Like everything else about us, though, our reproductive process developed in response to a certain type of environment – one that didn’t include cars, takeout pizza, or desk jobs. Think of a polar bear: it’s evolved a thick fur coat and a protective layer of fat in response to a specific environmental challenge (cold temperatures). It’s fantastically adapted to living in the Arctic, but if you took one to the Sahara, it would very quickly die. Humans are also adapted to a particular set of environmental circumstances – and when we replace our evolutionary environment with the modern world, we struggle to stay healthy.
Fertility is no exception to this rule. Biologists like to divide lifestyle situations into two categories: “fight or flight” and “rest and digest.” As the name implies, “fight or flight” involves stress and danger; in the modern world, we’re no longer being chased down by tigers, but chronic stress and poor nutrition can keep us stuck in “fight or flight” mode. Unfortunately, when your body is trying to make the choice between a battle and a sprint for your life, it doesn’t have much energy to spare for reproduction. Optimal fertility requires the second state, the “rest and digest” mode, when your body is not stressed, and is enjoying the benefits of plenty of nutritious food. As an evolutionary approach to health and nutrition, Paleo recreates the same kind of “rest and digest” environment that naturally increases fertility, as well as benefitting overall health and well-being.
Dry-Rubbed Flank Steak with Basil Butter
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