Eating a profertility diet
A healthy diet is the most significant health change you can make to improve fertility.
There are some things you just can’t control but eating certain foods while avoiding others can be very powerful to improve fertility.
How should a profertility diet vary from a healthy wholefood diet?
A profertility diet requires foods that are dense in specific nutrients necessary to support hormone production, ovulation, egg and sperm health, implantation, pregnancy and beyond. It also builds up nutrient stores to support pregnancy, breast feeding and a healthy baby. Ther is abundant evidence supporting the impact of dietary changes on improved fertility, reduced miscarriages and a healthy pregnancy and baby.
A profertility diet provides anti oxidants protecting egg and sperm health from free radical damage, is rich in good fats supporting hormonal balance, provides and abundance of vitamins, minerals and proteins and includes some live foods- yoghurt, kefir, fermented vegetables.
· An abundance of organic fruit and vegetables. Investing in organic foods to avoid herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides will assist with all aspects of fertility, pregnancy and baby health. Baby doesn’t need to start life with a toxic load!
· Wild-caught, cold water fish supporting omega 3 fatty acids. Smaller fish like sardines will have lower rates of mercury and other heavy metals.
· Good fats from nuts and seeds
· Grass-fed and preferably organic meat
· Only free-range and organic chicken and eggs
· More protein from vegetables than animals
· Whole grains as opposed to refined white flours and processed foods
· Go gluten-free. Gluten found in wheat, rye and barley is inflammatory to everyone! There are delicious alternatives – buckwheat, quinoa, rice, amaranth, organic oats.
· High fibre is necessary to regulate blood-sugar levels, support healthy hormone balance and assist gut health which can get a little sluggish in pregnancy! A wholefood diet will supply the necessary fibre.
· Live foods. Fermented foods will support your microbiome and baby’s too.
· An abundance of clean water. Bottled water should be avoided as the plastics in some bottles may contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Tap water may contain chemical residue from agricultural runoff, or additives like fluoride, chlorine or aluminium. A reverse osmosis water system is beneficial as it will remove the additives and heavy metals.
Foods to avoid
· Sugar, soft drinks and fruit juice
· Soy, unless fermented like miso or tempeh. Soy can be hormone disrupting as well as conferring other health risks.
· Milk, unless organic and full-fat. Most people find milk inflammatory to the gut. A2 full- fat milk is a better choice.
· Low-fat dairy products
· Transfats and poly unsaturated vegetable fats. Throw out margarine, canola oil and don’t use any spread that has been tampered with (ie- easy to spread). Choose only products as close to their natural form as possible, like butter! Fried foods are neither pro-fertility, nor pro-health. Don’t be duped by marketing ploys or industry endorsed ticks (heart foundation). Healthy fats are the building blocks for hormones, fight inflammation, facilitate and make healthy sperm so it is essential to make the right choices at this time.
· Coffee can affect hormonal balance interfering with ovulation and increased chance of miscarriage, so judicial consumption is necessary.
· GMO foods
· Fat-free foods