By Dr. Janet Brill
Trying to conceive is not as easy as it may seem. While some couples go on to conceive fairly quickly, others go through a lot to have a child of their own. If you’re an otherwise healthy woman who has been trying to conceive for the past year with no such luck, you need to start looking into solutions to improve your chances of conceiving. The best place to start is evaluating what you’re feeding your body.
Nutrition plays a vital role in the reproductive system. What you may not realize is that the foundation of hormones are found in the foods we eat. For example, antioxidants help to protect the egg and sperm from free radicals. The problem, however, is that a lot of the foods we eat contain added chemicals and substances that can do serious damage to our ability to procreate.
Keep Your Options Open
Though you want more than anything to be able to carry a pregnancy to term on your own, there are instances in which this cannot be done. This does not mean that you cannot have the family you’ve always dreamed of. As you prepare your body for the possibility of having a baby, you and your partner should begin exploring other options.
If your eggs are in good condition but you’re not able to carry a full-term pregnancy, you might consider going to a surrogacy agency. Choosing a surrogate to carry your baby to term for you would allow you and your partner to have a child that is biologically yours.
For those who do not have viable eggs and/or sperm, there is also adoption. Giving a child a home when their birth parents couldn’t is the greatest gift you can give. The love you will receive from the child will also make it the best gift you’ve ever received.
Benefits of a Fertility Diet
With the right food selections, a fertility diet can:
· Provide antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to protect the egg and to improve overall health.
· Maintain hormonal balance.
· Build important nutrients for pregnancy.
· Improves reproductive system.
The Basics of a Fertility Diet
To provide your body with the best nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants, try to stick to these fertility boosting foods:
· Organic produce (pesticides are harmful to fertility)
· Organic dairy
· Cold water fish (wild salmon, cod, and halibut)
· Grass fed organic meat
· Free-range chicken
· Whole grains
· Lots of water (at least half your body weight in ounces per day)
While the grocery bill might be a bit more expensive, it is well worth it. Your body needs to be cleansed of the toxins it’s consumed over the years and filled with goodness. There are plenty of healthy recipes online using the food list from above to create appetizing meals you and your partner will love.
Foods to Avoid
As you’re incorporating the above mentioned food types into your fertility diet, there are some foods that you really need to eliminate.
Sugar, Soda, Juice drinks – Too much refined sugar can throw off your blood sugar levels, which can cause a hormonal imbalance.
Caffeine – I know you love your latte in the morning, but you may have to scale back if you want to try and conceive. Caffeine can cause hormonal imbalance, prevent ovulation, and can even cause a miscarriage.
Soy – Soy products contain properties that mimic estrogen, which can impair fertility in both women and men.
GMOs – Genetically modified foods have proven to cause a serious problem with fertility. In fact, it is believed that since the 1970s men’s sperm count has decreased by as much as 50%.
Fat-Free Foods – You would assume that something that’s fat-free would be good for you, but it’s not. Fat-free foods are often processed and contain a lot of sugar. Keep in mind that your body needs fat to produce hormones, so eliminating it from your diet is actually counterproductive.
Hopefully this has given you some insight on various foods you can eat to try to improve your chances at conceiving. If you’ve tried changing your diet and consulting with a fertility specialist to no avail, don’t forget to keep your options open. Surrogacy and adoption can both be viable ways for you to still have the family your heart so desires.