What do you think of when you hear the term “dietary fiber”? Perhaps you think of a bulking agent, or bowel movements/the “p” word/stool, bland foods, or those television commercials where fiber powder dissolves completely in water leaving behind a clear palatable beverage?
Fiber is, indeed, a bulking agent from whole plant foods that keeps all food moving through the digestive tract helping to keep the colon clean. It also provides immeasurable overall health benefits, especially fertility health. My goal is to convince you to eat more fiber! You’ve likely heard that before, but for your fertility health, fiber is essential.
Why Fiber Helps with Fertility
There are two main ways fiber is instrumental in helping the body achieve healthy hormonal balance…
2. Fiber helps slow the post-meal spike in blood sugar because the body digests it slowly. This helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day.
Fiber promotes healthy hormonal balance for all men and women, but may be especially instrumental in a natural fertility program for those with estrogen-dominant fertility health issues, PCOS, or immunological infertility.
Beyond fertility… the other big benefits of eating fiber
Beyond specific fertility benefits, fiber is instrumental in achieving optimal overall and fertility health by helping the body:
- manage weight
- have healthy, regular bowel movements
- maintain healthy cholesterol levels
- have a healthy inflammatory response
- rid itself of excess bile
- by feeding good bacteria in the gut/digestive tract
- maintain a healthy blood pressure
- reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease
How much fiber to eat and how?
Don’t worry about which fiber you should eat. Just eat more of all of them! ~ Cheryl Rock Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition at UC San Diego
Fiber is easy to consume when following a Fertility Diet. High-fiber foods are fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. To be more specific, consider regularly eating:
|dark leafy greens
The Institute of Medicine shares that women aged 50 and younger should eat 25 grams of fiber daily and men of the same age need 38 grams of fiber daily.
“You can meet your daily fiber needs with 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day, along with whole grains and beans.” ~Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Eating adequate amounts of fiber from whole foods benefits nearly every area of our health. It can be particularly instrumental for fertility health if you are struggling with hormonal imbalance or weight control, estrogen-dominant fertility health issues, issues with properly regulating insulin, or if digestive health is compromised. The Fertility Diet and Fertility Smoothies are naturally fiber-rich ways of eating for fertility. Be sure to stay hydrated as you introduce more fiber to your diet as well.
- Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
- Liu, S., Willett, W. C., Manson, J. E., Hu, F. B., Rosner, B., & Colditz, G. (2003). Relation between changes in intakes of dietary fiber and grain products and changes in weight and development of obesity among middle-aged women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78(5), 920-927. doi:10.1093/ajcn/78.5.920. Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/5/920/4677500
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d.). The Natural Fertility Diet: How to Eat for Optimal Fertility. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-diet
- What is Fiber? (2014, January 30). Retrieved from: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/fiber