8 changes to help increase your fertility
Harvard performed a recent study that showed an 80% decrease in infertility with lifestyle changes made by switching to a fertility diet. Women who followed a combination of five or more lifestyle factors, including changing specific aspects of their diets, experienced more than 80 percent less relative risk of infertility due to ovulatory disorders compared to women who engaged in none of the factors, according to a paper published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The women with the highest fertility diet scores ate less trans fats and sugar from carbohydrates, consumed more protein from vegetables than from animals, ate more fiber and iron, took more multivitamins, had a lower body mass index (BMI), exercised for longer periods of time each day, and, surprisingly, consumed more high-fat dairy products and less low-fat dairy products.
The body digests bad carbs (like cookies, cakes, white bread and white rice) quickly, and turns them into blood sugar. To drive down the blood-sugar spike, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream.
Good carbs (those containing fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains) are digested slowly and have a more gradual effect on blood sugar and insulin. Studies have found that high insulin levels appear to inhibit ovulation.
2) Avoid all trans fats
Trans fats (found primarily in foods such as commercial baked and snack foods, animal products, french fries and some margarines) increase insulin resistance.
Insulin helps move glucose from the bloodstream to the cells; resistance means it's harder to move glucose into the cells. The pancreas keeps pumping out more insulin anyway, and the result is more insulin in your bloodstream. High insulin levels cause a lot of metabolic disturbances that affect ovulation.
3) Eat more healthy unsaturated fats.
Healthy unsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds are essential for hormone production and hormones are responsible for regulating ovulation.
4) Consume one or two servings a day of whole milk or other full-fat dairy foods, such as yogurt, and less non- and low-fat dairy.
"We found that the more low-fat dairy products in a woman's diet, the more trouble she had getting pregnant," says Walter Willett, M.D., a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
"The more full-fat dairy products she ate, the less likely she was to have trouble."
5) Take a daily multivitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and 40 to 80 milligrams of iron.
Women in the Harvard study who took daily multivitamins containing 400 micrograms of folic acid were 40 percent less likely to experience ovulatory infertility over the eight years than women who didn't.
6) Eat organic vegetables and fruits
Conventional produce contains harmful herbicides and pesticides which have been shown to negatively effect both male and female fertility. Studies have also shown organic vegetables and fruits to have more nutritional value.
7) No soy of any form unless fermented such as miso and tempehSoy foods have been shown to contain estrogen mimicking properties. It is best to avoid processed soy foods such as soy milk, soy burgers, soy protein powder, soy chips, soy meats, and soy cheeses to avoid a negative impact on your hormonal balance. If you have hypothyroidism avoid soy completely.
8) Drink lots of clean waterBe sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of clean, purified or filtered water daily. It is best to avoid bottled water as some of the plastics in the bottle can contribute to hormonal imbalance due to their estrogen mimicking chemicals. The best waters to choose from are reverse osmosis and distilled. Avoid tap water, as many recent studies have shown tap water to be laced with harmful pesticides from agricultural runoff.