Fertility Diet Advice
As a couple, you try your best to conceive a child. When you have no success after your effort for more than 6-12 months, you decide to see a fertility expert. After assessing your fertility, the expert suggests a few treatment options that include a focus on a healthy diet. As per his/her advice, you have a list of foods to eat and foods not to eat. Here is a brief explanation on the same for your support:
Foods To Include In A Fertility Diet
There are no special foods that will help you conceive, but you can support your fertility by including wholesome options from the following food groups in your diet.
- Veggies and fruits
Fill your plate with as many fruits and vegetables as you like. One study by the Harvard School of Public Health found a higher incidence of ovulatory disorder in those who consumed more trans fats, sugar from carbohydrates, and animal proteins. The study included nearly 19,000 women; non-binary and LGBTQIA people were not included in the data. Make sure that half of your plate at every meal is made up of fresh fruits and vegetables as a remedy.
Any diet that is balanced should include healthy plant-based fats in moderation. Olive oil, grapeseed oil, nuts, avocados, and other inflammatory-reducing foods can support regular ovulation and enhance female fertility in general by reducing inflammation in the body. Some fats might even be helpful for those who really struggle with infertility. According to studies, compared to women who don't eat healthy plant-based fats during that time, eating a certain amount of monounsaturated fats—such as those found in avocados—during the IVF cycle increased the success rate by three and a half times.
- Complex carbohydrates
Try to include more complex ("slow") carbs and reduce highly processed ones to improve fertility. Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in cookies, cakes, white bread, and white rice, are quickly digested by your body and converted to blood sugar. Studies have shown that high insulin levels seem to prevent ovulation, and the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to reduce the blood-sugar spike.
Complex carbohydrates (those containing fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains) are digested more slowly and affect blood sugar and insulin levels more gradually. Grains that haven't been refined much are also excellent sources of fibre, vitamin E, and fertility-friendly B vitamins. More complex carbohydrates, like brown rice, should make up a quarter of your plate. Breaking out of your rice and pasta rut and trying more interesting whole grains like quinoa, amaranth, and millet may also be beneficial. They'll support longer periods of feeling full and help keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range, both of which are crucial for fertility.
Great sources of protein, zinc, and iron—all essential building blocks for a healthy pregnancy—include lean cuts of chicken, turkey, pork, and beef. On the other hand, excessive saturated fat found in animal protein may be connected to problems with conception, per a study on diet and conception.
Seafood protein sources can also be healthy choices. For instance, coldwater fish such as salmon, canned light tuna, and sardines are great sources of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids; they also aid in the development of the baby's nervous system and lower the risk of an early birth, so why not start before conception?
According to Krieger, you shouldn't be concerned about your mercury intake if you include these foods in your fertility diet a few times per week. However, it is best to steer clear of other varieties, including shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel, which are known for having higher mercury contents.
You can choose plant protein (from beans, nuts, seeds, and tofu) when selecting foods that promote conception. They contain good fats and have few calories, which can be advantageous for pregnancy if losing weight has been advised for you as a pre-conception step.
For those of us who can tolerate lactose, choosing whole milk or other full-fat dairy products (like yoghurt) over non-fat and low-fat dairy products will support fertility. A woman had more difficulty conceiving the more low-fat dairy products she consumed. In contrast to high-fat dairy, low-fat dairy has been shown to increase the risk of ovulatory infertility.
Foods To Avoid Or Limit In A Fertility Diet
Everybody's diet will be different, and it's important to always listen to your body when it comes to nutrition, but if you're specifically trying to get pregnant, it may be useful to know how the following foods can impact you and your partner's fertility and make your food choices from a place of empowerment.
If you enjoy coffee, you don't have to give it up entirely when trying to conceive, but it might be helpful to drink tea and coffee in moderation. The Harvard study found that drinking multiple cups of coffee or tea per day had little impact on ovulation issues—but it could result in dehydration.
It may be a good idea to start this habit now since the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also advises pregnant people to keep their daily caffeine intake (from sources like coffee, energy drinks, teas, and even chocolate) to under 200 milligrams.
The majority of experts advise couples trying to conceive to stay away from alcohol. High alcohol consumption, including binge drinking, has been linked to decreased fertility in addition to dehydration. There may be risks to the foetus as well if you regularly drink and become pregnant without realising it.
It's important to remember that the advantages of abstinence don't just apply to the partner becoming pregnant; a study confirmed that alcohol use can harm sperm health and may have long-term effects on the foetus. In conclusion, it may be best for you and your partner to limit alcohol for the time being if you're trying to get pregnant.
- Processed sweeteners and sugary beverages
While it's important to lead a balanced life with occasional treats, if you have any issues with unstable blood sugar levels (for example, if you have diabetes or PCOS), it might be beneficial to stick to less-processed sweeteners to help increase fertility. Concentrated sugar consumption can seriously disrupt your hormonal balance and cause problems with insulin and blood sugar regulation.
Be mindful of the sneakier sugar bombs like fruit juice, energy drinks, and sweet teas when following your fertility diet plan and consume candies and desserts in moderation. An Epidemiology study found that sugary sodas in particular were linked to ovulatory infertility.
- Refined soy
Given that soy consumption has been linked to a decreased likelihood of conception, it may be beneficial to stay away from processed soy products in your diet, especially powders and energy bars. For instance, ovarian function may be negatively impacted by diets high in soy, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. According to some experts, these products' significant amounts of soy protein isolate have oestrogen-mimicking properties that may upset your hormonal balance. Edamame and tempeh, as well as fermented soy products like miso paste or natto, can both be consumed in moderation.
At Archish IVF Clinic, we do a complete fertility assessment of a couple when they complain about conception issues. Apart from treating their issues, we advise what to eat and what not to eat and produce a complete fertility diet chart for them.