Natural Fertility & Nutrition
Natural Fertility is all about enhancing your fertility in a naturopathic or natural way. When I see clients in my practice I look at diet, natural hormone balancing, fertility enhancing exercise, stress reduction, detoxification and cleansing, how to avoid harmful toxins and chemicals and more.
Eating for fertility
An important part of natural fertility is to maximize nutrient intake to make you more fertile, decrease the risk of miscarriage, and to give your baby the best start possible. Never is there a better time to eat well than when you are trying for a baby. It is well researched and documented that the better nutrition both parents have before conception, and the mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the healthier your baby will be when its born, and all through its development into adulthood.
3 months to prepare
It takes about 3 months for a man to produce a new batch of sperm and also 3 months for a woman’s egg to mature, ready for ovulation. What you eat today will affect the quality of eggs and the sperm 3 months from now. Therefore it is a good idea to prepare at least 3 months before trying for a baby. This is also the time to look at other naturopathic ways, like the ones mentioned above, to increase fertility.
Top 10 Fertility Nutrients
- Zinc – absolutely crucial for fertility. Works together with B6 and is involved in every single part of the female cycle. Also essential for sperm health. Found in oysters, pumpkin seeds, egg yolks, rye and oats
- Folic Acid – well known to prevent Spina Bifida and cleft lip, but is also essential for fertility. Found in leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- B vitamins – Especially B6 and B12. B6 works in synergy with zinc. Found in mushrooms, cauliflower, watercress, bananas, cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, squash, tomatoes and broccoli. B12 works in synergy with folic acid and is found in animal products and some in algae.
- Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant needed for both female and male fertility and especially important for the over 35’s. Found in nuts and seeds and wheat germ
- Vitamin C – Super essential both for male and female fertility. Quality of eggs and sperm. Found in fruits, berries and vegetables
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) – Essential for hormones, prevents miscarriage, crucial for baby development. Good sources are evening primrose, oily fish, chiaseeds and flaxseeds
- Selenium – another powerful antioxidant crucial in fertility. Found in brazil nuts
- Iron – Essential for fertility. Good sources are algae, parsley, dried apricots, leafy green vegetables, and good quality meat
- Vitamin A – A great antioxidant, essential for the developing embryo. Found naturally in orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, egg yolk and liver
- L-carnitine and L-arginine are Amino acids. Especially good for Men and sperm health. Found in nuts, fruits, whole grains, legumes, greens and animal products
A balanced diet is Key
It is important to try and include all these nutrients every day when you are trying for a baby. The key for eating for fertility is to have a well balanced and varied diet. If you are lacking in any of the above nutrients your fertility can be greatly reduced.
A brilliant way of including many of these nutrients is in a fertility smoothie. Here is a very yummy recipe.
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 banana. Frozen is the nicest (B6, C)
- Large handful of leafy greens like kale, spinach or fresh nettles, or 1 tbsp green powder (folic acid, C, iron, arginine, carnitine)
- 1 tbsp of mixed seeds and nuts like chia, pumpkin, flax (EFA, zinc)
- 1tbsp mixed nuts like almonds or brazil (E, Selenium, folic acid)
- 1tbsp whey or hemp protein powder (good source of brilliant quality protein)
- Handful of frozen blueberries (C)
- 1tsp-1tbsp of Maca (powerful hormone balancer, excellent for fertility)
If you are interested in learning more about Natural Fertility visit LineaNutrition for more details on the upcoming Natural Fertility Workshop on the 5th of October 2013.