Diet Tips to Help with Fertility
There are so many things that can affect your fertility. If you're part of the growing population that is struggling with infertility problems, I have some diet tips that may help boost your fertility. Having struggled with infertility myself, I know the feelings of anxiety and overwhelm that you may experience throughout your journey.
Start by making these small changes to your daily diet.
Choose Plant Protein Over Animal Protein When You Can.
- There was a study conducted by Harvard with 19,000 females who were trying to conceive. Through this study, the researchers found that women who consumed animal protein were 39% more likely to struggle with infertility problems than the women who consumed mostly plant protein sources.
- Good sources of animal protein can be found in
- Garbanzo Beans
- Vegetarian Chili
Try grabbing any of these for a new recipe this week.
Choose Dark and Leafy Veggies
Folate has been found to help with ovulation. Dark leafy greens are high in folate, such as:
- romaine lettuce
If you have a problem ovulating, such as PCOS, this is something you really want to improve on.
Don't forget to share those leafy green food sources with your man. As you may or may not know, infertility isn't just a problem for the females, males can suffer from infertility too.
Men need certain things in their diet to help with their fertility too. When guys eat leafy greens, it helps promote healthier sperm production and may even increase the sperm count.
If male infertility is something you are experiencing as a couple, there are quite a few food sources that may help improve their condition.
Whole Grains Over Processed or Refined Grains
Whole grains are so good for fertility.
- When you eat something like whole wheat bread versus white (sugary, refined and processed) bread, you are attempting to help regulate your insulin levels.
- When you have processed and refined carbs and sugars, this can increase your insulin levels.
In turn this may interrupt the balance of your reproductive hormones. With an increased glucose level, this can decrease your chances of getting pregnant by up to 50% some studies say.
Choose Healthier Fats and Oils
- Olive oil is a good source of a natural anti-inflammatory. Decreasing inflammation in your body can help you when trying to conceive and can even increase the blood flow to your reproductive organs.
- Salmon and other fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids are great meat choices.
- Foods rich in this can help you regulate your reproductive hormones and also are great for increasing the blood flow to your uterus and other reproductive organs.
- Omega 3 Fatty acids are needed for proper brain and eye development once you're pregnant.
- They also help lower the risk of preterm delivery during pregnancy and lower your risk of developing preeclampsia.
But, please make sure to stay away from fish that have a high level of mercury in them. Check with your doctor to see what they do and don't recommend.
Increase your Daily Fiber Intake
Fiber is so great for when you're trying to conceive.
- Fiber is known for helping your body remove toxins and excess estrogen.
- Fiber can also help lower insulin levels. As you read early, insulin levels can create a huge impact on your reproductive hormones and in turn, your ability to conceive a healthy pregnancy.
Warm Foods vs. Cold Foods
Many holistic fertility providers have studied the impacts of warm and cold foods on the blood flow to your reproductive hormones.
- Warm foods, like soups, provide more blood flow to the uterus. A "warm uterus" promotes growth, acceptance of a healthy pregnancy and good blood flow.
- A "cold uterus" doesn't promote growth and acceptance and has poor blood flow. Some holistic providers may suggest that you stay away from cold foods like ice cream.
During the luteal portion of your cycle (after ovulation and before positive pregnancy test) you will want to eat "warming" foods. This will help increase blood flow to your uterus and other reproductive organs so they can help promote a healthy pregnancy.
Grab your Daily Citrus
Citrus foods like lemons, oranges and limes provide great sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a good source of iron as well. For the guys, Vitamin C has been seen to help improve sperm quantity, motility and morphology.
Foods can impact our bodies differently at different points in our menstrual cycle as well. During the time you think you are going to ovulate, you may find that your body needs more Vitamin B. Vitamin B helps support the release of a healthy egg from the follicle and promotes healthy implantation support of a new pregnancy.
Hydration is Key
Water, water, water. Not enough can be said about water.
- At the very least, water can help promote hormone development to help you produce a quality follicle to release a healthy egg from.
- Drinking the proper amount of water a day can also help with your cervical mucus.
- Thinning out your cervical mucus during the right time of the month, as ovulation approaches, can help healthy sperm get to an awaiting egg without any added trouble.
You may also read that many studies have suggested eating pineapple.
- Pineapple contains bromelain.
- Bromelain helps support a healthy implantation and reduces any inflammation throughout the body.
If you don't care for pineapple, some doctors recommend taking a bromelain supplement.
Avoid the Bad Habits
Steer clear of acidic foods like coffee, alcohol and an excess of meat.
- Too much acidic type foods can cause changes in your cervical mucus and not make it an inviting environment for sperm, interrupting their safe and easy passageway to the egg.
- Too much caffeine can impact your fertility and a developing pregnancy.
Obviously, ditching alcohol and any other habits like smoking are beneficial for your fertility and future pregnancy.
I wish you all the best of luck during your fertility journey. Know that you are not alone! Also note that I am not a doctor and am just sharing tips that have helped me conceive a healthy pregnancy and am sharing thoughts that my doctor shared with me when we were trying to conceive.
About the Author
Victoria Sharp is the founder of One Sharp Mama. She started the site to share stories about fertility, parenting, tips on organization and the occasional recipe. Basically, she wants to share any stories, tips, tricks and products that may help parenting life become a little easier.
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