A Fertility Friendly Diet
- Thursday, 26 April 2012
Congratulations! You have consciously decided to start a family and are looking for some fantastic tips on how to boost your fertility naturally with foods? Well, you have come to the right place. The truth is your diet can play a major role in your fertility, as it has the ability to either hinder or enhance your body’s natural baby making skills. Why not give food a chance to prove to you it’s amazing power?
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? I’d like to end on a positive note, so let’s start with “what to avoid”.
Fertility Diet: What to avoid
Decrease consumption of animal fat - Okay, so you don’t have to avoid all animal foods completely, but please choose organic and free range meats and keep consumption down to 3 palm sized servings per week.
Avoid fast food, refined sugar, junk food, and fried foods - Not only should you do this for fertility, but you should do this for your health for the rest of your life. Now that you are bringing babies into the picture, you want to be around for them, and perhaps meet your great grand children one day, right? These foods DO NOT contribute to health.
Eliminate trans fats - This means anything hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated). Please read your labels, or better yet, buy foods that don’t come with a label at all.
Decrease your exposure to synthetic estrogens - Unfiltered water (yep, all those birth control pills out there end up in our water supply - ewww) so buy a great filter, or choose spring water. Dairy and conventional meat can be a source of synthetic hormones, so remember to get them organic! Also, another major source can be xenoestrogens from plastics (especially soft plastic), use glass whenever possible and try to avoid food or drinks that are stored in plastic.
Gluten containing grains - These include wheat, spelt, kamut, rye and barley. It has been shown that couples who have trouble conceiving have increased their chances of conception by avoiding gluten.
Any other potential allergens or sensitivities - Such as wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. These may cause stress on the body, which decreases resources you may need to help you get pregnant. To determine your own food allergens or sensitivities as your Naturopathic Doctor for an IgG food sensitivity test.
Okay let’s get to the good stuff!!
Fertility Diet: What to eat
Consume a diet rich in legumes- Plant based sources of protein have shown to boost fertility, so as you decrease animal protein, stock up on lentils, pinto beans, chickpeas and other legumes.
Consume a diet rich in antioxidants and minerals
Selenium: Brazil nuts are the most concentrated source. Also try: broccoli, sea vegetables, salmon, wheat germ, garlic, dark leafy greens and whole grains.
Vitamin A: eggs, milk, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, kale, squash, swiss chard, bell peppers
Vitamin C: parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts
Vitamin E: mustard greens, chard, sunflower seeds, turnip greens, almonds and spinach
Folate (and other B Vitamins): Lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, spinach, collard greens, kale, nutritional yeast, bee pollen
Iron: lentils, spinach, blackstrap molasses, liver, sesame seeds, chickpeas, olives
Increase fiber intake - Fiber helps to pull excess estrogen (and other toxins) out of the body. Try whole food sources like 1-2 tbsp of chia seeds per day in breakfast or a smoothie.
Try maca root powder - It is a superfood root vegetable from Peru that has been said to boost fertility in men and women, it may even increase sperm count! Try 1 tbsp in your smoothies.
Eat pumpkin seeds - They are really high in zinc, one of the most important fertility boosting minerals for both men and women.
And there you have it! A diet to boost your baby making potential. Best of luck to you!
Samantha Peris (B.Comm, CNP, ROHP) is a registered holistic nutritionist with a passion for women’s health, especially from pre-pregnancy through to early motherhood. She carries out one-on-one consulting, teaches whole foods cooking classes and runs corporate seminars through her business, nu roots nutrition.