Nutrition and Fertility

Intervention: #4 Diet
Fact Check

  • There are 8 factors that must be considered when adjusting your nutrition.
  • Participating in a group programme involving dietary advice can help adapt to a healthier diet.
Nutrition plays an important role when it comes to reproduction, not only proving the nutrients your body needs to function but also maintaining a healthy weight that is more conducive to fertility.

Interventions that combine diet and exercise are more effective and can improve 46% of infertility cases. There are 8 factors that must be considered when adjusting nutrition:

  1. Avoid trans fats, present in ordinary vegetable oils that are heated to fry foods; present in hardened vegetable oils used to make biscuits, pies, cakes; and present in fat spreads and margarines with hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fats increase bad LDL cholesterol and reduce good HDl cholesterol, increase triglycerides and promote accumulation of fat in arteries, resulting in poor blood supply to organs.
  2. Use more unsaturated vegetable oils, present in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and cold water fish like salmon and sardines. Avoid saturated fats like butter, cream and red meat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and cool inflammation.
  1. Turn to vegetable protein. High protein intakes are more likely to cause fertility problems compared to low protein intake. Infertility is also more common in women with intake of animal protein. Consumption of red meat has been negatively associated with likelihood of blastocyst formation during embryo development.
  2. Choose slow carbs, present on whole grains, whole fruits and beans. Avoid rapidly absorbed carbs present in white bread, white rice and potatoes.
  3. Drink whole milk. Current research examining the effect of dairy on fertility is limited in scope. However it looks like switching to whole milk temporarily may help improve the chances of becoming pregnant.
  4. Taking multivitamin, especially including folic acid (400mcg a day) is important for cell growth and DNA formation.
  5. Get iron from plants, like whole grain cereals, spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets. It lowers the risk of ovulatory infertility and prevents anaemia.
  6. Drink water to keep your body hydrated. Coffee and tea can be drunk in moderation. Skip sugary sodas which seem to promote ovulatory infertility.
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