In recent times, the upsurge of infertility has become a public health concern. According to the Center of Diseases Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 10 women will experience infertility. Unfortunately, most of the people affected by this condition think that fertility treatment is all about sophisticated diagnostic testing, powerful medications, and high-tech procedures. Experts say though they are also important but maintaining a healthy diet is important at every point particularly, in a woman’s life, especially when trying to conceive a baby.
For some people, choosing certain foods and drinks as a way to influence their ability to become pregnant, sounds more like folktale wisdom than medical advice. As a result, people sometimes overlook the natural tools around them that would have helped them with their fertility and pregnancy experiences. Thanks to the fact that science is now coming full circle to take another look at the role nutrition may play in improving fertility and supporting healthy pregnancies. While many women don’t start getting serious about eating healthfully until after they have become pregnant, there is increasing evidence that diet matters long before conception.
Studies have shown that there is need for women to watch their weight because unhealthy food intake—whether too much or too little—has a contributing factor to infertility for many years. According to dieticians, too little or too much weight can make your reproductive cycle irregular and that could affect your ovulation.
A dietitian,Maria Biasucci-Vianna, said: “Your ovaries and your fat cells regulate estrogen, which affects ovulation.If you are too thin, you may not be producing enough estrogen, and if you are overweight or obese, you may be producing too much.”
Biasucci-Vianna who is also a Fertility Counsellor said there is need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight to keep reproductive cycle in balance.
Recently, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health published findings from a study of more than 18,000 women who were followed over eight years to see if their diets influenced their ability to become pregnant.
The study found that women who ate foods containing higher amounts of trans fats, animal proteins and carbohydrates, among other dietary factors, were more likely to have an ovulatory disorder. Ovulation problems cause infertility in about 20 percent of women seeking help in becoming pregnant. They concluded that a majority of such cases “may be preventable” by adjusting diet and lifestyle.
Those findings apply only to women with ovulation problems and not to all infertile women.
Further findings have also stressed the need for women to boost your fertility by switching animal protein with vegetable protein sources, such as cooked dried beans and nuts.
Fertility boosting foods
Seaweed: Seaweed is packed with nutrients that help enrich the liver, kidneys, bladder, and adrenals which are organs vital to fertility health.
Salmon: Salmon is full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids which are proven to regulate blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Figs: Figs contain a lot of iron, which are important for healthy eggs and ovulation.
Oysters: Oysters have been known to increase libido, but oysters can also be a great source for fertility because they are packed with zinc, which increases the production of good-quality eggs.
Berries: Any kind of berries are good at protecting eggs from damage and aging because they are full of antioxidants. Strawberries have been linked to naturally increasing a woman’s libido.
Beans: Beans are a lean protein and are full of iron, which helps to increase fertility and libido.
Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens such as spinach, romaine, arugula, and broccoli are high in folate, a B vitamin that has been shown to improve ovulation. Leafy greens also naturally increase a woman’s libido.
Maca Root: Maca root increases fertility in men and women by increasing energy, boosting the immune system, and providing vital minerals and nutrients.
Yams: Yams have an ovulation stimulating substance that can help boost fertility.
Vegetables and Fruits: Eating up to three servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for any diet, but especially important when trying to conceive.
Foods to Avoid
Soy: Soy contains a compound very similar to estrogen which can cause estrogen levels to be too high and can negatively affect fertility.
Alcohol: It is a good idea to limit your alcohol intake to one or two servings of alcohol while trying to conceive.
Sugar: Consuming refined sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, can cause blood sugar spikes which can negatively affect the reproductive system as well as the rest of the body.
Saturated fats: It is important to avoid eating saturated fats when trying to conceive because they increase oestrogen levels, which can cause infertility.