When preparing for pregnancy, making dietary changes is one of the most significant changes to your daily routine you can make. Specific, targeted changes in daily nutrition can increase ovulation, prevent miscarriage and create a sustainable environment for a growing fetus.
A natural fertility diet includes foods dense in nutrients that contribute to normal hormonal production and function, healthy fetal development, healthy reproductive cells and other sustainable physiological functions. The diet has been shown to regulate and correct fertility issues, restore functions related to healthy reproduction, and build stores of nutrients for the fetus to use.
There are several compelling reasons for eating a natural fertility diet, even several months before getting pregnant. The developing embryo needs some specific nutrients in the first crucial days after fertilization. Without these nutrients, serious birth defects may occur. The foods that you eat today have implications on the health of reproductive cells (i.e. eggs and sperm) 90 days from now. Additionally, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) benefit from diet modification, as the diet corrects the hormone imbalance. Through diet, these women are able to get pregnant despite having a disease that is usually incompatible with pregnancy.
The natural fertility diet is beneficial for all women trying to conceive, whether via natural means, or IVF.
Here are some guidelines for adopting a natural fertility diet:
1. Drink plenty of water daily. Distilled and reverse osmosis are the most beneficial techniques for processing drinking water. Tap water should be avoided, since the plastics found in the bottle can contain harmful chemicals.
2. Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables. These have a higher nutritional value and do not contain harmful herbicides and pesticides found in traditional, conventional produce.
3. Avoid refined sugars. These are found in processed sugar such as corn syrup, as well as in artificial sugar substitutes. Also, avoid pasteurized juice and juice from concentrate.
4. Organic, grass-fed, full fat, raw dairy is the best choice for a dairy source. Dairy that is not organic may contain excess hormones that may cause a hormonal imbalance in your body.
5. Cold-water fish is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. These include wild salmon, cod, and halibut, and are a rich source of protein and vitamin A. Omega-3 fatty acids facilitate hormone synthesis, reduce inflammation, and help regulate menstrual cycles.
6. Grass Fed meats and free-range chickens are ideal sources of protein. The excess hormones and antibiotics found in cattle and poultry that were conventionally raised lead to excess estrogen in the body.
7. Whole grains in their natural form are the most beneficial forms of carbohydrates. Fiber is important for maintaining normal, healthy blood sugar levels. High fiber foods include fruits, beans, and dark, leafy greens.
8. Avoid soy products unless they are fermented. Soy protein mimics estrogen, exacerbating estrogen-dominant imbalances. Foods to avoid include soymilk, soy meat substitutes, soy protein powder, and soy chips. Fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh are less likely to result in this imbalance.