Eating a fertility diet in preparation for pregnancy and to boost fertility is one of the most powerful health changes you can make. Numerous studies have shown that specific changes to the diet can increase the chances of healthy ovulation, prevent recurrent miscarriage and support a healthy pregnancy.
Nutrition plays a big roll when it comes to having a healthy body and reproductive system. The building blocks for hormones are found in the foods we eat. Antioxidants which help to protect the egg and sperm from free radicals are found in the foods that we eat. Just as nutrients in food can be helpful for fertility, there are some foods and chemicals added to foods that can be harmful for your healthy and fertility.
The definition of healthy varies from person to person but we are going to explain what the definition of healthy is for fertility inshaAllah. A diet for fertility will even look different compared to the normal healthy whole food diet. This may very well be different compared to how you are eating now and include foods that are foreign, new to you or even exotic sounding. Don’t worry. We have tools to help you get started and recipes to make this easy and fun inshaAllah!
What is a Fertility Diet?
So what exactly is a fertility diet? A Natural Fertility Diet is a way of eating that is supporting your body in its reproductive efforts. It includes foods which are dense in specific nutrients needed for hormonal function, production and balance, fetal development, egg health, sperm health, blood health, and much more. It is a diet that is designed to help your body to balance fertility issues that may exist, build up nutrient stores and provide all of the building blocks for a healthy child. It is also a diet that is focused on giving you and your future child the best start in life inshaAllah.
Why Eat A Natural Fertility Diet?
There are specific nutrients that are needed by the young fetus before you can even detect pregnancy and a deficiency in these nutrients could cause serious birth defects.
The foods you eat today impact the health of your eggs and sperm 90 days from now.
Hormones build themselves from the ingredients you provide through your diet.
The number one treatment for balancing PCOS and getting pregnant despite it is diet.
What you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat.
The number one cause of infertility (anovulation- lack of ovulation) can many times be remedied by changes in the diet.
Eating a Natural Fertility Diet is something everyone can do regardless of location, fertility issue, age, time, and money. We all eat so why not eat in a way that supports our fertility.
The Benefits of Eating a Natural Fertility Diet
Provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help to protect egg and sperm health from the damage caused by free-radicals.
Supports the body towards hormonal balance by providing the fats needed for hormone production and function
Provides the body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients needed for optimal health.
May decrease chances of a miscarriage due to insulin resistance, damage done by free radicals to DNA, and egg and sperm health.
Helps to build important nutrient stores for pregnancy
Supports a healthy reproductive system
Promotes energy and vitality
The Natural Fertility Diet Nutrition Guidelines
Eat a lot of organic vegetables and fruits
Conventional produce contains harmful herbicides and pesticides which have been shown to negatively effect both male and female fertility. Studies have also shown organic vegetables and fruits to have more nutritional value.
Eat organic, grass-fed, whole fat, raw dairy
Organic, grass-fed, whole fat, raw dairy is the best choice of dairy sources. But take note that dairy foods such as milk and cheese may be congesting to the body. In cases of congesting fertility issues such as PCOS and Endometriosis they may aggravate the imbalance. Observe how your body does with it. Dairy that is not organic should be avoided as it contains added hormones and antibiotics which can contribute to increased estrogen levels in the body. There are many healthy alternatives to dairy such as fresh almond or hemp milks.
Try to eat mostly cold water fish
Fish supplies important essential fatty acids (omega 3) to our diet. These fatty acids aid in the production of hormones, reduce inflammation, and help regulate the menstrual cycle. Fish is also a great source of protein and vitamin A. Avoid large deep water fish such as tuna, swordfish, and Chilean sea bass due to there potential concentrations of mercury, and focus on cold water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, cod, and Alaskan halibut. Also when choosing salmon, avoid north Atlantic farmed salmon and choose wild salmon instead. Farmed salmon contains antibiotics and toxic food dyes.
Choose meat that is Grass Fed and Organic
Conventionally raised cattle contain high levels of added hormones and antibiotics which can contribute to estrogen dominate conditions. Grass Fed meats, on the other hand, are a great source of essential fatty acids, are low in saturated fat, and are a great source of protein. If you are experiencing endometriosis you may want to reduce the amount of red meat that you eat as a study has shown a connection between high red meat consumption and endometriosis.
Choose only free range/Organic chicken
Like red meat, conventionally raised chicken is full of antibiotics and hormones which can have negative effects on hormonal health. When shopping for chicken, look for the words “cage free”, “free range”, or “organic” on the label. Ideally purchasing your chicken from a local farm with free-range practices is best.
Eat only grains in their whole, natural form
Whole grains are filled with fiber, important vitamins, and immune supporting properties. Fiber is important for helping the body to get rid of excess hormones and helps to keep the blood sugar balanced. Avoid processed and refined white foods and grains such as white bread, semolina pastas, and white rice. Instead choose whole wheat or sprouted bread, rice or whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and brown rice.
Eat high fiber foods with each meal
Fiber helps to regulate the blood sugar levels which helps to reduce fertility issues such as PCOS, immunological issues, and promotes healthy hormonal balance. Some examples of high fiber foods are fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, and beans.
Avoid refined sugars or fruit juices (unless freshly juiced)
Pasteurized juices such as bottled apple juice, orange juice, and other bottled fruit juices contain concentrated sugar, which can throw off your blood sugar levels and negatively effect your immune system. Also avoid any processed/refined and artificial sugars. Some great alternatives are stevia, honey, and maple syrup.
Drink lots of clean water
Be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of clean, purified or filtered water daily. It is best to avoid bottled water as some of the plastics in the bottle can contribute to hormonal imbalance due to there estrogen mimicking chemicals. The best waters to choose from are reverse osmosis and distilled. Avoid tap water, as many recent studies have shown tap water to be laced with harmful pesticides from agricultural runoff.