Eating for Fertility

What does a fertile way of eating look like? It depends on you, your body, your mind, your genetic makeup, your lifestyle.

That said, leading on from my previous post there are certain changes which can be very helpful in:

  • Optimising egg heath

  • Supporting healthy sperm development

  • Reducing inflammation

  • Balancing hormones

  • Increasing receptivity in the uterus

Eat protein with every meal: Our hormones need protein to be made. Our liver and digestive systems need protein for enzymes to help absorb nutrients and remove what we don’t need from our bodies. Meat, fish, beans, eggs, lentils, nuts, seeds are all sources.

Healthy fats daily: Oily fish (max twice a week), think SMASH (salmon, mackerel, anchovy, sardine, herring). Olive oil, avocado oil, flax oil to salads, walnuts, avocado, almonds. These are really important in reducing inflammation and supporting egg health.

Reduce exposure to processed foods/alcohol: An excess of sugar, wine, beer, packaged food and take-aways will disrupt hormones and drive up inflammation in the body.

Reduce environmental toxins: Plastic , makeup, perfume, cleaning products, household products often contain chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, parabens and other hormone disrupting chemicals. Start to make swaps where you can, using glass bottles/lunchboxes instead of plastic is a good place to start.

Reduce caffeine: 200mg a day max. That is 2 cups of tea or 1 coffee (depending on the strength). One square of dark chocolate is around 20mg. 200mg is the upper limit when trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy so if you can have less great. An excess of caffeine has been linked to miscarriage.

Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin, one study found that women with higher vitamin D levels were 4 times as likely to fall pregnant via IVF than those with low levels. Vitamin D is difficult to extract from food and may be beneficial to supplement, doses will vary depending on your levels and lifestyle.

7 portions of fruit and veg a day: a portion is your clenched fist. The easiest way to increase your intake is to add one portion to breakfast, one to lunch and one to dinner. The more variety the better. The bright colours in plants contain compounds called antioxidants which are like the good army in our bodies that fight of the bad guys, reduce inflammation and help our eggs and sperm be as healthy as possible for creating a viable embryo.

Small changes make a big impact. Try to do one thing differently today, and start by adding something in before removing something, and focus on nourishing yourself from the inside out.

Rachael Robinson Nutritionist