Eat Right & Enhance Your Fertility

There is the old proverb

A stitch in time saves nine

And this is particularly true when referring to ones’ health, in relation to the food that we consume. Whether you are trying to get pregnant now, or hoping to do so at some point in your life, what you eat everyday, plays a pivotal role in influencing your reproductive capacity. It is therefore vital for all women of reproductive age to take a keen interest in their diet. Certain foods help to enhance fertility, while other foods negatively impact it.

Here are some foods to avoid and reasons why:

A study was conducted by researchers at the Havard School of Public Health with 19,000 female nurses who were trying to get pregnant. The study revealed that infertility was 39% more likely in women who had a high intake of animal protein. It also indicated that women who ate plant protein were significantly less likely to have trouble in conceiving. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a separate study with 18,000 women who were followed over a period of eight years. The study showed that women who ate foods containing higher amounts of trans fats, animal proteins and carbohydrates (among other dietary factors) were more likely to have an ovulatory disorder. It is therefore advisable to reduce intake of animal protein such as red meat or to replace it with plant protein  sources, such as beans, lentils and nuts. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, energy drinks and soft drinks should be minimized while it is advised that alcohol be eliminated from the diet. Herbal teas and supplements, such as sassafras, gingseng and St John’s wort should also be avoided as they negatively affect the reproductive cycle.

Here are some foods you are encouraged to eat:

Staying hydrated is very important in order to ensure that your cervical fluid continues to flow freely. Cervical fluid helps guide the sperm to the egg so drinks lots of water and fresh fruit juice or fruit and vegetable smoothies to help daddies little swimmers reach their intended target. They are delicious and nutriciuos but also very easy to make. Whole milk and its products such as ice cream yoghurt, protect against ovulatory infertility. As such, it is now posible for women to turn their comfort food into something much more than a universal panacea for a broken heart or shattered dreams. Colorful fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy in preparation for making your little bundle of joy. The darker (or brighter) the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrient dense it is. For example, dark green leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are high in vitamin B9 (folate) which has been shown to improve ovulation.

Olive oil helps to increase insulin sensitivity which is important as high insulin levels disrupt reproductive hormones. This is why people suffering from diabetes have to especially watch their diets to increase their chances of falling pregnant, having a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Olive oil also reduces inflammation in the body which intereferes with ovulation, conception and early embryonic development so swap your regular cooking oil for a bit of olive oil and you can thank me later, lol. Pumpkin seeds have a high concentration of non-heme iron, which has been shown to improve fertility so Instead of throwing away those seeds like we usually do, pan-roast or oven roast your pumpkin seeds to make for the perfect functional snack. You won’t regret it.

Ladies, now that you know what to and not to eat, lets focus on him for a while as it does take two to tango. Here are some foods that help to enhance the reproductive capacity of men. It is important to ensure that your man drinks about six to eight glasses of water a day so that his ejaculate fluid does not become sluggish which would result in failure of the sperm to reach the egg. Stocking up on dark gren leafy greens such as spinach, also helps to ensure that healthier sperm are produced. Alcohol if taken in excess does affects sperm motility and should therefore be moderated. Carrots on the other other hand improve sperm motility, so a healthy carrot smoothie to-go everyday will go a long way.

Ultimately, considering the panoramic view, our diet can make or break us. However, while it is true that diet is a key element, it is also prudent to acknowledge that there are other elements that influence ones’reproductive capacity and that the afore-mentioned foods enhance, not facilitate conception. You will also have to stay fit through excersise and ofcourse, do the deed too (wink wink) to increase your chances of falling pregnant. So eat right, maintain a healthy lifestyle and you’ll be well on your way to mommyhood. All the best!

References:

  1. www.abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/foods-boost-fertility/story
  2. www.m.healthywomen.org/content/article/fertility-boosting-foods
  3. www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/nutrition/what-to-eat-when-trying-to-get-pregnant/
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