Thinking about having a baby? Great! You may be starting to think about what you can do now in order to optimize and enhance your reproductive health. Well, one of the first things you can do is to start paying attention to what you're eating.
While a fertility diet is not a surefire way to get pregnant, and I would be wary of anyone saying otherwise, it is a great start and foundation for both mom and dad to address any nutritional deficiencies and strive to have the healthiest diet possible.
Other things to consider when thinking about having a baby include age, genetics, hormones and stress, so it is always helpful to work with a physician who specializes in fertility so you can really get at the root cause of what may be causing any challenges.
So why does nutrition matter? Well….not sure if you know this, but you will literally be building a baby from scratch! We sometimes forget this. Babies need things like vitamins, fats and amino acids as building blocks for their tiny bodies. Eating the best diet you can before getting pregnant not only helps you to grow a healthy baby but also protects your health as well, since we know that babies, greedy as they are, tend to take what they need from us, which can leave moms quite depleted.
So for those of you thinking about trying to conceive, here are my top tips for optimizing your fertility:
1) Work with a practitioner to assess your current health and determine the root cause of any fertility challenges.
2) Reduce stress. This is a biggie as stress has been linked to infertility. Ironically, dealing with fertility issues can be one of the most stressful situations a couple can encounter, so you truly need to work at finding out which things de-stress you and how you handle stressful situations. Often things like massage, yoga or meditation can be helpful but this is individual and you may need to do a bit of trial and error to find the best choice for you.
3) Work on improving your gut health. You need to be able to effectively digest and absorb your food in order to reap its nutritional benefits. Probiotic rich foods like raw sauerkraut, pickled vegetables or yogurt are all good sources of natural probiotics, which can help to strengthen your gut.
4) Adhere to an anti inflammatory diet, which is similar to a Mediterranean diet (with heavy emphasis on fish, healthy fats, lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans with some meat/poultry). You can always tailor this diet based on any food preferences.
5) Have your diet assessed and supplement if any deficiencies are detected. Common preconception supplements include vitamin D and folate.
6) Consider a gentle food based detox. Our bodies are constantly detoxing. You don’t need to do anything drastic but simply look for ways to reduce your toxic load and support your body nutritionally so it can detox naturally.
See our Glow package for more info on preconception nutritional planning and fertility detox and have fun as you start down this amazing journey to parenthood!