Did you know that what you eat can help you conceive?
This will be part of a 4-series article on dietary guidelines for fertility. This article focuses on pre-conception. Next we will explore before ovulation; during ovulation; and after ovulation.
Supporting the endocrine system and reproductive organs, the fertility diet consists of eating more of certain types of foods known to increase fertility; while avoiding types of foods known to disrupt hormonal balance, impair ovulation, increased acidity in the body and suppressing the immune system.
How you eat before conception can make a world of difference in your ability to conceive and in your ability to carry a healthy pregnancy to term.
Here are some guidelines for both partners for improving quality of sperm and eggs.
- Eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible to avoid pesticides and herbicides.
- Eat organic dairy products that do not contain hormones or antibiotics. If you are experiencing endometriosis or fibroids, you should avoid dairy products altogether because they contain estrogen which stimulates their growth. If you PCOS, you should also avoid dairy.
- Eat only lean red meat that is grass fed or organically grown. Conventionally grown cattle contain hormones, antibiotics and other contaminants that contribute to excess estrogen. Eat red meat only once or twice a week. Eat a very small amount, no more that 4 oz. at a time.
- Eat only white meat like chicken that is free range or organically grown to avoid hormones and antibiotics which can disrupt your hormonal balance.
- Eat fish that is fresh and comes from deep sea waters. Select sole, tilapia, cod, and salmon. Avoid farmed salmon, tuna, shark, and sea food because they contain high level of heavy metals.
- Eat plenty of legumes because they are high in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar reducing fertility issues associated with PCOS and contain a good source of protein.
- Eat whole grains and avoid processed and refined white flour foods. Select pasta and breads made with spelt flour, brown rice, amaranth, millet, buckwheat or quinoa. Avoid flours that are made with GMO’s.
- Make sure your fertility diet is high in fiber because it helps the body eliminate excess estrogen. Also, it lowers your blood glucose.
- Do not eat soy products unless they are fermented like miso or tempeh. Soy has estrogenic effects and it is not indicated if you are trying to conceive but most importantly you should avoid it during pregnancy and lactation.
- Avoid drinking soy beverages. Select brown rice beverages instead.
- Drink fresh juices. Learn how to juice your own fruits and vegetables. You will greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant because they have lots of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.
- Avoid commercial fruit juices because the pasteurization process destroys vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
- Avoid refined sugars. Choose natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, stevia or agave nectar.
- Drink lots of water – 6 – 8 glasses a day. Avoid drinking tap water because it may contain harmful chemicals.
- Include essential fatty acids into your diet. Make sure you eat plenty of omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids. Select healthy vegetable oils like flax seed oil, oil of olive, hemp oil and coconut oil.
- Give up smoking, drinking alcohol and coffee.
Next week – Fertility Diet Guidelines Before Ovulation.