It is no secret that fertility and health are related. While we are not willing to tell you what to eat, weigh, or bench press, we do have some guidelines that you may find helpful to help you ensure optimal health when trying to conceive.
If you are thinking about having a baby or have tried for a while without success, address your lifestyle and nutrition by asking yourself these questions:
Are you overweight or underweight?
If you are underweight, you may experience complications with your menstrual cycle that can affect your ovulation cycle and your ability to get pregnant.
If you are overweight or obese, your reproductive system can be compromised by adipose tissue that affects the metabolism of sex hormones. This is true for both men and women.
When it comes to your weight, it’s a bit like Goldilocks, where it’s better to be right.
Exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, but it also strengthens muscles, increases circulation, reduces stress, prevents anxiety, and promotes a healthier life. It is generally accepted that regular moderate exercise, at least 30 minutes 3 times a week, keeps you fit and healthy. A little strength training also helps muscles maintain strength to support your body. Great exercises for those trying to get pregnant include brisk walking, swimming, yoga, aerobics, biking, and jogging.
However, remember not to overdo it; Extreme exercise can negatively affect your fertility, so it’s best to balance it out. It is also recommended that you talk to your GP or fertility specialist about what is best for you.
Do you drink enough water?
Our bodies are approximately 60% water and we need between 3.7 liters (for men) and 2.7 liters (for women) per day to stay hydrated. This includes all liquids like water, juice, coffee, tea, and water-rich foods. However, take it easy with caffeinated drinks, too much caffeine is not good for you
So why is staying hydrated so important, other than the obvious? Dehydration can affect cervical mucus. Cervical mucus helps transport and protect sperm to the fallopian tubes for fertilization of the egg. The more hydrated the cervical mucus is, the easier it is for sperm to pass through it.
By not wanting to leave men out of the picture, dehydration can also affect sperm count and quality. Keep hydrated!
We suggest buying a 2-3 liter jug or a bottle of water and touring it every day. In this way, you will know how much of the good you have had.
Did you sleep well?
It may seem obvious, but it is true that our bodies need good quality sleep to function properly. While we sleep, our bodies repair, rejuvenate, and regulate our hormones. We are not recommending how many hours you should have, as each person is different, but as long as you are sleeping well enough to feel rejuvenated in the morning, it will be of great help!
Try turning off your phone, avoiding social media, emails, and any tech related activities in the cabinet.
The rooms are for sleeping, reading and making babies.
You eat well?
You won’t be surprised that a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and dairy is recommended. We also suggest including these standout highlights that are known to help with fertility:
Iron: part of the monthly cycle is menstruation, where we lose an average of 30-40 milliliters of blood each month. Since iron is attached to red blood cells, it is important to replace it. Good sources of iron include:
Meat: lean red meat, chicken, pork, and turkey
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, kale, silver beets and broccoli
Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans
Nuts and seeds: sesame seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, pine nuts, cashews and hazelnuts.
Vitamin B6: In addition to being involved in many important body functions, vitamin B6 is necessary for a stable hormonal system. Trust us, you want a stable hormonal system when trying to have a baby! Good sources of vitamin B6 include:
Meat: lean turkey, chicken, beefYou can also add natural sources of folic acid through your food. Good sources of vitamin B9 include:
Legumes: beans, lentils
Vegetables: spinach, asparagus, avocado, broccoli.
Fruit: mango, oranges
Vitamin D: Although we are not sure why, vitamin D has been linked to infertility with many studies showing that women who have difficulty conceiving are likely to have low levels of the vitamin. The best source of vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, but other sources of vitamin D include:
Blue fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel
Mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight
Fortified foods: tofu, cereal, milk, orange juice.
Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in regulating fertility hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Good sources of zinc include:
Meat: lean beef, lamb, chicken
Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, cashews
Vegetables: mushrooms, spinach
Essential Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are important in promoting blood flow to the uterus and aiding in the release of eggs. Good sources of essential fatty acids include:
Nuts and seeds: walnuts, flaxseed, chia
Vegetables: soy, spinach
Beta-carotene: Load beta-carotene to promote cell growth. You need your body to be as healthy as possible. Good sources of beta carotene include:
Vegetables: sweet potato, carrot, kale, spinach, squash, red pepper, broccoli
Fruit: melon, dried apricots
Every little bit counts when you’re trying to have a baby. Ask yourself these questions and see how many you are including in your daily routine. If you feel like you are doing the right thing and have been trying to conceive for more than 6-12 months, you may want to talk to us about your options.