Fertility Diet: How Does What You Eat Help You Get Pregnant?
There is no “magic bullet” fertility diet food that will “cure” infertility. With that said, there are a number of ways in which you can enhance your fertility as well as the chances of success for infertility treatment through foods and vitamins.
A Multi-Vitamin is a Fertility Diet Food. There have been a number of studies that show that taking multi-vitamins, particularly with folic acid if you are a woman, improve fertility. For women, the recommended daily dosage for folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, is 400 mcg. There are a number of over-the-counter prenatal multi-vitamins that fit the bill - a prescription vitamin is not necessary. However, if you do obtain a prescription from your doctor for a multi-vitamin, you may be able to treat it as a qualified expense under your flexible spending account (i.e., an employer-sponsored account in which an employee sets aside a portion of earnings for health/medical expenses, which are not taxable).
Drink Pure Water, When Possible. It is important to eliminate sodas (including diet sodas) and artificial sweeteners as part of your fertility diet. Try carbonated waters or drinks sweetened with stevia (a natural herb that is used as a sweetener) as alternatives. The goal is to drink 6 to 8 glasses of pure water per day; however, some people may who have specific health issues should talk to their doctors as they may need to customize the amount of fluids they consume to meet their individual needs.
Avoid Processed and Diet Foods. While eating “fake” foods will not completely destroy your chances of getting pregnant, they are not fertility diet foods that support the reproductive system or enhance your fertility or the success of infertility treatments. Consider limiting or avoiding these foods:
*Processed products, which are found in the center aisles of your grocery store and usually come in a box or package
*Any food that comes with a health claim such as “low fat”, “low cholesterol, or “No Trans Fat”
*Sodas, Candy, and Juices, which are high in sugar
*Artificial sweeteners such as Sweet’N Low, Equal, Splenda and others
*White floor, white sugar
*Store-bought muffins, cupcakes, breads and crackers
*Cereal – even the “healthy” versions found in health food stores are processed
*Margarine or other butter substitutes
*Fake foods and food substitutes such as Tofurkey, Not-dogs, etc.
*Soy food products – they have been reported to interfere with normal hormonal production
*Any products that list “high fructose corn syrup”, “partially hydrogenated oil” or artificial dyes
Eat like your ancestors with food that is closest to nature. Consider incorporating these fertility diet food options:
While it may seem frightening for those who have used “diet” foods for years to control their weight, whole food products actually support fertility and enhance your chances of getting pregnant. For example, cook eggs in real butter. Drink organic, full fat milk from grassfed cows or goats instead of skim or low-fat milk in which powdered milk has been added, along with oxidized cholesterol.
Keep grains to a minimum given that a significant amount is not necessary in your diet. Recommended grains include lentils, beans, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice. Eat unprocessed bread such as true sourdough, sprouted grains, or gluten-free products.
Eat Organic, When Possible. While going organic has the potential to impact to your pocketbook by being more expensive than non-organic foods, there is a benefit to eating organic when it comes to your health and your fertility. If your budget requires you to limit your choice of organic foods, the following fruits and vegetables are considered to be highly contaminated with pesticides and should be eaten organic as much as possible:
On the other hand, produce that is considered to be the least contaminated and could be eaten as conventionally grown if organic is not available includes:
Regardless if it is organic or not, all pre-packaged produce should be washed, even if the package indicates that it has been pre-washed - this is important to reduce any residual bacteria or chemicals that may be present.
Eat meat from animals that are raised outside (i.e., pasteurized chickens and 100% grassfed beef) and preferably organic, without the use of hormones.
With respect to seafood, wild caught fish is nutritionally superior to farmed fish. Avoid large fish with high mercury content such as tilefish, swordfish, and shark. Pregnant women should limit their consumption of low-mercury fish to no more than 12 ounces per week. Examples include canned light tuna, shrimp, pollock and salmon.
Avoiding Plastics Are Essential to a Fertility Diet. Studies have shown that the presence of BPA or Biphensol reduces fertility in both men and women. Get rid of the plastic containers and bottles in your home. Look for BPA-free drinking materials and avoid using the “steam in the bag” vegetables – instead, buy fresh vegetables and prepare them in a steamer or on the stovetop.
Consider Doing a Cleanse to Jump Start Your Fertility Diet. Purification, also known as detoxification, can help eliminate natural toxins and prepare your body for infertility treatments and pregnancy. There are a number of programs available on the market. Look for a program that utilizes whole food supplements and whole, organic and unprocessed foods.
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Your Guide to Herbs for Fertility
High Protein Diet for Fertility: Approach with Caution
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