People often ask me what are the foods to increase fertility. To understand how what you eat and fertility are related let’s look at the role nutrition plays in growing a new human being. In the first trimester of the pregnancy the growing embryo increases 20 million times. In the first 8 weeks of pregnancy your baby’s organs, hands, fingers, legs, feet, head, eyes, nose, ears etc..have been constructed. To ensure that during this phase all the foundations are laid down properly, you want to make sure that there are plenty of building blocks in the form of nutrients and no toxins and nasty bacteria and moulds which could infect the embryo and cause severe damage and could potentially result in malformations or a miscarriage.
Meet the Bad Guys
Let me ask you a question
If you were planning to do a marathon, or climb one of the world’s tallest mountains or go trekking in Alaska, would you just get up on the spot and do it, or would you take your time to learn as much about your adventure as possible and prepare your body for the strenuous exertion you are going to put it though?
Pregnancy is no different. It’s a very strenuous task for the body, a task it’ll only attempt when it’s fit, healthy, high spirited and rested. And for those of you who’d arise to the challenge on the spot, I’d like to point out, it’s not just about you anymore. Pregnancy is all about the developing child. What goes on during those 9 months will determine to a large extent the overall health and mental development of your child. You can feed it right and care for it and give it all your love for the rest of your life, but the most crucial present you can offer to your child, starts in the womb.
Ultimate health prevention starts with preconception health care. Ensuring that your child is conceived form the healthiest egg and healthiest sperm as possible and that it is developing in a toxin free environment and is provided with all the nutrients from foods to increase fertility that it needs. This is the best possible start you can give your baby.
Achieving good results in anything requires preparation. Pregnancy is no different. Preconception health care should be commenced at least 4 months (that’s 16 weeks or 120 days) prior to conception. 6-12 months would be even better. If you are currently infertile or subfertile, naturopathic fertility diet and the guidelines will be your best friends for as long as it takes to get your body in the optimal shape and state to either father a child or become pregnant. This can be as little as 4 months or as long as a year, depending on your individual case. Once pregnant you can continue on this diet to ensure a healthy pregnancy. There is no reason why you should not continue with the program during breast feeding as a healthy diet and nutrition are equally important then for the both of you.
Get your calendar out and mark today’s day. As of today you’ll be doing everything in your power to change your lifestyle and dietary habits with foods to increase fertility in order to help you conceive and have a healthy pregnancy.
What is a healthy diet?
I get asked this question a lot by my patients. The answer to this question is no enigma.
A healthy diet is as fresh as possible and organic where possible. Foods to increase fertility consist of good quality protein and good fats.
What are good quality foods to increase fertility?
Foods to increase fertility consist of organic meat, organic chicken, game, small deep sea fish like sardines and red snapper, organic legumes home cooked from scratch (not canned).
Good fats are of paramount importance for fertility (just like the bad fats can have devastating effects on overall health and fertility). They are monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, polyunsaturated fats found in oily fish and nuts and midchain fatty acids found in coconut oil.
It’s best to use cold pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil and nut oils on salads as they are unstable and dangerous when heated. For cooking it’s best to use clarified butter (ghee) or coconut butter (without flavor).
And of course plenty of raw, fresh organic fruit and veggies are great foods to increase fertility.
Remember, your #1 goal is to ensure that in 120 days prior to conception your eggs and sperm don’t get polluted or damaged, and, to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients it needs. This will make all the difference to your pregnancy and THAT is how you can guarantee for your baby the best possible start in life – ultimate health prevention!
In this article we looked at the basic premises of a fertility diet and foods to increase fertility. What are your suggestions? Are you eating right for your fertility? Are there any foods you’d find hard to give up? I’d love to hear what you think.
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.