It’s so important to help prepare your body for pregnancy through nutrition and lifestyle. Anna, our Fertility Nutritonal Therapist in Bristol gives some tips.
If you want tailored guidance and support on how optimal fertility nutrition can help you with your pregnancy journey please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re going to start by talking about getting a balanced diet, and optimizing your nutrient intake.
If you are looking to get pregnant it’s important to get all your body systems functioning as well as possible, especially your hormones. All our body systems are interrelated, and what we eat, how we digest food is at the heart of how every cell in the body functions, including our reproductive cells.
Eating well throughout the day will help you get the right level of nutrients to get your body in the best shape to support a healthy pregnancy.
What to eat for fertility
Whole foods are most nutritious, like vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, pulses, fish. Avoid processed foods from a packet as these are higher in salt, sugar, additives and other things your body doesn’t need.
Protein is made from amino acids, and producing healthy ovum replies on a steady supply of these amino acids. We also need adequate protein to support hormone production, especially FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (lutenizing hormone). Particularly important is cysteine, found in lentils, beans, nuts and seeds. Try eating a dhal and quinoa, or add a tin of beans to a salad for lunch.
We need fats to produce hormones and reduce inflammation around the body. Good sources of fat for fertility are oily fish, olive oil, seeds (especially linseeds and pumpkin seeds), & avocados.
Each cell membrane is made of fats, and releases hormone like messengers to allow cells to talk to other near by cells. The effect of these eicosanoids depends on the type of fat they’re made from. Cells with a majority of omega 6 fats (from meats and dairy) may increase inflammation whereas omega 3 (from oily fish) can reduce inflammation.
You need omega 3 in your diet if you want optimal fertility as these fats are important for reproductive health. Aim to eat oily fish three times a week or consider a supplement.
We generally eat too many simple carbohydrates, and we need to focus on wholegrain, complex carbs like brown rice, whole grain bread. Include carbs like pulses, starchy vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash. Avoid sugary carbs made from refined white flour as these can spike your blood sugars and are normally low in nutrient density.
Other nutrition tips for fertility support
- Include sufficient fibre in your diet to avoid constipation which may interfere with your hormones. We should have 2-3 bowel movements a day, if you’re not going for a poo at least once a day, think about how much fibre you’re eating.
- Eat a rainbow of vegetables every day to get a broad range of phytonutrients, aim for 5 vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit.
- Cut down on caffeine, alcohol and sugar as these deplete nutrients.
- Work to reduce your stress levels and use complementary therapies like acupuncture to help with overall wellbeing.
If you want more information on how nutrition can support your journey to conception please get in touch.