There is so much information out on the world-wide web. thousands upon thousands of articles to “Increase fertility naturally!” they all say the same thing:
No drugs, no alcohol, no caffeine, eat healthy, exercise moderately, have sex before/during ovulation.
It’s so simple you’ll be pregnant in no time. ::eye roll::
So through my years of travel in the infertility journey, I’ve tried to delve deeper into research and formulate what I believe to be a “Fertility diet” that I compliment with supplements that are BASED ON REAL RESEARCH, and just a little hoodoo magic.
I am not a doctor, The following information/suggestions are not meant to be medical advise. These are my own personal thoughts and feelings.
#1 AVOID ALL PROCESSED FOODS & UNCESSESSARY CHEMICALS/PESTICIDES
- Eat organic: if you’ve got tons of money to burn buy everything organic! If you have a budget (Like I do and rest of the 99% of Americans) ONLY buy organic if its needed. Some crops do not hold pesticides easily or do not require a lot of pesticides to grow. How do I know what needs to be organic? Start off by learning the EWG “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”. This is a massive help. Also simple google searches will bring you to some helpful sites for more obscure produce. The only items I regularly buy “organic” are tomatoes (when we don’t have home-grown) and spinach! I simply do not eat anything else on the dirty dozen list. Foods like avocados, grapefruit, broccoli, asparagus, pineapple, lentils are all OK TO EAT CONVENTIONAL. Of course this is a “grey area” and its better to be safe than sorry, so if you can afford the organic version go for it!!!
- If you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t eat it: I’m not trying to instill fear about big bad chemicals in food, there are plenty of inert food additives that do not harm fertility BUT who has the time to really research and REMEMBER them all???? When you eat your food it should be Vegetables, Meat/fish, fruit, and a small amount of unprocessed whole grains. No need to know if red blue or yellow dye, Propylene glycol, Butylated hydroxyanisole are “safe” for fertility.
- Avoiding Soy: Soy has estrogen like qualities and can alter a woman’s natural estrogen level. Estrogen dominate women or women with hormone imbalances should absolutely avoid soy (in my opinion). Soy is in SO MUCH processed foods. Oh yeah and “Vegetable oil” Has pictures of cucumbers and broccoli and carrots on the front, check the ingredients its 100% “Soy bean oil”.
#2 AVIOD GLUTEN AND (CONVENTIONAL) DAIRY
- Many adults have unrealized food sensitivities. Things like IBS, PCOS, chronic fatigue, joint pain, lack of concentration and much more have all been linked to gluten. I personally grew up eating 90% processed foods. By the time I was in my early 20’s I was in pain every time I ate, I had to lay down until the pain decreased when ever possible. I WOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS IS NORMAL. A lot of people chalk digestive issues to over eating, or eating at the wrong time, or just “how it is”. No, it doesn’t have to be that way. People then try to “Eat healthier” thinking they’ll start to feel better, but they don’t because there is gluten in sooooo much. So they give up and go back to eating how every they were eating. When I decided to take control of my diet and find out what was causing me to be ill, I assumed it was dairy. So I cut out all dairy products, I felt good, but I still had the same problems when I ate sometimes. It has to be something else. So I asked my Dr. to be tested for a gluten allergy. I had to fast for 12 hours. After the 12 hours I was incredibly careful to avoid gluten. MY PROBLEMS DISAPPEARED. The test came back negative for an allergy (as will 99% of other people’s), but I was free of the pain and other symptoms of gluten intolerance. This was 10 years ago, before “gluten-free” was a huge fad/dietary style. Some fads are stupid and based on nothing but misinformation, not this. Avoiding gluten is so popular because it helps A LOT of people.
- Avoiding conventional dairy is more than avoiding lactose. Many American adults are “Lactose intolerant”. Some choose to be strict and avoid all dairy, some people just avoid high lactose foods (like soft cheese & milk), some don’t care and “deal with the consequences”. Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST) is what I am talking about. These hormones are injected into dairy cows to increase milk production, as a by-product it also increases IGF-1 a growth hormone that is not broken down by the human body, but is absorbed and can affect our hormones (read: fertility) and potentially lead to cancer. Choosing ORGANIC hormone/antibiotic free dairy products will eliminate this concern, from a local farm would be ideal.
#3 AVOID CONVENTIONALLY RAISED MEAT
- Grass fed beef. It is higher in nutrients and lower in saturated fat, it has higher concentration of omega 3’s and antioxidants than conventional beef. Conventional beef is fed corn and soy (GMO & soy is xenoestrogen), given growth hormones and antibiotics to grow fast and survive their incredibly dirty (inhumane) environments.
- Pastured/Free range eggs. As almost every “fertility food” list will have eggs on it, but not just any eggs will do. It’s confusing going to the store and paying extra for the “fancy eggs” and turns out they’re not even what you set out looking for. CAGE FREE/ORGANIC does not mean the chicken are outside in the sun pecking around like they’re supposed to be. It means that instead of being kept in battery cages their entire life where they can barely move, they’re in massive windowless barns where they can barely move, not much of an improvement. You need local farm eggs, that are allowed to free range, and are fed an organic feed to supplement their natural diet. Check Facebook market place, check a local farmers market. Keeping your own chickens is extremely easy too (if zoning allows). Free range organic eggs have A LOT MORE folate, b12, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, Omega 3’s. All of these nutrients are veryyy important to fertility and healthy pregnancy!
- Avoid Nitrates in processed meats