In my last blog https://pattyrd.com/nutrition-matters-when-trying-to-conceive-part-i/ , I gave my first 4 tips for those trying to conceive, but having trouble. As frustrating as that process can be, following my tips will increase your chances of conception with the bonus of helping you get healthier overall. The healthier you are when you do conceive, the healthier your pregnancy and your baby will be.
I’ve already talked about the importance of starting your day off right, eating a good breakfast, avoiding caffeine, increasing foods high in antioxidants, and reducing carbs and trans fats. But there are other changes you can make in your diet that will increase your chances of fertility, so let’s dive in!
Be selective when it comes to carbohydrates
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks, along with white bread, pasta, and rice. You’ve heard people talk about staying away from “white foods,” and this is exactly what they mean. These foods all absorb very quickly, which causes your insulin and blood sugar to spike. Since insulin is chemically similar to ovarian hormones (which help eggs mature), it can cause the body to cut down on production of eggs. This happens because the body is fooled into believing it doesn’t need anymore. As a result, ovulation and egg maturation are both affected negatively. Substitute grainy breads, brown pasta and rice, and natural sugars found in fruit, and your body will thank you.
Fiber is king
- To counteract sugars, it is recommended to eat more fiber. Fiber helps to keep blood sugar balanced and has the added benefit of removing excess estrogen from the body. Avocados, sweet potatoes, oats, and fruits are all great sources of fiber, and studies show they are particularly good at flushing out excess estrogen. One study showed that increasing your fiber intake by just 10 grams a day leads to a 44 percent lower risk of infertility in women over 32 years of age.
Incorporate more plant- based proteins
- Swap out some animal proteins for vegetable proteins. This doesn’t mean you have to give up meat entirely, but a small change in this area can make a huge difference. One study showed that trading just 5 percent of meat proteins for vegetable proteins resulted in a 50 percent jump in fertility rate! Fish is a standout source of protein because eating more of it increases your chances of carrying a pregnancy to full-term and delivering a healthy baby. I am a huge proponent of fish and other seafood because its overall health benefits are plentiful.
Do you know your ideal weight range?
- Try to get within the ideal weight range for your height. You don’t need to see a doctor to find out what that is. A quick google search will provide the desired range, and your goal is to be as close to that as possible. In addition to the many health benefits of maintaining the proper weight, fertility and pregnancy can be negatively or positively affected by weight. The amount of fat stored in your body can affect your menstrual cycle, and obesity can lead to both lack of ovulation and impaired egg development. Not to mention that when you do become pregnant, you do not want to endanger yourself or your baby by adding weight to an already obese frame.
The great news is that you have help to reach your ideal weight and to adjust your diet in order to increase your chances of fertility. I can work with you to put together a plan that will help you reach your health and fertility goals in a safe, encouraging environment. Give me a call!