THE OPTIMAL FERTILITY DIET – HOW TO EAT TO GET PREGNANT QUICKER AND HEALTHIER
Nutrition plays an undeniably vital role when it comes to having a healthy body and reproductive system. Hormones are made from building blocks that are found in the foods that we consume. Additionally, free radicals that damage egg and sperm cells can be counteracted with antioxidants, which are also found in healthy, live, vibrant foods. But just as certain foods can improve health and reproductive wellness, many foods and chemicals can also negatively affect our overall well-being and reproductive health.
Healthy eating has become a confusing, and often contradictory, topic. To make things even more confusing, a diet that supports optimal fertility will not necessarily look exactly the same as a “normal”, healthy, whole food diet. A fertility diet may include foods that are foreign to you, or that you just don’t incorporate into your daily diet. The basic principle of a fertility diet is to include foods that promote egg and sperm health, as well as nutrients that are vital to proper hormone production, hormone balance and even fetal development! It is a way of eating that will provide the best start to a new life together for you and your unborn child. A fertility diet is accessible to anyone, regardless of health status, age or financial means.
Eating a fertility diet is one of the most important changes you can make when preparing for pregnancy. In a recent paper published in “Obstetrics & Gynecology”, Harvard researchers determined that there was an 80% decrease in infertility when making lifestyle changes that included eating a fertility diet. How can you argue that?
What are the benefits of eating an Optimal Fertility Diet?
1. It provides loads of vitamins and minerals for general health and well-being.
2. It provides antioxidants to protect egg and sperm cells from free radical damage.
3. It provides the proper fats needed for the body to produce hormones and to maintain proper hormonal balance.
4. It helps to build nutrient stores for pregnancy and thus boosts the health of your unborn child.
5. It gives an abundance of energy and vitality, something you need in pregnancy, and beyond!
What are the guidelines to an Optimal Fertility Diet?
1. Eat only grass-fed, organic, whole fat (and ideally raw) milk
Hormones and antibiotics in non-organic milk can cause a build-up of estrogen, which can lead to hormone imbalances. Choose a yummy, healthy alternative like hemp, almond or another nut milk (but avoid soy!).
2. Eat an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables
Not only do organic fruits and vegetables have significantly higher levels of nutrients, but it has also been shown that conventional produce treated with herbicides and pesticides negatively affects both male and female fertility by disrupting endocrine function.
3. Eat only grass-fed, organic meat and pasture-raised, organic chicken
Similar to non-organic dairy products, non-organic meat can also contain high levels of hormones that can lead to high estrogen levels in the body, disrupting hormones and leading to estrogen-dominant conditions, and possibly infertility.
4. Eat only whole, minimally-processed grains
A modest amount of grains is an excellent source or fiber, vitamins and other immune supporting nutrients. Chose sprouted bread or grains such as rice, brown rice or quinoa. Of course, if you have gluten or grain sensitivity, grains are something you should avoid.
5. Eat foods high in fiber
Any natural gynecologist in Denver would suggest you to eat fruits, vegetables and beans that are high in fiber and help regulate blood sugar levels. This is especially important when dealing with fertility issues such as PCOS. Plus, they will keep your bowels regular and thus support the natural detoxification process of the body.
6. Avoid soy, refined sugars and processed foods
Soy should truly be avoided by everyone, but especially by those trying to get pregnant (and definitely by anyone with hypothyroidism). Soy has been shown to have estrogen-like properties, which can wreak havoc on hormonal balance. If you do chose soy, stick with fermented soy products like miso and tempeh. Sugars disrupt blood sugar levels, which compromises immunity. Try a small amount of maple syrup or raw, organic honey instead.
7. Drink lots of water
Drink half your body weight (in ounces) to help promote cellular health, detoxification and hormonal balance. The best type of water is reverse osmosis or distilled, but more importantly, avoid bottled water and any type of unfiltered or tap water. The plastics from bottled water can leak into the water, which have harmful, endocrine-disrupting outcomes on the body. Tap water has been shown to have residue from agricultural run-off in it. Stick to filtered water in a refillable, BPA-free bottle.
Tips and Tricks to make it easy!
1. One way to cover your bases on veggies is to juice. By consuming just one green juice a day, you are covering your bases on many servings of vegetables. Plus, it tastes good!
2. Mix a serving or two of fruit into a delicious smoothie! Add some other fertility boosting food and a handful of spinach, and you’re already on your way to a fiber-filled, vitamin-packed day!
3. Lentils and beans can be made into anything from delicious hummus to brownie recipes! Get creative and look online for interesting recipe ideas…
4. Eggs can be made into omelettes, scrambles, frittatas, hard boiled as a quick snack on the go, or even added to your morning smoothie.
We hope this gets you going on the right foot… We are always available to answer any questions you may have, or for a more in-depth Optimal Fertility Diet consultation, call us to schedule an appointment with Dr Sturm. We can’t stress enough how much diet influences your reproductive health. It is your hands, take charge!