Nutrition & Fertility
Going through the process of becoming pregnant can be a very exciting time but for those who struggle with fertility it can be a very stressful time as well. Various factors including advanced age and hormonal imbalances such as PCOS, are just some of the major causes behind infertility. While there is still hope for these women, many doctors still push fertility drugs to treat difficult cases but this method is not only expensive, but can have very uncomfortable side effects. Nutrition is one area that can have a huge impact on fertility, however, unfortunately it is quite often overlooked as a treatment option because of the lack of scientific research. Having said that, it still can’t hurt to follow these nutritional guidelines for a more natural and alternative approach to promote fertility and increase chances of conception.
Keep blood sugars stable – foods that spike blood sugars can increase insulin production which may affect your ability to get pregnant. Keep added sugars in your diet low or no more than 30g/day, always choose 100% whole grains when it comes to bread/grain products, and incorporate a balance of healthy fats, vegetables and lean proteins to ensure your blood sugars stay stable throughout the day.
Avoid pro-inflammatory trans & saturated fats – processed foods, fatty meats, butter and fried foods contain tons of saturated fats and trans fats which are not good for your body. Add more plant-based proteins in your diet such as nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa, etc, to naturally decrease the amount of these unhealthy, and even harmful, types of fats.
Go for the real deal when it comes to dairy- even though full-fat dairy contains saturated fat, the pros still out-way the cons during this stage of your life. 2% Greek yogurt, regular cheese, and whole or 2% milk in small quantities may help with fertility so don’t skimp on the fat just practice portion control.
Manage stress levels – high stress levels are never good especially when trying to get pregnant. Find methods to decompress and relax every single day such as regular exercise, massages, yoga, talking to friends/family, or anything else that you enjoy and makes you happy.
Supplements – there is very limited research available on supplements and fertility, however, a prenatal vitamin with about 400mcg of folic acid, is always recommended when trying to conceive. Always consult with your doctor before taking anything new.
Weight management – Studies show women with a healthy BMI between 18.5-24.9 are the most fertile and have the best chance for a healthy pregnancy. Consult with a Registered Dietitian to find the right weight management program for you.