For all of you couples out there trying for a baby…did you know there are simple dietary changes you make, starting today, that can improve your chances of conception? These dietary changes promote hormone balance and energy levels, and protect egg and sperm health, while providing the necessary nutrients the body needs for healthy conception.
Important Diet Changes for Healthy Conception:
1. Rather than eating 3 big meals a day, eat 5 smaller whole food meals a day.
This will help sustain energy, stabilize blood sugar levels and ensure you are receiving adequate nutrients throughout the day. All of these are vital to ensuring healthy conception.
Food is what fuels the body. The foods you choose to eat at each meal matter, especially when it comes to the health of your future child. Choose whole foods, from their most natural source possible.
If you are not sure how to do this, begin by cutting portion sizes back on breakfast, lunch and dinner (except for the fruits and vegetable portions) and increase portion sizes during your typical snack times. Make those snack times into a small meal.
You will begin to feel a difference in energy levels in no time. For women, over the next month you will surely notice the difference in the quality of your menstrual cycle and moods. For men, stamina may greatly increase.
2. Eat breakfast every morning.
This will help to regulate blood sugar levels, which is an essential part of hormone balance. There are a few rules to stick to here, in order to optimize energy levels, and to ensure you are packed full of important nutrients shown to support healthy fertility.
Balance your carbohydrate intake with an equal amount of protein. This is a key element to stabilizing blood sugar levels. Make sure your carbohydrate intake consists of whole grains, or whole fruits and vegetables, rather than processed carbs like doughnuts, cereals, etc.
Switch out coffee for a fertility specific herbal tea. Not sure what herbal teas are good? Click here for recipes and instructions on how to make your own fertility tea. The herbs in our fertility tea recipes are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals and have actions shown to support healthy fertility.
3. Eat 7-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.
You are probably wondering, “how on earth am I going to be able to get that many veggies and fruits in a day?” It is really quite simple once you dust off your old blender. Also, branch out, be brave and get on Pinterest. There are hundreds of thousands of “pins” about healthy recipes that can get you started. Here are the best ways to increase fresh fruit and vegetable intake:
- steam veggies
- add them to every meal
- supplement with a green superfood powder in 100% juice, we like FertiliGreens
- avoid canned veggies and fruits (full of sugar, low in nutrition)
4. Add in more fiber.
Fiber is the number one way you can improve estrogen metabolism, in order to create a healthy regular menstrual cycle. Estrogen dominance is linked to several of the top causes of infertility including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and even some cases of male infertility. Excellent sources of fiber:
- Ground fresh flaxseed (add it to salads, yogurt & smoothies)
- Dark leafy green vegetables (Swiss chard, baby spinach, kale, broccoli)
- Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat)
- Fruits like apples, berries, mangoes and prunes
- Legumes – Navy beans, pinto beans and lentils (made from scratch, not canned)
5. Drink 8 full glasses of filtered water a day.
Start by getting a full quart out of the way first thing in the morning. By drinking a full quart (use a Mason jar!) of filtered water first thing in the morning, you are going to be doing your liver a huge favor. The liver must work hard all night long to process and filter out toxins and excess hormones from the body. By drinking a quart of water before you eat in the morning, you are going to be flushing those toxins and excess hormones from the body. For extra detox support, add in fresh squeezed lemon.
To get in the rest of your water intake, carry a glass or stainless-steel water bottle with you everywhere you go. Drink throughout the day. Add in some cucumber or a sprig of fresh peppermint for some delicious light flavor!
6. Make sure to sit down and enjoy your meals – chew slowly.
You may be wondering why I would add this, but I find this is one of the most important aspects of healthy dietary habits. Our society tends to and is often encouraged through media to eat-on-the-go. This is stressful for the body, as it works on other tasks, yet is supposed to be digesting at the same time.
Take time to sit down, unplug from any devices you are typically on (this includes getting away from your computer desk), and truly enjoy your meal. If you feel like you don’t have time to do this, figure out a way to make time. You need to be sitting down to enjoy your meals, at minimum, 2-3 times a day.
Chew slowly. Why? Digestion begins in the mouth, with chewing and saliva. In order to absorb and utilize all the nutrition from the foods you are eating, you need to slow down and actually chew your food.
Even I am guilty of not taking the time to eat my meals properly, but I definitely notice the difference in my digestion and energy levels when I take the time to slow down and enjoy my meals.
7. Choose organic when possible, especially when it comes to animal products.
No other choice you are making regarding food choices is as important as this one to your hormone balance and the health of the planet we live on. It may be that you can’t afford all foods that are organic, that is okay, just do what you can.
Organic produce is grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. Organic animals are raised without being fed foods from non-organic sources, are not given antibiotics or synthetic hormones which may concentrate in their fat, muscles, and milk. Choose free range or pastured organic animal products whenever possible. You won’t regret it, you are helping to ensure a healthy child and a healthy planet for future generations!
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d.). The Natural Fertility Diet: How to Eat for Optimal Fertility. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-diet
- 50 Fiber-Rich Foods. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/50-fiber-rich-foods