If you’re thinking about pregnancy in the near future, you may be wondering if what you are eating (or what you’re not eating) will affect your chances of conceiving. The truth is, our food choices do matter, and they matter a lot when TTC. A nutrient dense diet provides you with the natural building blocks that support the necessary functions of your reproductive system. This includes: hormone production and balance, consistent menstrual cycles and ovulation, egg development, and implantation and gestation. Processed and chemically laden food on the other hand, is nutritionally devoid and can have a negative effect on fertility. This goes for men and women!
Our food choices do matter, and they matter a lot when TTC.
So, you maybe wondering, where do you start?
Eat Your Colors
As someone who focuses on educating women and families on the benefits of whole food nutrition, I recommend starting with a good organic eating plan full of colorful antioxidant rich vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, protect our cells, tissues and organs from damage via free radicals. For example, exposure to pollutants like environmental toxins, smoke, radiation and excessive stress. Sperm are especially susceptible to this type of damage. The best dietary sources include:
- Leafy greens
The more the merrier! I recommend trying to aim for at least five servings a day. Homemade smoothies are one of the easiest ways to pack in the rainbow of colors needed on a daily basis. Check out one of my favorite TTC smoothie recipes at the end of the article!
Eat Your Lean Proteins and Fats
Be sure to also incorporate lean proteins and fats such as virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado, coconut, wild salmon and sardines. Organic pastured egg yolks, chiaseeds, walnuts and Brazil nuts are also great choices. The essential omega fatty acids found in these foods are anti-inflammatory. They’re also very important to women who are TTC for their ability to help promote healthy ovarian function, improve egg quality and even delay aging of the ovaries. I also recommend taking a full spectrum plant based supplement, like the omega blend from Juice Plus. It’s completely chemical free, which means it’s been tested for things like mercury and other contaminants.
Be Cautious of Dairy and Meat Intake
It’s important to be cautious of your dairy and meat intake. Research has found that eating low-fat dairy foods may hinder ovulation, so be sure to go the full fat route for cheese, yogurt and milk, and always eat organic when available. Studies have also linked eating high amounts of animal protein with ovarian disorders. Always choose 100% grass-fed meat when possible while TTC, and adding a variety of beans in place of beef, chicken and pork a few times of week will be of great benefit to you.
Be Smart About Your Sugar Intake
Say farewell to the artificial sweeteners and all of that sugar. I’m not asking you to avoid your favorite ice cream forever. However, I do want to emphasize the fact that sugar and your fertility is not a recipe for success. I’m not asking you to avoid your sugar cravings, I’m asking you to be smart about them, especially when TTC. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can hinder your ability to conceive because of the direct correlation this has to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances. Sugar can also have a negative effect on the immune system. Lowered immunity can cause both women and men to experience reduced fertility as illness impacts the healthy production of egg and sperm.
Do Prenatal Vitamins Really Help?
And what about prenatal vitamins? I understand it is the standard of care for most doctors to recommend, but please keep in mind that many products on the market today have not been fully researched. Many contain toxic ingredients and mega doses of vitamins and minerals, and this kind of overload can hinder your health instead of help. Through my own research, I have learned a lot about the hidden dangers of prenatal vitamins, and instead chose whole food supplementation while TTC. Juice Plus is one of very few products with independently published, peer reviewed university research. It’s bio available, so you can have peace of mind knowing all of the nutrients are getting into your bloodstream and being absorbed. Also, third party testing proves that all the ingredients are free of chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals and molds. It’s the gold star where prenatal nutrition is concerned. Other supplements to consider, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan, are a good liquid Vitamin D and B12. Feel free to reach out to me to further discuss the right products for you.
I’m not a doctor, nor do I claim to be an expert on fertility, but I am very interested in sharing what I have learned about getting pregnant naturally with the help of food. I hope these tips help get you started! Don’t be overwhelmed, start slowly, and do the best you can!
Creamy Pineapple Avocado Fertility Smoothie
- large handful of greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard
- ½ avocado
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon maca powder (a root crop that can benefit both women and men’s reproductive organs)
- ½ cup frozen pineapple (the core contains bromelain which is said to help build the uterine lining for implantation)
- 1 scoop vegan protein (I use Juice Plus Complete)
- 1 cup coconut or cashew milk (full fat)