Optimize Fertility by Staying
Eating the correct foods is the cornerstone for optimizing
your fertility health.
The Fertility Diet suggests that eating
a diet rich in healthy fats, whole grains, and plant-based protein may help
improve a woman's egg supply which could help her ovulate more regularly and get
pregnant more easily.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains are
packed with beneficial antioxidants like vitamins C and E, folate, beta-carotene
and lutein. Taking an antioxidant supplement or eating antioxidant-rich foods can
improve fertility rates in men with infertility.
North Americans have diets that are conducive to excess
amounts of acid in the body which can lead to sickness and chronic illness and
is also a negative influence to your fertility health.
We learn early in life, the healthy food groups and the
amounts of each we should intake during the course of each day. It is important
to balance the foods we eat. We know we will not ingest only basic and
anti-inflammatory foods, but we need to be sure that we are mindful about
getting enough of these “good” foods every day so our bodies stay balanced and
healthy. Eating anything in excess will potentially be an unbalanced diet for
our body and unhealthy for our minds.
Severe restrictions like eating one type of nut, using one
type of oil, or completely eliminating things like chocolate or occasional
caffeine consumption can have a negative effect on our moods. It could also
increase the intake of other unhealthy “comfort” foods unnecessarily. Eating a little of everything in moderation
is the best way to live a healthy life.
Foods to Eat Regularly
While some fruits are very acidic like the citrus
varieties, when digested they have a very basic effect. If possible try to eat
a variety of organically grown fruits. Some fruits are very acidic; however,
eating a variety provides the nutrients your body needs. If you think about all the colors of fruits,
you’ll find there are many. Try to have
each “color” at least 5 times a day, if possible.
Fresh vegetable are the basis to healthy eating. Focus on
having as many servings of vegetables per day. Once again, variety plays a key
role in healthy balanced nutrition. Meals should be planned around vegetables
with side servings of other foods. Raw
vegetables are great! Salads are always
beneficial and you can add fruits, nuts, carrots, broccoli, and beans and
pretty much anything you enjoy. Some of
us don’t relish spicy peppers but the benefits of their anti-inflammatory
powers are excellent. Make vegetables
the base of your pyramid.
Protein sources will add years to your life. Sources can include chicken, peanut butter,
milk, yogurt, beans, nuts and seeds. Seafood is also an excellent choice for
healthy protein. Try to minimize fatty red meats and avoid processed meats such
as sausage, bacon, ham, salami, etc. If you’re not a seafood and beans person then
skinless chicken and of course eggs are an option for a good source of healthy
protein for your diet.
Consuming seafood does provide our bodies with the
essential fatty acids; however, there is the potential to consume high levels
of mercury. There are studies that say farmed raised fish may have high levels
of polychlorinated biphenyls which are linked to cancer. Limit your seafood intake to a few servings
each week to get the essential fatty acids only.
Good oils (Olive/Flaxseed/Pumpkin/Canola)
Foods high in Omega-3's (wild salmon/green soybeans/dairy)
Whole grains breads/pastas (Gluten free grains)
Water (Minimum of 64 ounces daily)
green vegetables, Spinach, broccoli, bok choy, Swiss chard and kale
cereals ( 100% of the recommended daily value)
- Beans and nuts.
Folic Acid/Folate: This B vitamin (B9) is one of the most
important nutrients you can take before
and during your pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
say that women should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid at least one
month before getting pregnant. Because it
is hard to find in foods, a supplement is recommended. Folic Acid/Folate also
aids in preventing birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.
Calcium: Calcium keeps your reproductive
system functioning smoothly and may help you conceive faster. About 99 percent
of your calcium intake will store up for your teeth and bone health; however,
it’s important to get as much now before pregnancy because you’ll need a stable
supply for the baby’s future teeth and bone health and development. If the stored
calcium is low when you’re pregnant, your body will take the calcium from your
bones and give it to the developing fetus which might raise your risk of
osteoporosis in the future. Great sources of Calcium are milk, cheese, kale and
broccoli. Try to get about 1,000 mg of calcium each day.
Iron: Women with adequate iron stores
have less trouble getting pregnant than women with lower levels. This mineral
helps shuttle oxygen throughout the body which will be important once you’re
delivering oxygen to the baby. Have your doctor screen for an iron deficiency since
too little iron could increase your baby’s risk of being underweight or
premature. Women need about 18 mg per day. Good sources of Iron are fortified
cereals, lean meats and spinach.
Fatty acids: This is one fat that you may
need to include more of in your pre-pregnancy diet. That’s because omega-3
fatty acids may help regulate key ovulation-inducing hormones and increase
blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Now is also a good
time to cut back on saturated fats, which are found in butter and red meat, and
to try to avoid trans-fat (found in processed foods like chips and cookies).
Although many prenatal vitamins contain omega 3s, it may be best to get them
from whole foods. Great sources are seafood, grass fed-beef, nuts and seeds.
Iodine helps your
body make thyroid hormones which control your metabolism. If you’re trying to
get pregnant, aim to get 150 mcg daily. It can be found naturally in some foods
and is added to others. Sources include milk, dairy, cheese, iodized salt.
Fiber: Fiber and slowly-digestible
carbohydrates like fiber in your diet might help boost your fertility levels. Increasing
your fiber intake by 10 grams daily can lower your risk of developing
gestational diabetes by 26 percent. Food sources of fiber include whole grains,
high-fiber cereals, fruits, vegetable, beans and legumes.
Healthy Eating Tips
When Trying to Get Pregnant
more fruits and veggies! Vegetables provide a hefty dose
of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and magnesium, while fruits offer up vitamin A,
vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Aim to eat 4 to 5 servings of veggies (at least
two should come from leafy greens) and 3 to 4 servings of fresh fruit.
your sugar intake! No one can swear off sugar entirely, but it’s smart to
temper your sweet tooth whenever possible. Too much refined sugar in foods like
cookies, donuts, candy, pastries might interfere with your chances of getting
your eating habits! Speak with your doctor if you follow a restricted diet.
good (food) hygiene! Food poisoning is dangerous for anyone but when you’re
pregnant, it can lead to premature birth and other potential problems. In
addition, some foodborn illnesses can affect your baby’s health even before
you conceive. The FDA recommends limiting your consumption of albacore tuna to
6 oz. per week during pregnancy.
skip meals! You might prefer to
sleep through breakfast or work through lunch, but we guarantee you that baby
will think differently. Eat three healthy meals a day so when your baby is here
you’ll be able to feed him/her with a steady stream of nutrients throughout
back on caffeine! When you’re trying to conceive, you should drink no more
than 200 mg a day, or about one 12-oz cup of coffee. Keeping it within this
range may, in fact, boost your odds of getting pregnant.
smoke! Using tobacco can make it harder for you to get pregnant
and once you are pregnant, you may also be more likely to have a miscarriage.
In addition, smoking and breathing in secondhand smoke can cause your baby to
be born underweight and put him at risk of a host of birth defects and health
drink alcohol! Alcohol can harm a developing baby and the CDC warns that
it could make it tougher to conceive.
Note: We are not doctors, nurses or nutritionists! The information provided here has been researched to help and better serve this community;however, we recommend you speak with your physician to better determine a plan that's best for you.