Food for Fertility
I talked last week about how fertility is heavily impacted by stress, and one of the stressors I mentioned was food. GMO and inorganic food can be latent with chemicals and hormones that seriously stress out our body.
What's worse, some of those chemicals and unwanted hormones can straight up mess with your fertility, stress notwithstanding.
Rather than continue on with scare tactics, however, I want to equip you with the education you need to feed your fertility. Too many of my patients struggle to conceive and feel powerless; here's one (tasty!) way to take the power back.
Rule #1: Organic, Organic, ORGANIC!
If you're trying to get pregnant, it might be time to spring for the slightly more expensive option of an all-organic diet.
I'm not just talking fruits and veggies here: if you're a meat- or dairy-eater, you definitely want to stick to the grass-fed, organic variety, too, as non-organic meat and dairy tends to be a holding tank for unhealthy hormones.
Rule #2: Whole Grains
Grains have gotten kind of a bad rap lately, but the good ones are really quite good for you when you're trying to conceive. I'd suggest stay away from processed grains (mostly breads and anything white), but whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth contain a ton of dietary fibre.
Fibre helps regulate blood sugar levels, and also helps the body flush excess chemicals. Actually, now that I mention it...
Rule #3: Have High Fibre Foods at Every Meal
Know what's way higher in fibre than whole grains? VEGETABLES! Especially the dark green, leafy kind. Fruit is also an excellent source of fibre, as are beans. I'm a strong advocate for veggies at every meal, anyway, but if it's not possible grab a piece of fruit instead.
Rule #4: No Soy For You!
There is only ONE exception to this rule: fermented soy products that are organic, like tempeh and miso, are okay in moderation.
Otherwise, you're going to want to cut processed GMO soy out entirely - unfortunately this form can be heavily doctored and full of hormone disruptors that can seriously mess with fertility (for both men and women).
Rule #5: Avoid Refined Sugar
I feel like I include this in every nutrition post I write, but you just can't spin it any other way: refined sugars (found in sooooo many packaged foods, sodas, desserts, etc.) are terrible for your immune system, which should be in tip-top shape if you want to conceive.
Natural sugars like maple syrup and honey are a-okay (in moderation, of course). Stevia is great as well!
Rule #6: Watch Your Water Quality
Some folks might think this means reaching for bottled water, but I'd actually suggest the opposite: the chemicals found in plastics these days are laden with fertility-disrupting hormones, which can leech into your water if you're drinking it from a bottle.
Most places in Canada have excellent tap water; store it in a glass container in the fridge with some cut-up cucumber or lemon for a refreshing treat.
If you don't have the amazing luxury of healthy tap water, there are filters on the market that are great and chemical free - an easy internet search will yield some great options.
Overall, eating healthy for fertility isn't too far off eating healthy for life. With a little bit of care and consideration, especially when sourcing your foods (did I mention ORGANICS?!), you'll go a long, long way towards preparing your body for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
PS - One of the best articles I've seen in a while about a natural fertility diet is from the site Natural Fertility Info. It includes some of the same info as above, but goes into great detail about the science behind the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.