Fertility and Your Diet
According to studies conducted in both the United States and Europe, one in six couples has trouble conceiving. Of that figure, approximately 18 to 30 percent of the problems can be traced back to issues with ovulation. The remaining percent fall into a variety of categories with diet high on the list.
As with anything, diet makes a difference. According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPS), ovulatory disorders often can be significantly reduced when specific diets are followed. Additionally, fertility issues can also be addressed with fertility foods and certain lifestyle changes.
Some recommendations to increase fertility include watching what you eat:
- Eat less trans fats.
- Eat less carbohydrate sugars.
- Eat more good fiber.
- Eat protein primarily from vegetable sources rather than animal sources.
- Take a multivitamin.
- Exercise and reduce BMI.
- Eat high-fat dairy over low-fat dairy.
Combating Fertility Issues with Vitamins
According to Fertility.com, zinc is one mineral that is worth its weight in gold when it comes to trying to increase fertility. Because zinc is instrumental in creating good cell division, foods high in zinc rank high on the list. Food that contains high amounts of zinc include beef, chicken, crab, oysters and turkey.
Optimal vitamin stores are also important. Women who are trying to conceive should begin preparing several months in advance by making sure their body has adequate vitamin stores. Studies show that women who regularly take a multivitamin with added folic acid and who have adequate levels of iron, originating from fruits and vegetables rather than red meat, have less fertility issues (if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant in the near future, do not take any supplements without first consulting your physician).
Foods to Avoid
While some fertility issues are hereditary and cannot be reversed, some lifestyle habits have been shown to lower fertility chances. Some things to avoid include alcohol, caffeine, refined carbohydrates and listeria, a bacterium found in ready-to-eat meats, unpasteurized dairy products, and soft cheeses.
One of the most natural and noninvasive things a prospective mother-to-be can do is make sure she has a healthy BMI. Statistics show that women who are at a healthy BMI for their height are able to conceive better than women who are either underweight or overweight. This information is directly related to the body’s insulin levels. When insulin levels are higher, the body retains body fat. More fat in the body means more hormone disruptors on hand.
We know that insulin is a hormone and that exercise regulates the insulin in our bodies, therefore, it not only makes sense that women who exercise at least 30 minutes per day and have a balanced insulin level would ovulate regularly, it has been proven. And while fertility issues dog many couples, do not give up just because you have a few pounds to lose. Overweight women do get pregnant.
However, one trick that seems to work in kicking the ovaries into gear when obesity is an issue is to lose about 15 to 20 pounds. For some reason, this is enough to get the ovaries up and running.
Adding dairy fats to your diet is another excellent way to get ovaries in good working order. Use whole milk in your morning cereal, snack on full-fat yogurt or cheddar cheese, or add a half cup of full-fat ice-cream to your diet several times a week.