Saturday, January 10, 2015

Some Food for Thought about Fertility-Boosting Foods

When you go in for infertility consultation and treatment, your life will become a jigsaw puzzle and you will have to ensure that all the pieces of this puzzle are always in place. You will be told what to do, how to move, what to and what not to wear, when to eat; and how and when to have sex.  It’s as if you are on a treadmill of must-do’s and don’t-do’s.

But for the moment, let’s keep all those prefixed dos at bay and talk only about baby-making foods.

Let's start with some fun first. Aphrodisiacs can help to get you & your partner in the mood , so please explore these !

What about foods which can help to increase fertility in women ? This is a topic which is confusing and complex, so let's discuss this. Most doctors are not very interested in their patient's diets, so you will need to do some research for yourself.  Please do remember that while foods will not open blocked tubes, they can help to improve ovulation.

Reversing the Trend

Almost 10% percent of Indian couples are infertile and there are scores of studies that have linked an increasingly western-styled diet to this condition. The one way to reverse the trend and get your body into fertile-mode is to pivot away from all heavily-processed foods and find your way to fertility nirvana!

The right BMI
Consuming the right foods is important and so is maintaining a healthy weight. This in turn helps maintain balance in your reproductive cycle. It’s important for women to keep a tab on their Body Mass Index (BMI). This is just a ballpark figure and it is important that this range be discussed with your doctor. If you are overweight and  have PCOD , the right diet can help you to lose weight and start ovulating !

Ovulation-Improving Foods

If you are not overweight, but are still experiencing infertility, can a change in dietary habits help you chomp your way to baby-dom? Though not all infertility can be reversed by consuming certain foods, there is no doubt about the fact that your diet can influence your ability to become pregnant.  

Fertility-Friendly Foods

About 20% of women who seek treatment suffer from ovulation-related infertility. Today researchers across the world agree that some of these could be preventable by adjusting lifestyle & diet. While it's hard to pinpoint what particular dietary ingredient  has a beneficial effect, there are some common sense principles which are worth following. You need to look at your diet from a holistic perspective, and a nutritional counseller can help you optimise your fertility.

Let’s take a look at some fertility- friendly foods:

-        Whole Grains- Vitamins B & E and fibre
-        Beans and Lean Meats- Iron, Zinc and Protein
-        Vegetables and Fruits- Antioxidants and Vitamin C
-        Omega 3/ DHA (salmon, eggs etc) - Benefits development of the baby’s nervous system and brain. It also reduces the risk of a premature birth
-        Low-Fat Dairy- Calcium and Protein
-        Multivitamin & Folic Acid- Reduces the risk of brain & spinal cord defects in the baby  
-        Vitamin D - Many women are Vit D deficient and supplementing this can help
-     Supplements -  There's a long list of nutritional supplements which may help, such as Royal Jelly

Bring About a Change

Here are some healthy food choices that any woman who is infertile should opt for:  

-        Switch Protein Sources- If you are a non-vegetarian, replace some portion of the chicken, mutton, pork or beef that you eat with different vegetable protein sources like nuts and beans.

-        A High- Five for High-Fat Dairy- This is one fact that a lot of women will crinkle their noses at. Consuming a larger quantity of low-fat dairy products ups the risk of ovulatory-infertility. Of course, don’t break into a run for the fridge and reach for that tub of premium ice cream that was stashed away in the freezer. Be careful with how you consume your fats; replace 1 low-fat dairy serving/day with 1 high-fat serving. So that glassful of toned/skimmed milk can be switched to whole milk

-        Vitamins are Vital- Women to regularly take multivitamins (with folic acids) & iron supplements are less at risk from ovulation-related infertility

-        Fish can be Fishy- Stay away from raw fish and sushi as well as shark and king mackerel. The latter 2 tend to have very high mercury content on account of their environment

-        Caffeine is Chaff- It’s important to cut all the chaff from your diet, especially when it interferes with conception; and that is exactly what caffeine does. If you are able to, cut out tea, coffee and fizzy drinks from your diet.

-        Guzzle on Water-When you don’t drink a sufficient quantity of water, the cervical fluid becomes snail-paced (this fluid helps sperm swim to the target egg). So, don’t be stingy with the amount of water you drink

Though changing your food habits alone will not help overcome ovulatory infertility problems, it will definitely help in creating a more conducing environment for pregnancy. For more information and guidance about ovulatory infertility treatment, you can contact me via this online form, so that I can guide you in a better way!

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