Believe it or not the food you eat has a huge impact on your fertility. I know, like women need another reason to go on a diet! 🙂 But, keep in mind that you are not “dieting” for weight loss, you are simply adopting a healthier way of eating. Most of the items on this list however are self-explanatory, things that you shouldn’t eat or drink anyway. The items on this list have been found to affect fertility in one way or the other, whether it is directly or indirectly. The consumption of any of these items is a “no-no”.
1. Avoid Caffeine
Avoiding caffeine is an important step as it has long been associated with problems when consumed by pregnant women. However, multiple studies have directly linked excessive caffeine use to an increased instance of miscarriage and increase in estrogen. If you must drink caffeine your intake needs to be limited to a 1 cup a day; replace this something healthy such as water, herbal tea, or fruit smoothie.
2. Conventional Meats
Conventional meats directly affect fertility because of the numbers of synthetic hormones that can be found in the meat. When you ingest this meat, you are ingesting the hormones as well, and this can disrupt your normal reproductive cycle. This can be resolved by eating organic meat, often referred to as free-range or grass-fed.
3. Conventional Diary
Conventional dairy too has all the added hormones and antibiotics as conventional meats. So best to go organic here as well.
Many women rely on sugar for their daily boost; however, this sugar dependence is very unhealthy. Soda should be avoided because it is FULL of refined sugar as well as artificial flavorings, colors, and caffeine. Water is always a wonderful replacement for these (or fresh fruit juice). Be careful to avoid processed fruit juice such as that you find in your grocer’s juice department as it too contains tons of concentrated sugars, which can have negative effects on your immune system.
Do I even have to explain why to avoid this one? Alcohol is a definite NO-NO while pregnant but consumption of alcohol when trying to conceive is a bad idea because of the amounts of sugar in it. Also, men should avoid alcohol as well, because consuming alcohol may lead to poor sperm quality.
6. Processed Soy Foods
Soy has been connected to several different hormonal problems, including but not limited to breast cancer, because of its ability to mimic estrogen. Soy products can cause a disturbance in the normal hormonal balance which in turn can cause ovulatory problems, as well as many other reproductive health issues if you are already estrogen dominant.
Cigarettes are bad for every system and function in your body including the reproductive system. Eating organically to prevent the ingestion of harmful toxins and chemicals will do no good if you are taking in harmful toxins and chemicals emitted by a cigarette. Cigarette smoking, as well as secondhand smoke exposure, has been linked to fertility problems. It is best to stop smoking before conception because smoking while pregnant can lead to premature, low birth weight babies.
8. White Carbohydrates
Refined carbs such as white flour, white bread, white rice, and pasta turn into sugar, feed yeast, and do not provide much nutritional value. Opting for the whole wheat counterpart is a much better idea because of the amount of fiber, and other nutrients it possesses. Be sure to replace refined carbohydrate with the whole grain ones such as brown rice, wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and so on.
9. Fat Free Diet Foods
Fat free/diet food lacks the nutritional value of whole foods, not to mention all the added artificial flavorings, and artificial sugars added…basically chemicals placed in the food to make it appear as though it has taste. Getting rid of this diet way of thinking is a good idea; the way to a healthier, slimmer you is to eat whole nutritious foods full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants.
10. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils are full of Trans fats that are so unhealthy for a number of reasons. A great alternative to this is coconut oil! Trust me, it does not taste like coconut; it is a wonderful alternative to the dangerous fatty oils and it is super healthy…especially for reproductive health!