Sunday, May 26, 2013

Improving Fertility through Food  
Eating a healthy diet in preparation for pregnancy is one of the most powerful things you can do. Evidence has shown that specific changes  can improve sperm health and healthy ovulation, prevent recurrent miscarriage and support and sustain a successful pregnancy.
Good nutrition is a vital when it comes to having a healthy body and reproductive system. The building blocks for hormones are found in the foods we eat. Antioxidants are also key to helping to protect the egg and sperm from free radicals that are found in the foods that we eat. It is important also to note that with every nutrient that builds and protects, there are some foods and chemicals added to foods ‘The anti nutrients’ that can be harmful for your health and fertility.
What is the Improving Fertility Programme?
An ‘Improving Fertility  Diet” consists of nutrient dense, 100% natural and organic, whole foods. This diet represents a way of eating that supports the body to become healthy, balanced and fertile. By eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients you will see a dramatic effects on your health and fertility.

The Fertility improving diet that I recommend incorporates elements of Dr. Weston Price and Dr Brewer. I also incorporate elements of the Paleo diet as this has been shown to increase fertility as a bi product of the diet in recent years. In short it’s a combination of lots of eating programmes that over the years have helped people who have previously had difficulty conceiving. It is a cyclical diet and represents the notion that particularly for women specific nutrients and phytonutrients are in demand in the follicular and the luteal part of your cycle. For men the programme is focused on building super sperm based on the fact that it takes 3 months to build healthy swimmers!
The benefits of the Improving Fertility Programme

     Helps the body to function at an optimum level

     Supports egg and sperm health

     Supports the body to balance hormones

     Provides the body with a fantastic array of nutrients

     Supports a healthy reproductive system

     May decrease chances of a miscarriage as hormones are balanced

     Helps sustain pregnancy as nutrients are stored for future
   What to eat on the diet?

      Eat a lot of organic vegetables and fruits-Conventional vegetables contain a cocktail of chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides which have a negative effect on both male and female fertility. Studies from the soil association have shown that organic vegetables and fruit to be superior in nutrients. As part of the programme we ask people to follow a specific diet and outline the veggies that are ‘super charged’ for fertility and can pack a punch that can have you gaining fertile reproductive organs in no time! a a rule at least 7-10 portions of veggies daily and women having at least a third of these from the brassica/cruciferous family. 

Eliminate gluten As part of the diet we recommend that you reduce your amount of high Glycemic load carbohydrates from your diet.  Gluten is also part of this. These products cause all sorts of issue with your hormones and can in some instances in the case of gluten cause a low grade autoimmune reaction that the person may be unaware of and could reduce your fertility. Gluten has been linked to infertility in recent studies.

Eat organic, grass-fed dairy products only Many people can digest dairy, however most lose the ability to digest lactose past 3 years of age. Dairy foods such as milk and cheese may create a ‘mucous forming’ environment which can be congesting to the body. This can be the case with fertility issues such as PCOS and Endometriosis, as dairy can cause hormone disruption. Ideally I would prefer no dairy in the diet, but if you find this too restrictive it should only be organic, dairy that is not organic should be avoided as it contains added hormones and antibiotics which can contribute to increased oestrogen levels in the body.

If you eat fish, eat only cold water fishFish supplies important essential fatty acids (omega 3) to our diet. These fatty acids help us to build hormones, reduce inflammation, and help regulate the menstrual cycle. Fish is also a great source of protein which is the building blocks for life. Avoid large deep water fish such as tuna, and swordfish, as they may contain higher amounts of mercury. Good choices would be wild Alaskan salmon, cod, and Alaskan halibut, sardines and herring.

Choose meat that is Grass Fed and Organic –Conventionally raised cattle contain high levels of added hormones and antibiotics which can contribute to oestrogen dominance. Grass Fed meats, on the other hand, are a great source of essential fatty acids, are lower in saturated fat than conventionally, and are a great source of protein. If you are a vegetarian a good source of protein in free range organic eggs and in abundance!

No sausages, bacon and processed meat A recent study in the UK has shown detrimental health effects by consuming processed meats such as sausage’s, bacon and chicken. The improving fertility diet focuses on ‘clean’ foods and that includes no processed food in any form.

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, buy “free range”, or “organic” Ideally purchasing your chicken from a local farm where you can ask the farmer about their practices is the best option. As above if you are vegetarian go for eggs!

Eat high fibre foods with each meal and plenty of greens – Fibre is a fantastic way of balancing blood sugar which helps to reduce fertility issues such as PCOS, immunological issues, and promotes healthy hormonal balance. Cruciferous vegetables are key to fertility so have a portion of broccoli, cabbage, kale or cauliflower at least once daily.

No soya of any form unless fermented such as miso and tempeh –  If you are vegetarian or vegan, you need to keep an eye on your protein sources and will need to use beans and legumes to help you achieve this. I'm not a fan of Soya foods as it has been shown to contain oestrogen mimicking properties. There are many studies for and against using soya, but in my research and as part of the diet I don’t recommend it. Soya can also be harmful in large doses and are not recommended when you are trying to conceive as it can also affect your thyroid. 

No refined sugars or fruit juices (unless freshly juiced) – Pasteurised juices such as bottled apple juice, orange juice, and other cartons of fruit juices contain concentrated sugar and concentrated fruit which I don’t recommend. Also they can be very acidic to the body. In this programme we also limit the amount of fruit you eat that has a particularly high Glycaemic Load as this can cause issues with Insulin.

Drink lots of clean water – Drink at least 2 litres daily. The sources are important however. It is best to avoid bottled waters as some of the plastics in the bottle can contribute to hormonal imbalance due to their oestrogen mimicking chemicals. The best waters to choose from are filtered. Note if you are having reverse osmosis water of filtered, be sure to replace the minerals they take out! Avoid tap water, as many recent studies have shown tap water can have hormones residues and a cocktail of other chemicals and also depending on where you live high levels of chlorine, which have a detrimental effect on your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

If you want to find about more about how I incorporate these elements into the programme please get in touch with me and we can put a specific plan together at: