary to the opinion of many people, does not completely exclude any nutrient group from the diet, as it is the case with strict low-carb diets that completely eliminate starchy carbohydrates from the diet. With Metabolic Balance, the macronutrients fat, carbohydrates and proteins are offered at each meal in the optimal proportion for the respective participant. This ensures that everyone receives the appropriate amounts for themselves and can thus achieve the health goal as well as the desired weight loss without renouncing or feeling hungry. In the long term, Metabolic Balance helps participants leave old unhealthy eating patterns behind and return to their inner signals, to intuitive eating behavior. They know exactly what is good for them, because they can feel the signals of the body again and interpret them correctly. Another success factor in which Metabolic Balance differs from other nutrition programs is, in addition to the individual nutrition plans, the personal and individual coaching. Each participant has his or her own personal Metabolic Balance coach, who provides advice and support and accompanies the participants in a motivating manner until they reach their goal.
Metabolic Balance: Can you tell us more about the importance of coaching? Pia: Coaching is very important for many reasons. First of all, of course, to familiarize the participants with the process and background of the Metabolic Balance program. In the course of the coaching sessions, participants are shown what really matters in a balanced and healthy diet, so that they can achieve and maintain their feel-good weight and health goals in the long term, even without food plans. Of course, it is also important to motivate the participants during the dietary change. In addition to nutritional knowledge, mental issues are also addressed in coaching. Participants are thus helped to identify their very personal “stumbling blocks” on the home stretch to their desired weight or increased well-being and to develop solutions to avoid them in the future. The fun of healthy eating is always in the foreground.
Metabolic Balance: Thank you, dear Pia, for this first insight into our nutrition concept. We look forward to many more participants, whom you and your team will successfully accompany to their goal.
Metabolic Balance was founded in 2002 by Dr. Wolf Funfack and ever since then the Metabolic Balance program has continuously been developed and optimized. This program promotes the natural healing of nutritional diseases through whole and unprocessed foods. Nutritional diseases including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, are far too prevalent in our society but are all treatable or even reversible. In addition to improving your health this program can also help you reach a natural and sustainable weight. Are you interested in incorporating Metabolic Balance into your practice? Visit us today and we will help you get started!
Photo: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand
Whether you want to lose weight, get fitter or improve your disease symptoms – Metabolic Balance supports you on the way to your personal goal. Always set yourself realistic goals – “Losing 20 lbs in one week” is demotivating just by reading it. Instead of getting frustrated by unattainable goals, it is better to motivate yourself with achievable phases and realistic intermediate goals. “Losing 2 lbs per week” is not only feasible, it also gives you a wonderful feeling when you see the result on the scale.
This curry tofu recipe is super simple to prepare and perfect as a lunch or dinner!
Ingredients: 1 serving of smoked tofu 1 serving of vegetables (e. g. cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) Olive oil Curry powder Salt and pepper Black sesame seeds Preparation: Wash the vegetables and blanch them in salted water. Roast the sesame seeds in a dry pan and set aside. Cut the smoked tofu into cubes. Heat olive oil with curry, add the tofu, and add the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat to allow the flavors to mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving and enjoy!
A wonderful vegetable, delicious any time of the year is the brussels sprout! Brussels sprouts are walnut-sized and light to dark green – actually grape-like arranged buds of this cabbage plant. Like green cabbage, brussels sprouts taste best after the first frost, when their sugar content moderates their bitter taste and makes their cell structure more delicate. Usually brussels sprouts are cooked and tossed in butter as a side dish, but they also taste good in casseroles, as soup or very thinly sliced even raw. Brussels sprouts have 4.7 percent of valuable plant protein with amino acids that the body can easily utilize. It is also an excellent vitamin C donor in winter and also provides the vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid, iron, potassium and plenty of fiber. Brussels sprouts are also used in folk medicine to reduce both weakness and tension, to facilitate weight loss, to eliminate constipation and acidification, and to prevent atherosclerosis. With a glucosinolate content of 237 mg per 100 g of vegetables, it is also associated with cancer prevention!
Here at Metabolic Balance we take the guess work out of what to eat and when to eat it. Each nutritional plan is developed specifically for each individual because it is created using: • your blood values • your measurements • your personal data
Imagine spending this time after the holidays with your own personal nutrition plan with healthy, varied meals. 8 rules, a smartphone app, and an online community to guide you. As we start this New Year, isn’t it time to make a change? Connect with one of our coaches today and start your journey.
Credit: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand
We start the new year with the very best resolutions concerning health. Losing weight, eating healthier, cooking fresh food and simply taking more care of yourself are just a few of the most popular goals. The rules for eating according to Metabolic Balance will help you to keep your resolutions:
1. 3 decent meals a day will do. Snacks in between are taboo.
2. 5 hours break between meals.
3. Each meal should not last longer than 60 minutes.
4. 1 type of protein per meal, 3 different ones per day (e.g. cheese in the morning, legumes at lunch, fish in the evening).
5. 1 to 2 bites of the protein portion at the beginning of each meal – this stimulates the satiety hormone right away.
6. Do not eat anything after 9 pm in the evening.
7. Drink enough water throughout the day (5 ml per kg body weight).
8. An apple a day, keeps the doctor away – 1 apple a day is a must.