A gluten-free diet and fertility go hand in hand for numerous reasons. First off there is the immune connection. If you are intolerant to gluten or wheat each time you ingest gluten your immune system will react by causing an inflammation in your small intestines. This is the site of nutrient absorption. In addition gluten seems to cause your small intestine villi (finger-like projections) to atrophy. They are responsible for nutrient sorting and absorption. An immune system on high alert and poor nutrient absorption do not bid well for fertility and pregnancy.
Gluten-free Diet and Fertility
Gluten-free diet and Unexplained infertility
If you’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility you should take a look at your gluten consumption. Gluten is not only found in most breads and baked goods but also in salad sauces, dips and soups as its used as a thickener. If you eat out at restaurants you may be inadvertedly consuming gluten. So its best to check that your food will be gluten free.
Gluten-free diet and fertility: signs and symptoms you should go gluten-free
If you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease then you must avoid all gluten. But Celiac disease is not the only reason to go gluten free. Below is a list of signs and symptoms which point to gluten intolerance. If you have any of those eliminate gluten from your diet all together. And don’t worry gluten-free alternatives are just as tasty and better for maintaining a healthy weight.
10 Signs of gluten intolerance according to Dr. Amy Myers:
- Gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
- Keratosis pilaris – “chicken skin” on the back of your arms. Due to fatty acids and vitamin A deficiency. The underlying cause of this is poor nutrient absorption in the gut caused by gluten.
- Fatigue and brain fog, after eating gluten.
- Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis.
- Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.
- Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS and unexplained infertility.
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
- Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees, or hips.
- Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and ADD.
Try gluten-free diet for 21 days and keep a diary to track your moods, sleep, skin appearance, digestion, energy levels and menstrual cycle changes. Here’s a little taste of gluten-free muffins which are great for your fertility and help protect your eggs and sperm from free radical damage due to their high content of nobiletin found in lemon zest.
Gluten-free diet and fertility: Fertility Super-Food Muffins
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- 2 tbsp chia-seeds
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- zest of 2 organic lemons
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 2 tbsp organic lemon juice
- 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup honey with royal jelly
- 4 organic free range eggs
- 1/4 cup melted organic coconut butter/oil
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (347 F). In one bowl mix all the dry ingredients. In the second bowl mix all the wet ingredients. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Place muffin paper holders in your muffin tray and fill them 2/3 of the height with the muffin mixture. Bake for 20-25 min. When ready insert a skewer to test if they are done on the inside. Sprinkle with dessicated coconut and serve.
And make sure to let me know how they turned out! I absolutely love these little lemony delights! Also make sure to share your thoughts on gluten-free diet and fertility!
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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.