Diet and lifestyles are major contributors to our growing fertility problem. Of course, diet won’t solve 100% of the problem but it will undoubtedly help your body get more fertile. Fertility is an extension of your health, the potential to conceive. It’s not limited to conception but extends to all reproductive health including health menstrual cycles right through to your bowel movements!
1. Pump up the protein
Your hormones are made up of fats and protein, and it is for this reason that we need to ensure we are getting enough animal and plant protein to support fertility.
- invest in a pea or rice protein powder to boost your levels and blend yourself a morning smoothie.
- add chia seeds to salads, smoothies and cakes – they are a complete meal! (highest plant based source of omegas, fiber and protein)
2. Never fear fat
When we rob our body of these vital ingredients, it goes into a frenzy and shuts down our reproductive functions. So ensure what’s on your fork has quality therapeutic fats – think oily fish and eggs (omega 3’s & 6’s), animal and plant fats (coconut butter, salmon, milk).
- Look no further than eggs. They will provide the best balance of fat and protein. Contrary to what you’ve probably been told, you can’t have too many. Ever.
3. Super foods
These are the key to optimal health – and since your gut is the pivot of your health, maximizing absorption of vitamins and minerals is where it’s at. Get onto these super foods:
- Macca – high on my super food list, it goes great guns on balancing hormones and enhancing libido. Pop a scoop into your smoothie, or sprinkle on your salad.
- Use Mesquite – another super food available from loving earth – to stabilize insulin, it’s the highest anti-oxidant on the planet. It’s important to balance insulin for reproductive health – especially in those with poly cystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid troubles.
- Come one step further – Gubinge. It’s native to Australia and is the king of super foods. You can get your hands on it here.
4. Hydrate, and then some
Quality water is a must. Preferably filtered – especially in areas where water is recycled and treated where it’s difficult to filter out hormones and medicines (think the pill and antibiotics).
- Be mindful of water coolers – they are ok sporadically but many of them use copper piping which sets the hormones way out of whack and can be a sole contributing factor to infertility.
5. Ditch the plastics
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in plastics which is doing terrible things to our fertility. This is because BPA mimics oestrogen, which can do terrible things to the menstrual cycle in women, and also deform sperm, making it impossible for conception. Good news is you can now buy plastic that is BPA free. My view is, glass is the best alternative.
- Never drink water from a plastic water bottle that’s been sitting in the sun – this is a sure way to ingest BPA.
- BPA is also found in certain brands of cling film – to be sure, avoid having your food pressed against it and find an alternative way to store it.
6. Sleep for fertility
Sleep between the hours of 10pm – 6am will absolutely lower and balance hormones. Hormones are easily pushed out of kilter when we don’t rest adequately. Our bodies work on a the circadian rhythm (aka 24hr cycle), the inner time keeper responsible for day & night body function. One of it’s main jobs is hormone production. The receptors in our eyes tell our bodies when it is time to rest and time to wake. Alteration to this cycle disrupts our body function.
- Women who sleep less than 5 hours per night are more likely to be overweight and drink more coffee. Both affect fertility.
- Lack of sleep will also make you more hungry
7. Fresh is best – and always go with what’s in season
There are specific qualities that certain veggies contain that can help to treat menstrual irregularities and hormone imbalances. By increasing your intake and variety of fresh produce, you will do your health and fertility big favors.
- Recent research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers.
- Adding olives to your plate is useful to assist in maintaining a healthy reproductive environment and nourishing the reproductive organs.
- Figs are also great for male fertility. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers too.
8. Go organic
We know that organic food is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, which are making us sick, causing us to gain weight and again, mucking up fertility as our guts can’t absorb the nutrients in their presence. Where possible, go organic.
9. Treat yourself – have a drink
You can have wine, and you can have coffee! A quality coffee a day will not make you barren. As for alcohol, stick to low consumption.
- For women – 2 glasses per week – any more can affect ovulation.
- Men can tolerate a little more – 2 drinks every second day as a maximum. For men it can affect sperm quality and quantity. Just be mindful of how much is too much.
10. Say goodbye to soy
Soy is in everything, and it’s doing whacky things to our fertility. Minimise intake of processed soy products – a little is ok but it’s estrogen-mimicking properties don’t do your hormones and ovulation any favours. High levels of oestrogen will stop other hormones – luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, from being secreted (essentially what the pill is made up of). These hormones are necessary for ovulation to occur and in their absence, the entire menstrual cycle suffers. Same goes for men – high oestrogen will affect hormone secretion and affect over-all health as well as semen quality.