The Fertility Diet: Eating to Support Your Fertility
Did you know diet changes alone can increase your fertility? Studies have shown time and time again that making simple diet changes lowers the risk of infertility and boosts overall reproductive health.
Harvard performed a study that showed an 80% decrease in infertility with the lifestyle changes made by switching to a fertility diet. Women who followed a combination of five or more lifestyle factors, including changing specific aspects of their diets, experienced more than 80 percent less relative risk of infertility due to ovulation disorders, compared to women who engaged in none of the factors, according to a paper published in “Obstetrics & Gynecology”.
Another study published by Fertility and Sterility, 11/10/2011 showed that men who consumed more healthy meals each day had better sperm health and count than men who had poor diet and lifestyle habits. Men that ate a diet rich in a variety of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, with low red meat consumption had better sperm health, count and motility.
By switching to a fertility diet you will:
- Increase nutritional levels by eating whole foods
- Provide the body an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients
- Support healthy fat intake which promotes healthy cholesterol levels for hormonal balance
- Decrease your risk for infertility
Increase reproductive health
- Aid the body in healing
- Aid the body in maintaining a healthy body weight
- Support healthy energy levels
“There is no question whatever about the fact that we are exactly what we eat. There is no other way in which the cells and tissues of our body can be replenished, except from what we eat and drink, and REPLENISHMENT is the great law of life.” -Norman Walker
1. Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables a day as you can
– at least 5 servings of veggies and 3-4 servings of fruit. General serving size is one small peach or 1/2C of veggies. Here are some ideas to get enough fruits and veggies into your diet daily:
- Eat fruits as snacks in between meals
- Eat a large salad as one of your meals
- Make sure 50% of your plate is veggies
- Eat a dark leafy green with dinner
- Drink fertility smoothies
- Drink fresh vegetable juices daily
2. If you eat animal protein focus more on cold water fish instead of beef or chicken. Fish are abundant in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential in a fertility and pregnancy diet. If you are vegetarian in addition to eating beans and lentils daily add some nuts from tip #3 to get Omega 3 daily.
3. Eat 1 heaping teaspoon of ground seed or 1T of seed oil (such as hemp or flax) a day. This will assure that you are eating some essential fatty acids every day. Seeds high in Omega 3 are: flax, hemp, pumpkin, walnut. Seeds high in Omega 6 are: sunflower and sesame.
4. Eat 3-4 serving of WHOLE grains a day. Quinoa, millet, oats and rice are some of my favorites. Amongst many things, whole grains supply B vitamins and fiber which are both essential for a healthy fertility and pregnancy diet. Try to mix it up and eat a wide variety of while grains and avoid processed grains.
5. Drink 8 glasses of clean water a day (reverse osmosis or spring water being the best). Avoid bottled water as the plastics leach estrogen-mimicing chemicals into the water). One tip is to start the day with a quart of water with lemon in it and drink as much as you can upon rising and finish the rest in the next half an hour. That will take care of half of your water for the day and help the body to gently cleanse itself in the morning.
6. Avoid food that is burnt, fried, browned, has hydrogenated oils, saturated animal fats and microwaved foods. These types of cooking and ingredients can cause the body to create free radicals which can negatively affect cell DNA. The key to healthy ova (egg) and sperm is intact DNA. If the DNA has been impaired by free radical damage is one cause of miscarriages, blight ovum and inability to get pregnant.
7. Avoid sugar and sweeteners in all forms – white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Sugar negatively effects the blood sugar levels which can effect hormonal balance and ovulation. A great alternative is stevia.
8. Avoid alcohol on a daily basis and keep the coffee down to one cup or even better quit all together. I like Cafix, it is a great coffee alternative that satiates the coffee taste buds.
9. Take a whole food multivitamin DAILY. When trying to conceive or in preparation it is best to use a whole food prenatal multivitamin that contains folic acid, iron, zinc, b12, and vitamin C… nutrients that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy before you are even pregnant.
10. Drink a fresh juice or make a smoothie daily. Juices and smoothies are a great way to get a huge amount of nutrients in an easy to assimilate form.
If you would like to learn more about eating a natural fertility diet check out these resources:
The Natural Fertility Diet – How to Eat Healthy for Optimal Fertility
The Male Fertility Diet
21 Day Fertility Diet Challenge (a great way to get started on the Fertility Diet)
Fertility Smoothies for Optimal Health.
Do You Know How to Eat for Fertility? Here are My
Top 10 Fertility Diet Tips…