While it may appear that everyone else around you is getting pregnant, it can take some time to conceive. Are you one of these people for whom it is taking time? Have you been trying to get pregnant and worried about your fertility? Ask yourself the question “What do I eat”? This may sound a bit wacky but if you have been trying to get pregnant and it is just not happening, I guess you are willing to listen to what I have to say. It may just be the key to unlocking your problem.
The old adage “you are what you eat” rings true. Everything you eat has an effect on your body from your blood cells to your hormones. Therefore it is vitally important to prepare yourself as best you can, in readiness to conceive.
It has been quoted that it can take between 3 months to a year for your dietary changes to prepare your body for pregnancy. Obviously however, if you have a healthy diet now, this time frame will be shortened.
Continue to read on for 10 top tips on how to make changes to your diet to improve your fertility.
1. The first and foremost universal piece of advice is to give up smoking. Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women and lengthens the time it takes to conceive. Women who smoke are twice as likely to be infertile as women who don’t. So give up now.
2. Give up or reduce your alcohol intake. The evidence for alcohol and fertility is still rather inconclusive but small studies have shown women that drink less than 5 alcoholic drinks a week are twice as likely to conceive as those who drink 10 or more.
3. Research around Caffeine is mixed but if you are experiencing difficulties conceiving then cut out caffeine in all its forms – coffee, strong tea and chocolate. It’s been linked to low fertility in some studies.
4. Increase your portions of fruit and vegetables from the daily recommended 5, to 8 portions of organic fruit and vegetables daily. Going organic ensures they contain low levels of pesticides and have higher nutritional content than non-organic.
5. Increase your fluid intake. Research has shown that most of us do not drink enough fluid each day and that we are all slightly dehydrated. Drinking up to eight glasses of filtered water or herbal/fruit teas will help flush out excess toxins.
6. Eating small portions and at regular intervals (approx 2 ‘3 hourly) will help to sustain your blood sugar levels. This will help to prevent excessive drops in blood sugar which can release too much adrenalin. As a result this may block progesterone, which maintains pregnancy.
7. Increase the Zinc in your diet. It is essential for fertility. It ensures the production of good-quality sperm and can reduce the chance of miscarriage. Cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds and crab meat are all good sources of Zinc. Good quality supplements can be found in most good chemists. Remember to ask the pharmacist for advice on your individual situation.
8. Vitamin B intake is also important. B6 helps to balance hormones and can be found in sunflower seeds, lentils, bananas, chicken, white fish and tinned salmon. While B12 is required for cellular reproduction. It can also increase sperm count. Sardines, lamb, chicken, Marmite and Cheddar cheese are all good sources. Often it is hard to get the levels required by diet alone and again supplementation may be needed. Discuss your requirements with your pharmacist.
9. Try to change all animal produce to organic. Non-organic dairy and meet contain antibiotics and growth hormones.
10. Keep your system clean. Eat more fibre, which is essential for fertility as it keeps the bowels regular. Do this by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of wholegrain.
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