Infertility is one the most common problems today. If we analyse carefully we will realise that the modern lifestyle has made human species struggle emotionally all the more than making their life easier. Materialism and food I think has a very weird relationship. When we have no money we spend all our time in working harder to get it and in this race our health is the worst affected one. Then finally a day comes when we get all what we had been asking for and then we start leading an easy life again leading to ill effects on health. The food that we are eating today is not leading us towards a healthy life but various health problems. Lack of time, stress, bad food habits are the main reasons for the infertility issues.
When you are not able to conceive what is the first thought that you get? I am sure it is,”Are we having enough sex?” Right? But have you ever thought about your food? Fertility depends upon sex as well as food intake. There are certain vitamins and minerals which are needed to sustain eggs and sperms. Ovulation and hormones need vitamins to function properly.
Ayurveda gives a very interesting background for preparing for conception. It compares conception to farming. Just like the quality of the crop depends upon the quality of soil, seed, time of sowing, and watering, in the same way, the health of a baby depends on these four essential factors.
Seeds – Sperm/Ovum
Soil – Uterus
Water – Nourishment
Time of sowing – Age for conception
If we take care of these key points and improve our diet, we can help ourselves in fighting infertility issues. Let’s take a look at the foods that must be included in young couples’ diet to make them nip the infertility issues in the bud.
Fertility Diet, what is important!
First and the most ignored part of daily meals is water. Young people remain so busy in work that they even forget to drink water. In fact, a very interesting fact is that most of the times when we “feel like eating something” and feel that we are hungry, we actually are not hungry but thirsty. Have you ever tried drinking a glass of water when you feel like eating something? Water and weight has a direct link. More water means lesser food and calories so end result is lesser weight. So go for more water intake to reduce weight and conceive quicker.
Another important fact is that maintaining hydration helps reproductive organs function properly. If you don’t drink enough water, your cervical fluid becomes sluggish, leading to trouble in the sperm finding the target egg. So, drinking water is the key to boost fertility power.
All coloured vegetables, green, yellow, orange etc are required on a daily basis for improving fertility. The best examples are spinach loaded with iron, folic acid and antioxidants; Bell peppers which are a rich source of beta carotene and antioxidants. Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Peas can help you get rid of the problems related to irregular menstrual cycles. These vegetables also contain beta carotene. Beta carotene in carrots and other orange and yellow vegetables help in improving hormonal imbalance and reduce chances of miscarriage. All these are required to prevent defects in the newborns too.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli contain phytonutrients which are helpful in regulating estrogen metabolism.
Vitamin C rich fruits like oranges, papaya, berries and kiwi offer a lot of nutrient value to the women trying to conceive.
Milk and milk products along with lean animal protein generate fertility hormones like FSH and LH in women. If you add dairy proteins, including milk, lassi (buttermilk), and panir (fresh cheese made of milk) to your daily diet you will make things easier to get pregnant. Though there is a conflict between the choice between full fat or low fat; which dairy is better for conception. For that, I personally think that it should be up to your discretion and the diet protocol that you wish to follow. Remember, there are many different diet protocols that we have already discussed on IWB,
Gone are those days when fats were considered harmful to health. Today eating healthy fats is very important and more so when you are struggling to get pregnant. These fats can be included in the form of nuts like almonds, walnuts which are excellent sources of
acid. Other dried fruits like figs, dates and raisins must be included but under control.
Remember we talked about good carbs and bad carbs? Read here…..
Unrefined flours are rich in iron and vitamin B which help increase fertility hormones. Carbs that do not affect insulin are good for fertility. Whole grains also provide fibres that are important for digestion, but it is advisable to consume whole grains like bajra, jowar, ragi and kuttu (buckwheat). These whole grains have various other benefits than wheat.
Though animal protein must be reduced yet it is still important for fertility. But undoubtedly it is also important to use grass-fed meat as it is not injected with hormones and antibiotics. Meat is a good source for proteins, iron, B12 and Omega 3. Eggs too are rich in protein, B12 and vitamin D. The most common sources of protein to boost fertility are Chicken, Lamb, Eggs and Fish.
Vegetarians should avoid eating soy products like tofu in excess, but it is good to have them in moderate quantity. Beans and lentils are good sources of iron and folate, and vitamins that are needed for a healthy pregnancy. This will help you have the ideal weight for pregnancy and will help you conceive faster.
Things to avoid
- When trying to conceive, people advise you a lot of things but please avoid taking unknown herbs and supplements till you are sure about them. Some of them might be dangerous for the foetus and might cause irreparable loss to health as well.
Avoid alcohol and large quantities of caffeine as they are potent fertility busters for men as well as women.
Foods containing preservatives and other chemicals, such as artificial sweeteners.
Foods high in fat should also not be consumed along with too many carbohydrates.
Diet soda should be avoided as it contains aspartame.
Caffeine should also be limited, especially if you’re having trouble conceiving.
Refined carbs, such as white bread, pasta and rice, should be limited.
Eating a lot of meat is not a very good idea.
Where to start?
Start with making some changes in your foods to boost your and your partner’s fertility. In the place of bread and butter or parathas scrambled eggs on a wholemeal toast would be better as healthy carbs and protein will make you feel fuller and better. Eggs as it is, are rich in omega 3, which is perfect for regulating male hormones.
Adding pumpkin seeds in your meals is a good idea as they contain high zinc level which is needed to make the outer layer and tail of sperm.
It will be great to stick to a low GI diet, that will regulate blood sugar levels and stop insulin spiking. Recent research says that Insulin inhibits conception and also blocks progesterone levels.
The above-mentioned fertility diet can surely help you to increase chances of conception, prevent miscarriage and support a healthy pregnancy. Remember there is nothing better than making some positive health changes in your life to bring in the joy of becoming healthy parents to a healthy baby.
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