5 Foods To Boost Your Fertility Health
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Written By: Barb Biagioli
Misinformed dietary and lifestyle choices can play a major role in fertility health, contributing to infertility and conception difficulty. There are a variety of factors that contribute to our reproductive health, making it exponentially more difficult to know how to prepare your body and mind for pregnancy when the time is right.
Whether you are considering pregnancy or actively trying to get pregnant, you can prepare your body for conception in the months leading up to pregnancy, by choosing nutrient dense whole foods. Proper nourishment prior to conception and pregnancy has a long-term effect on your health and that of your baby’s, ultimately impacting your child’s developmental health and susceptibility to disease; and influencing their appetite, intelligence, temperament and more.
The research speaks for itself. Did you know that women who eat less fruit and more fast food take longer to get pregnant and are less likely to conceive? On the other hand, recent studies have shown that women who had the highest intake of plant foods via vegetables and healthy fats during the preconception period, were found to have a 66% lower risk of infertility related to ovulatory health.
In the Harvard Nurses Study, results revealed that women who consumed the most animal protein, had a 30% greater risk of ovulatory infertility, further increased to 40% when consuming red meat; even higher at 50% when consuming a single serving of poultry per day. Replacing animal-based protein with protein from plant foods may reduce the risk of infertility and promote a healthy pregnancy.
The good news? With the proper health and nutrition tools, you can learn how to support the conception of a healthy baby.
Making changes to your diet can increase your chances of a healthy egg, healthy sperm and healthy pregnancy. To ensure optimal nutritional wellness, pre-pregnancy and beyond, you can avoid harmful foods and practices, while also building healthy habits that promote health and well-being for you and baby. Give these tips a try to boost your fertile health:
Women who eat high amounts of non-organic fruits and vegetables have a higher rate of infertility. Consuming pesticides and neurotoxins from conventional produce has a negative impact on our health. If you are currently consuming most or all of your produce, non-organic, start by exploring the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen to make your transition reasonable and budget friendly.
Anti-inflammatory foods are wonderful for supporting a healthy immune system and promoting fertility health. Foods that are high in antioxidants also lower inflammation in the body and increase blood flow to the uterus, such as dark leafy greens, berries and broccoli.
FOLATE RICH FOODS
Eating foods that are rich in folate prior to pregnancy is a priority, as they may prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Folate can be found in many plant foods including citrus fruits, beans and legumes, darky leafy greens and green vegetables. It is important to prioritize your consumption of these foods to protect your baby’s development.
Low fat diets can be detrimental to fertility. Healthy fats, like omega-3’s, help to regulate hormone levels, increase cervical mucus and promote ovulation. Avocados, walnuts, chia and flax seeds – these are the kinds of healthy fats that may boost the health of your egg, improve the bodies sensitivity to insulin, and combat inflammation.
Choosing real whole grains and complex carbohydrates will improve your fertility. Do not shy away from real carbohydrates – there are “carbs” in fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes and grains – these are considered complex carbohydrates because of their fiber content. Fiber is crucial for fertility health because it flushes the body of excess estrogen and toxins, working as a broom to sweep the estrogen from the bowels and prevent it from accumulating in the body. Eating a variety of whole grains, vegetables, beans, legumes and fruits will regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you regular.
If you are planning for motherhood, diet and lifestyle changes can play a huge role in optimizing your fertility. Increased exposure to endocrine disruptors, inflammatory foods and stress have caused a decline in fertility health; but by increasing your intake of whole plant based foods, your body will use those nutrients to neutralize the effects of toxin overload and inflammation.
Consuming a whole foods plant based diet full of organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds will give you the high intake of fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants to manage weight, improve health and boost fertility. Put more plants on your plate during preconception and reap the rewards of a healthy pregnancy.