Trying to conceive can at times be difficult and stressful. Setting yourself up right from the planning stage is your best bet to ensuring that your body is in the best condition for both conception and pregnancy. In many cultures the woman of conception age is treated to the best and most nutrient dense foods while others are given the rest. Special foods such as organ meats and custom herbal preparations are given to the women around conception to prepare their body's to conceive, carry, and deliver healthy offspring. It seems over time we have lost sight of this tradition in our current society.
Now are the days of the all too common infertility diagnosis, miscarriages, or health challenged births. I've spent years researching causes for the unexplained rise in infertility and everything always points back to what goes in our bodies. By this I mean the toxins that we are exposed to on a daily bases that enter our bodies via lungs, digestion, skin, etc., the highly processed foods we consume that are in a sense ANTI-nutrients, and the lack of soil fertility which leads us to depleted nutrient values in the whole foods we do eat.
All of these things contribute to endocrine imbalance, toxic load, and nutritional deficiencies that throw our bodies into confusion and a state of internal disarray. This leads us to conditions that people did not have to deal with in centuries past. Conditions that affect fertility such as endometriosis, PCOS, auto immune disease, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal burnout, leaky gut syndrome, systemic inflammatory disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and many many more!
Over my years in practice I have seen what a huge impact diet has on a persons fertility. Nutrition is the most important foundation for conception and a healthy pregnancy. Healthy bodies create healthy babies!
In order to eat optimally for fertility there are certain foods you must avoid and certain foods that should be included. I do not believe that a vegan or vegetarian diet is the most beneficial for fertility so I will not be focusing on that in this article. If you are vegan or vegetarian feel free to take the parts of this article that work for you and eliminate what doesn't.
When creating your optimal fertility diet you will want to begin by eliminating all of the foods that work as anti nutrients or interfere with fertility. First and foremost, any good fertility diet would eliminate all processed foods as most contain toxic ingredients that inhibit or disturb endocrine function and create an inflammatory environment.
- Refined sugars
- Pasteurized dairy products (raw is best)
- All forms of soy except fermented but I would avoid that as well during this time.
- Fat free foods
- GMO foods or foods containing GMO's
- NON-organic foods
- Microwaved foods
- Hydrogenated oils
- Grains- although some grains can be healthy unless you know that you do not have a sensitivity to grains I always recommend avoiding or limiting during the fertility process to avoid any unwanted reactions. If choosing grains try to stick with quoina, brown rice, steel cut oats, and buckwheat if possible.
So now you want to know what you should eat??????????????
Ok let's lay it out for you. You want to include as many fertility enhancing highly nutrient dense foods as possible in your diet. Make sure you include a healthy protein, fat, and carbohydrate source with each meal. Having a wide variety in your diet will also help ensure you are getting all of the vital nutrients that you need to support fertility. Include the following foods in your healthy fertility diet plan:
- Dark leafy greens- full of iron, zinc, folic acid, and B6
- Beans or lentils- folic acid, iron, fiber, low glycemic
- Berries- antioxidants, vitamin C
- Veggies- high in natural vitamins and minerals (go for veggies of all colors)
- Raw full fat grass fed dairy- high in calcium, and essential fats
- High fat ocean caught deep sea fish- essential omega 3 fats, zinc, selenium, and B12
- Grass fed and free range meats- iron, zinc, essential fats, B vitamins
- Free range organic whole eggs- B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, essential fatty acids, and choline.
- Grass Fed/Free Range Liver- (trust me on this one, sounds gross but one of the best foods for fertility) vitamin D, zinc, iron, folic acid and B12
- Organic nuts and seeds- zinc, vitamin E, healthy omega fatty acids
- Organic free range gelatin- collagen, strength and healing properties, boost overall health
This is a basic list of the good and bad to get you started. Of course I could go on for hundreds of pages about the foods you should and shouldn't eat for fertility and why but this should get you all started. The more of the foods you add from the good list the less room you will have for the foods from the bad list.
Remember that an optimal fertility diet is part of ANY successful fertility program. Whether you are just beginning to think about getting pregnant, are in the midst of trying, are currently undergoing conventional fertility treatments, or have tried all of that in the past, this food plan will help to feed your body the nutrients necessary for proper growth and repair of the body. This eating plan helps reduce and eliminate inflammation, heal leaky gut, rebuild nutritional stores, balance hormones, provide energy and endurance, reduce fatigue, etc...................................The longer you maintain this eating style the better your health will get over time.
The body has amazing healing and repair capabilities but it does not happen overnight so be patient and give it time. This is not meant to be a short term diet but rather an eating plan for lifelong hormonal balance. There is no better time to begin making these changes than now so give it a try and remember to leave a comment and let me know how it worked for you and please share with others who you think this will benefit. Sharing is caring : )
As always......In good health and happiness,
Brandy Augustine PhD