Listen to Michele’s radio interview (bottom of this blog).
The natural approach to improving fertility solves the core causes of infertility, by addressing the whole body and all of its systems, rather than only focusing on the reproductive system. And in this way can improve the overall health of the parents, which in turn gives baby-to-be the best possible environment and building blocks to grow from.
Many couples who struggle becoming pregnant have a combination of sub-clinical conditions. These conditions can’t on their own cause infertility and issues during pregnancy, but in combination with inflammation or other factors, they can impact a couple’s probability of conception.
- How to eat for fertility and healthy baby
In the first trimester of pregnancy your growing embryo will increase millions of times and your baby’s organs, hands, fingers, legs, feet, head, eyes, nose, ears etc. are forming. To ensure for the best possible foundations during this phase, you want to make sure there are plenty of building blocks with the right nutrients in the right combinations.
What does a fertile diet contain? A fertile diet should be as fresh as possible, with plenty of diversity and organic wherever possible. Key elements are good quality protein sources, healthy fats, whole grains, plenty of vegetables and fruit. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods and too many simple carbohydrates.
What should you eat?
- Grass fed or organic meat, small deep sea fish like sardines and red snapper, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Abundance of vegetables and some fruit, in season, organic where possible.
- Whole grains, organic where possible.
- Increase your consumption of good fats and avoid dangerous fats. Good fats include olive oil, organic butter, fats in oily fish, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.
For cooking use clarified butter (ghee) or coconut oil, as they do not oxidise when heated. For salad and dressing vegetables use cold pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil and nut oils.
- Drink filtered water
Our waterways are constantly being polluted by industrial waste and byproducts, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides and herbicides. Heavy metals are the most common of the repro-toxins reaching our water supply through industrial waste.
Use a dual filtration system: Buy a dual filtration water system that filters particles smaller than 1 micron (this will filter out the pharmaceutical drugs as well as heavy metals).
How much water is sufficient? It is equally important you are drinking enough water to be able to detoxify the body and eliminate properly; drink a minimum of 2 litres daily.
- Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals
Exposure to environmental toxins (in the form of industrial chemicals) both in utero and neonatally can affect adult fertility. Most chemicals used in everyday life do not go through the same safety checks medicines do. Consequently, poisonous chemicals can end up circulating in our environment, food supply, air and water.
Environmental toxins have an equally negative effect on men and women and their fertility outcomes.
The top environmental toxins to avoid and compounds that can alter hormone function and result in adverse reproductive health effects include:
- Pesticides – found on non-organic fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy and unfiltered tap water
- Formaldehyde – found in air fresheners, deodorants, floor polish, upholstery cleaners
- Bisphenols (BPA’s) and Phthalates – found in plastic containers and can leach into food and water. At high levels have been associated with miscarriage and testicular toxicity. At low levels they disrupt hormonal balance
- Solvents – petroleum based liquids found in household products, printing, construction and cosmetics
- Dry-cleaning chemicals
- Paint fumes, cigarette smoke, car fumes
- Lead – adversely interferes with healthy reproductive function in women
Occasional exposure to one or the other toxic chemical is not of concern. What is of concern is accumulation of these chemicals over a long period.
- Give yourself time before trying to conceive
There is a common misconception that egg and sperm quality cannot be improved. In fact, it is possible to improve the quality of your egg and sperm however, but it takes time. It takes approximately 4 months because it takes that long for eggs to mature and sperm to develop. During that time, everything that you and your partner ingest, inhale or are exposed to can influence the health of your eggs and sperm for better or worse, and the ultimate quality of the genetic building blocks you pass onto your child.
This is why it’s crucial to follow a good preconception plan. A baby is a 50/50 product of his or her parents, therefore optimizing the quality of eggs and sperm is essential.
- Take a good quality preconception / pregnancy supplement.
Even if you are eating organic produce and healthy food, it is important to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs for optimal fertility and pregnancy from your diet. This is why supplementation is important.
Getting pregnant and growing a healthy baby with your own reserves, requires a surplus of nutrients and energy to work optimally. Some of the key nutrients for fertility and pregnancy are:
- Omega-3 fats
- Folic acid
- Vitamin C
- Iron for some individuals
- Vitamin D for some individuals
Of vital importance to fertility and pregnancy is, nutrient dense fertility foods, filtered water, toxin-free lifestyle, allowing enough time to prepare the body for baby and a good pre-natal are all essential for a healthy baby. But there are other factors just as important such as; regular exercise, quality sleep and watching your stress levels. These are the corner stones, the basic ingredients that everyone needs for good fertility and healthy pregnancy.
All of our posts reflect our philosophy at A Healthy View. A whole real food perspective on food and life. Extremes do not work but clean, whole, tasty and easy food choices can create a lifetime of good habits that lead to a lean, happy, and healthy person. Contact us on our website for our next Low Sugar Lifestyle program, Fertility & Pregnancy program or a nutritional consult.
Listen here to Michele’s radio interview with Talking Lifestyle – Monday 13th March, 2017
Article by Simone Kopkas
Adapted from an Iva Keene MRMed. ND. article.