Healthy nutrition for preconception
Posted on 21.11.14
By Anya Sizer
A pre conception diet needs to start long before you see those two magical lines appear on a home pregnancy test. Most experts suggest that a minimum of three months is needed to get yourself in tip-top condition to provide a healthy environment for your baby to grow.
Even if you already think you follow a healthy diet you could probably benefit from increasing your intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Indeed, one study* indicates approximately 74% of women are nutrient deficient. So, for those women facing fertility issues, particularly unexplained infertility, it is well worth pre-planning and improving your pre pregnancy diet prior to treatment.
Invest in your wellbeing
As you prepare yourself for fertility treatment, my suggestions are based on improving your life circumstances, rather than adding extra stress to an already difficult time.
For this reason, I always recommend following the 80:20 rule. Make sure you are looking after your nutrition 80% of the time. Look at it as if you're an athlete in training and invest time and commitment in yourself. However, allow yourself the occasional treat - you deserve it!
I see far too many women putting themselves under unnessary pressure trying to get everything right. The occasional piece of chocolate cake will do you the world of good.
Fertility tips - what are fertility boosting foods?
- Keep to a low G.I diet in order to regulate blood sugar levels and stop insulin spikes. Undergoing treatment can be quite a demanding time and you will need a good steady supply of energy to help you through.
- Increase your water intake to at least two litres a day. This will help regulate your hormones, flush out toxins and increase your energy levels.
- Up your intake of protein and try to eat a portion with every meal. This is vital for both egg and sperm quality. If you combine protein with carbohydrates it will slow down the release of energy and will help to stabilise your energy levels throughout the day.
- Increase your levels of essential fatty acids, especially Omega 3 and Omega 6 - both are essential for healthy hormone levels and fetal development.
- Reduce, or preferably cut out caffeine intake as it leaches vital nutrients, causes false energy spikes and has been linked to poor sperm count.
- Where possible buy organic food - they will contain more vitamins and minerals and will have been produced without pesticides, In high doses, pesticides have links to both poor fertility and unhealthy pregnancy.
- Take a multivitamin containing folic acid, as well as an Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplement. The government also advises to take a vitamin D supplement, ideally in liquid form - this aids ovarian function. It's also crucial for sperm count and motility so it's a must for men too!
- Finally make sure you rest. Sleep is incredibly important in the body's recovery process, hormone regulation and energy levels. Sleep deprivation has been linked to adrenaline overload and over production of insulin, this in turn leads to increased stress and cortisol levels, which can affect female hormones and in some cases cause irregular ovulation.
If you would like to learn more about how pre conception care can help with your journey towards parenthood, please call 020 7563 4309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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