Feed Your FertilityJanuary 3rd, 2014 by David
There are a myriad of important factors involved in the fertility game, but one thing is certain – food and fertility are intrinsically linked. Just think of the little miracle that occurs when a bunch of cells club together to create a tiny human life. It involves a lot of hard graft for your body to make its very own mini-me, so it needs to know it has the nutritional tools to call upon!
Protein – Your baby is going to need plenty of protein to grow inside you. You need to deliver oodles of amino acids into your inner grow bag before baby even begins to form. When trying to conceive, make a concerted effort to focus on getting plenty of high quality protein foods into each meal and snack. Eggs are the perfect fertility food, which makes sense when you think about it! They are also the most ‘complete’ proteins known to nature, so get cracking – and don’t dismiss the egg yolk – it is a concentrated source of minerals and vitamins needed to equip your womb with baby making instructions! Fish, meat, poultry, yoghurt and nuts and seeds are also great proteins to focus meals around. A palm sized portion of protein should feature at every meal and at least a handful with every snack.
Essential fats – Essential fats make the baby’s brain, and you want to grow an infant genius of course! Now what swims to mind when you think of brain food? Fish of course! Eat salmon, mackerel and sardines 2-3 times weekly. Essential fats are required to strengthen reproductive mechanisms in the body and to protect from inflammation which may be preventing healthy conception. The antioxidant selenium found abundantly in salmon helps to protect the sperm and egg from free radical attack too. Other essential fat foods to incorporate in a baby planning diet include olives, avocados and nuts and seeds.
Zinc – This is a vital mineral for both players in the baby making game. Zinc is required for healthy sperm production and motility, as well as for striking a healthy balance between oestrogen and progesterone in women. Zinc is rich in shell fish, pumpkin seeds, natural yoghurt, dairy produce, chicken and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C – This is essential for men as vitamin C helps guide the sperm egg-bound, and for women it acts as an antioxidant shield for the precious eggs, protecting against free radical damage.
Vitamin E – Deficiency in this vitamin antioxidant is shown to decrease fertility levels in animal trials, and we know that its actions help to preserve our DNA which of course is essential for handing our genes down to our offspring.
Iron – Insufficient iron levels can stunt ovulation and compromise egg health. Animal produce is the best source of bioavailable iron, so a couple of lean pieces of quality red meat are recommended on a weekly basis. Chickpeas, chicken, apricots, greens, eggs and beets also provide iron levels.
Folate – We know folic acid is especially important once we fall pregnant, but did you know that it supports fertility in women by promoting healthy ovulation? Beetroot, greens and asparagus are rich sources of this nutrient, but supplementation is recommended.
A multi nutrient supplement to fill any nutritional gaps is generally recommended when you are trying to conceive. There are plenty of great pre-conception products available which contain a cocktail of baby making ingredients.