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Fertility boosting foods are not a myth! Nutritions and scientists have been exploring the link between one’s reproductive health and eating habits with years. Finally, it has been medically proven that there is a strong connection between what we eat and our fertility.
Our bodies are complex engines whose performances are highly dependant on the quality of the “oil” we use. In this case, the oil is the type of food we are consuming regularly. Specific diets cannot cure one’s inability to conceive naturally (definition of fertility), but it can significantly improve the reproductive health and the chances to conceive. The food tips you are about to find below are useful as well when applied during your fertility treatment. The success of an IVF treatment also can be improved by proper diet.
Our reproductive health can be weakened even in our early thirties – reasons of this can be unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. Not always bad reproductive health leads to full infertility, but, it can affect the quality of the pregnancy or the health of the child.
The connection between reproductive health and our overall health is uninterruptible. Our reproductive health quality can be affected by the balance between the hormones and certain foods. Moreover, problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, body weight problems (obesity, and underweight problems) can harm our fertility.
Thus, we want to welcome you on a short tour through the fertility boosting foods and means to enhance your fertility. Also, on this tour, you will be able to find out what to avoid, so you can make sure that you are doing your best to support staying fertile.
Fertility boosting foods for women
This section will be dedicated to food boosters for females. A woman’s body has to be well prepared not only to conceive successfully but also for carrying out a healthy pregnancy Therefore, they should be extremely careful about their lifestyle and eating habits. Woman’s consistency and dedication in applying the following nutritional tips is crucial for being a healthy mother.
So, beautiful ladies, what should you include in more often in your daily meals?
Breakfast rich with calories instead of dinner rich with calories!
Studies have shown that the first meal of the day can help in facilitating the problems coming from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can be found within the top ten most common reasons for infertility. Therefore, it requires attention and adjustments in eating habits. Richer breakfast has been proven effective in regulating the hormonal effects of PCOS.
Women with optimal body mass index factor and diagnosed with PCOS will benefit from breakfasts rich with calories. Why is that so?
The first benefit of rich breakfast is decreased insulin levels. Consuming most of the daily calories with the first meal of the day can help with decreasing insulin levels. The second benefit is reduced testosterone levels. Studies have shown that testosterone levels can be reduced by 50% by implementing this approach.
Breakfasts richer with calories then the dinner can help the ovulation process by approximately 30%.
Important to note!
Meals should be balanced, so they won’t increase your weight. If the breakfast is rich with calories, the dinner should be lighter. Generally, having “heavy” meals before going to sleep usually results in massive weight increase. So, try to keep your meals in balance that is fertility-friendly.
Careful intake of carbs can also help with PCOS and boost your fertility
PCOS can also be facilitated by decreased intake of food rich with carbs. Cutting the carbs from your daily meals can lead to establishing healthy and optimal body – mass index (BMI), regulate insulin and testosterone levels and boost losing fat.
You might have heard that this approach helps with menstrual irregularities too. That is absolutely true! Since menstrual irregularities and PCOS can be harmful to one’s fertility, cutting the carbs is highly beneficial!
Approximately 80% of the women who were used to meals full of carbs were diagnosed with the risk of infertility. Studies have shown that these women are exposed to the risk of obesity too.
Very important to note!
When speaking about carbs, it is not only important to decrease their quantity to preserve fertility. The type of carbs that you consume should also be taken into consideration. With this, we are referring to excluding refined carbs out of your meals! Refined carbs are food with a specifically high glycemic index (GI). The high glycemic index also can result in ovulatory problems and fertility problems. Moreover, refined carbs are well-known for the increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Pasta, white bread, rice are types of refined carbs. Even though they are extremely tasty, be careful of their consumption!
What carbs with low GI can you consume?
Oatmeals are the best alternative when it comes to healthy carbs with a low glycemic index.
Instead of trans fat, reach to healthy fat meals
Including healthy fat in the meals is contributing to healthy reproductive health. On the opposite, fat that can be found in margarine, fast and fried food, processed products and even baked goods, known as trans fat, can cause ovulatory problems. One’s insulin sensitivity can be affected by the intake of trans fat.
Frequent consumption of meals containing trans fat can lead to increased infertility risk by 70 %.
Which products contain healthy fat and are beneficial for women’s reproductive health?
Full-fat dairy such as ice cream, milk, yogurt can help the estrogen production with increasing the level of Vitamin D and calcium.
Including avocados, olive oil, peanuts, and peanut butter, sunflower seeds, salmon, almonds in your daily meals can also contribute to your health and your fertility.
Moderated intake of fiber-rich food is welcomed
Food rich in fibers helps in establishing hormone balance, especially regulating levels of estrogen. Furthermore, it helps in keeping the blood sugar levels under control. Diet based on increased intake of fiber-rich food can help women in more advanced age (over 32) to lower the risk of infertility, and ovulatory issues.
Which foods are rich with fibers?
Combining your daily meals with more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains (whole-wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice) can benefit the reproductive health.
Very important to note!
This type of food should be extremely moderately taken. A very high intake of fibers can turn the tables. In addition, some studies have shown that it can cause ovulation issues if more then 10 gr are consumed daily.
Be careful of the protein’s source that you use to consume!
Consuming protein is important for preserving fertility. Though, the source of the protein is discussable. Protein with animal origin (meat, fish, and eggs) is not contributing much to a healthy reproductive system. On the opposite, proteins with vegetable origin (nuts, seeds, and beans) can lower infertility risks.
To make it clear, you should have them both in your daily meals, but consume more protein from vegetable origin.
Increase the intake of vitamins, multivitamins and folic acid
Insufficient levels of some of the vitamins in the body can have an extremely bad outcome even if the couple manages to get pregnant naturally. For example, a deficiency of folate (Vitamin B9) can result in neural tube defects in the child. Therefore, folic acid (a synthetic form of folate) is usually recommended for women tending to get pregnant.
Consuming vitamins either in the form of supplements or fresh is increasing the chances of getting pregnant and preserving reproductive health by approximately 40%. Vitamin deficiency can harm the immune system, which is closely connected with the reproductive system.
What foods will enrich you with vitamins?
Starting a routine of eating fruits rich in vitamin C such as lemons, oranges, berries, tomatoes can lower the risk of ovulatory problems. Also, the intake of green tea, vitamin E, folate vitamin B6 can result in a healthier reproductive system. Vitamin E can prevent occurring of genetic abnormalities in woman’s eggs.
Fertility boosting foods boosters for men
Balanced nutrition and including specific foods into the meals are important for a man too. Many types of eating habits and foods can result in a higher quality of the sperm and increased chances of the couple getting pregnant. Specific foods can improve man’s libido too.
Food rich with zinc – The magic of oysters
Intake of zinc has been proven to be effective in increasing testosterone and improving sperm quality (sperm’s motility and count). Therefore, food rich in zinc, such as oysters and pumpkin seeds is found beneficial.
Food full of vitamins
Similarly, as for the women, Vitamin C also improves the sperm’s quality and motility. Therefore, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, and cabbage should be involved in the daily meal plans.
The increased level of folate can strengthen sperm. Food such as spinach, brussels sprouts, asparagus can be helpful for improving the male’s reproductive material.
Increase the intake of arginine
Arginine is an amino acid that efficiently improves the sperm count and overall quality. It can improve erectile dysfunction and also regulate blood pressure. This amino acid can be found in dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds, seaweed, chicken meat.
Foods rich with omega 3
The sperm count and quality are positively affected by the increased intake of omega 3. Food rich with omega 3 such as fish and seafood significantly improves male fertility and libido.
Food enriched with selenium
Selenium is one of the minerals contributing to high-quality sperm. Selenium can be found in food such as Brazilian nuts, fish, ham, pork meat.
Replace full – fat dairy with almond or soy milk
Full – fat dairy can be beneficial for female’s fertility because it contains estrogen. But, on the other side, it can harm male fertility. So, consider replacing the full – fat dairy with consuming almond or soy milk. Also, tofu can be an alternative for the cheese.
Which fertility boosting foods are good for both male and female fertility
Antioxidants like folate and zinc may improve fertility for both men and women. Food with antioxidant features can protect the egg from damage, and also improve the potency and motility of man’s sperm.
The role of the antioxidants in our bodies is to deactivate the free radicals that can harm the reproductive materials.
Studies have shown that couples who included antioxidant-rich food (up to 70gr daily) in the daily meal plans before and during an IVF treatment, increased their success chance up to 25%.
Which food products are rich with antioxidants?
Fruits, nuts (walnuts), vegetables, whole grains are full of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E, B9, beta – carotene and lutein.
Besides the list of fertility boosting food, you should consider also the intake of liquids. Being properly hydrated helps fertility. A hydrated body is essential for one’s health. For men, it can significantly improve seminal fluid.
What food to avoid when planning to get pregnant?
Starting a proper diet doesn’t mean including nutritive rich food on top of the “bad” food. Certain foods should be fully excluded because they are harmful not only to our fertility but our overall health. Preserving a healthy body is by itself helping the ability to go through getting pregnant. So, what to exclude?
Fried and processed food
Fried and processed food is usually rich with trans fat and can harm your health in several ways. The final outcome can be the poor quality of the reproductive material. So, avoid fast food and fried food!
Nutritions have discovered that consuming caffeine in the period prior to conception can increase the risk of miscarriage. Also, certain types of coffee can cause high – blood pressure. It is highly recommended to avoid coffee consumption before and during pregnancy.
Alcoholic drinks (more than 14 drinks per week) can harm your fertility. For men, the harm can be low testosterone levels and low sperm count. Also, the frequency of the drinks should be optimal. Two drinks per day are the optimal and the limit of alcohol that you can consider having if you want to preserve the pregnancy.
These fertility boosting foods can improve your IVF success too!
The in-vitro fertilization requires as well as changes in the lifestyle and nutritional habits. So, if you are reaching to IVF treatment in Cyprus, be ready to apply the above-listed changes in your meals.
Even though the IVF process can help overcome the majority of infertility issues, the body should be ready to carry on the pregnancy healthy. EuroCARE IVF team encourages you to do your best and assure you have prepared yourself for the pregnancy journey!
Have more questions related to fertility? Consult with specialists in the field
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Besides applying the best available reproductive technology, free and easy approachable consultations are one of our means how to help you get pregnant. The best fertility doctors in North Cyprus are available to answer your questions and prepare you as best as possible for every aspect of getting pregnant!
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