The fertility diet

The fertility diet

Make some simple food changes to help boost your fertility as a couple... scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast means slow-release carbs and protein, and eggs are rich in omega 3, ideal for male production of prostaglandin (controls hormone regulation). And pumpkin seeds for him as they contain high zinc levels- needed to make the outer layer and tail of sperm... yes really! 

Getting started
It’s important you start off in a healthy and positive manner, this means, getting your fertility back-on-track by seeing it as a joint project to do together, trying to make it an enjoyable exercise for you both. This can be anything from researching delicious (and nutritious) recipes together, to combining some regular exercise in your weekly schedules.

The classic phrase ‘eating for two’ starts well in advance of that home test kit’s blue lines... most experts say that a minimum of three months is required to obtain an optimum, healthy environment (that means your tummy), in which to grow a baby. Anya Sizer, Fertility Support Co-ordinator for the London Women’s Clinic says, ‘even those of us who say we eat well, could probably do with increasing certain key vitamins and minerals in to our diet. One study indicates approximately 74% of women are actually nutrient deficient. For women who are facing fertility issues in particular, (particularly unexplained infertility), its worth investing in getting this area right, to get as healthy as possible, prior to treatment.’

Breakfast is vital
Get ready to shake up your breakfast routine by introducing some healthy and sperm-friendly food choices; cook-up some scrambled eggs served on wholemeal toast. ‘It’s the perfect fertility breakfast as eggs contain virtually every nutrient vital for foetal growth, development, and repair. Eggs also slow down the release and the digestion of the entire meal, which ensures regular blood sugar levels, which in turn, can reduce any cravings for inappropriate snacking,’ says nutritionist Vicki Edgson. Vicki also suggests her top food choices for fertility: pomegranate is one of the best hormone-balancing fruits a woman can eat. Oysters; particularly for men, because they’re so rich in zinc, which is vital for sperm manufacture. Fennel and celery both support the liver function, and therefore provide a healthy production of oestrogen, which is essential for fertility.

Your diet
There are some key changes that you can make with ease, which will bring about a healthy body for a healthy conception.  Sizer says ‘stick with a low GI diet, this regulates blood sugar levels and stops insulin levels spiking. Insulin has recently been shown to not only inhibit conception, due to blocking-off progesterone levels, but it’s also been linked with increasing birth defects in developing babies.’ Sizer also stresses the importance of essential fatty acids (EFA’s), particularly omega 3 and omega 6, as these are vital for healthy hormone levels and foetal development. And, to ensure that you rest as much as possible; sleep is vital for the body’s recovery process, hormone regulation and energy levels. As sleep deprivation has been linked to adrenaline over load and insulin production, which is bad news.

A healthy diet is vital for fertility for both men and women, as being overweight, has been shown to have a big impact on (and interfere) with male and female fertility levels.  Susie Perry Debrice, Nutritionist at The Food Doctor says ‘get yourselves back-on-track with your fertility by following the principles of a GI diet; it helps to get insulin levels balanced. High levels of insulin in women have been linked to infertility conditions (such as PCOS), and can interfere with testosterone production in males. Eat plenty of carbohydrates with a low GI score, such as wholegrain, lentils, and pulses. Replace white bread with brown, swap your usual pasta to whole-wheat pasta, white rice with brown rice.’  A diet high in sugary foods and refined carbohydrates can trigger insulin levels to become unnaturally high and encourages fat deposit around the waistline.

Basic biology
Grab some pumpkin seeds for him as they contain high zinc levels - needed to make the outer layer and tail of sperm. Susie sends us back to the classroom, she explains, ‘sperm has a long journey to make before reaching the egg; so they need to be able to swim in the right direction, at high speed. It’s vital that sperm is well formed, and has a strong tail to help propel them on their journey. To this end, it needs a strong head and tail for the end of the journey, so that it has enough strength to burrow through the egg’s outer layer, and deliver the chromosomes so that fertilization takes place.’ Basically, the head of sperm contains a sac which is full of genetic material (think chromosomes), which contains all the vital information required to make a perfectly formed, healthy baby. This is what we are all hoping for, so get your selves sorted this spring, and reap the health benefits.


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