How food affects fertility?
As the saying goes “You are what you eat”. This is even more important when you are trying to become pregnant. Not only do you want to become pregnant, but you also want to make sure you are healthy and baby is healthy. That’s why it is really important to eat healthy foods for you and your baby.
There are 3 foods I would like to talk about today; Protein, Vegetables and Sugar.
Protein has a major effect on your egg quality. According to some research done at an IVF clinic in the UK, most women do not eat enough protein, but too many carbohydrates. They found that women who didn’t eat enough protein had poor egg quality. They now require anyone who wants to go through IVF to go on a diet including enough protein for at least 3 months prior to IVF.
Vegetables are full of nutrients. For example, green leafy vegetables are high in folate, which is an important nutrient required to prevent Spina Bifida. Make sure you eat a variety of vegetables including the colours of the rainbow. The more colourful vegetables are the higher they are in nutrients such as antioxidants. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, adults should consume between 5 and 6 serves of vegetables per day. A serve is generally half a cup. My recommendation is 6 – 9 cups of a wide variety of vegetables. And no, hot chips are not considered vegetables in my books.
Many studies have been done around sugar and how it affects your hormones. So by just reducing your sugar intake, you can balance your hormone levels. A study done in the UK showed that reducing the sugar by 60% can reduce your estrogen levels by as much as 25% within 3 weeks. This is especially important for women who suffer from PCOS or endometriosis.
Not only does sugar affect your hormone levels, but it also affects the pH in your vagina. If your pH is too acidic, it will kill sperm immediately before it can reach its target. t will take some adjustments in your lifestyle to change your diet, but once you empty your pantry of all the junk and start eating protein and a variety of vegetables, you will feel so much better. You will have more energy to do the things you want to do, it will improve any health issues you may have and your skin will look fresher.
To make this change easier for you, I would encourage your partner to change his eating habits and join you on this new way of eating. It does take a healthy egg and healthy sperm to produce a healthy baby. If the sperm quality has been tested and it is not optimal, this change will improve the sperm quality within 3 months.
If you love sugar, you might be a bit concerned about giving it up, but it is not that difficult. If you need some tips to kick the habit, watch out for my next email.