Nutrition plays an important role in fertility. There are certain nutrients that the body needs to produce the hormones that are needed to produce healthy eggs (ovum). This is a quick video that explains the nutrients that are needed and for fertility and pregnancy.
If you’re thinking about having a baby soon, then it is important to prepare your body for pregnancy about 3 to 4 months before conception.
There are many factors that may play a role in infertility. These may include:
- being over or underweight
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – known as PCOS
- fibroids in the uterus and or endometriosis – If you are experiencing irregular or painful heavy periods it is advisable that you consult you with your doctor
- alcohol and smoking can affect fertility
- as well as medication and recreation drugs
- Then there are occupational hazards like working with toxic chemicals like paint and acetone. These toxins disrupt hormones synthesizes and may cause hormone imbalances.
- Lastly, although less frequently, structural abnormities may also affect fertility.
From a study done in 2008, reports show that Infertility is the most common reason for women aged 25 to 45 to visit their GP besides pregnancy itself.
- Healthy proteins and fats
- Folate – which comes from the Latin word meaning foliage.
- Vitamin D
Examples of healthy proteins include eggs, nuts, lentils & beans, fish, and meat. It is a good idea to consider organic foods source where possible. Proteins are made of amino acids, which are needed to synthesize hormones and the ovum.
Healthy fats include coconut, olives, salmon and nuts, and seeds. These fats contain al a balance of saturated and unsaturated fats, and Omega3. Fats play an important role in balancing hormones
Antioxidants can be found in the colored fruits and vegetables that we enjoy eating every day. Foods that are good sources of antioxidants include blueberries, olives, and tomatoes, and there are many more. These food contain both polyphenols and phytosterols which help protect reproductive tissue like the ovaries and uterus.
Foods that are high in iron include spinach, red meat, and ox liver. Iron is involved in transporting oxygen in the blood. It is needed for a healthy blood supply to the reproductive tissue.
Zinc can be found in foods like pumpkin seeds, nuts, and oysters. All foods contain combinations of nutrients, so when for example you are eating a handful of pumpkin seeds you are not only getting in zinc but also other minerals like calcium and magnesium. Zinc plays a role in supporting hormones and ovary health.
Good food sources of folate include spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and Bok-Choy. These foods also contain other minerals and chlorella. Folate plays an important role in a detox process in the body called methylation. This process is needed for the body to detox any free-floating estrogen that may cause hormonal imbalances. Folate is needed for DNA replication.
Vitamin D can be found in foods like Cod Liver Oil, butter, cheese, and eggs. These foods are also good sources of other nutrients like proteins and fats. Vitamin D helps regulate the expression of genes in the reproductive tissue. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin. 20 minutes a day of direct sunlight on ones fore-arms and shoulders may assist us in getting our daily vitamin D requirements.
An example of a diet plan
It is important to try and balance every meal. You may want to consider dividing your plate into quarters. This will allow you to easily keep track of the portions for proteins, fats, wholegrain, and fiber-rich carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables. The government guidelines suggest 2/3 portions of fruits a day. and 6 to 7 vegetables a day.
- For breakfast, one might consider 2 organic poached eggs with spinach and mushrooms. and a handful of fresh berries.
- Snack times which normally take place mid-morning and midafternoon may include fruit like a pear, apple, or banana with a handful of nuts or yogurt.
- Dinner may include a protein portion like salmon with stir fry vegetables in coconut oil and brown rice.
- And of course, don’t forget to drink the right amount of distilled water. This should be calculated by multiplying 25ml by your body weight.