Nutrition

food

Foods and nutrient sources are important to help keep the body in balance and for deep nourishment and wellbeing. Good nutrition enhances the vibrancy of the embryo, and influences the quality of the sperm.

A healthy balanced diet is essential for fertility and for optimum health. Aim to eat a balanced diet, with protein, carbohydrates and fats, rich in green vegetables, with lots of nuts and seeds. Include high fibre and fruit. Keep processed sugar foods to a minimum, and stop caffeine, and alcohol.

Due to the usage of pesticides in a lot of vegetables, use organic vegetables where possible. Antibiotics are given to intensely farmed animals, such as pork and chicken, so try to include organic sources of meat, where possible.

Alkaline rather than acid foods

Acid foods produce acidic environments, such as acidic cervical mucus, which may become hostile to sperm, which requires an alkaline environment to survive.

Alkaline foods include non citrus fruits, vegetables, sprouts, cereal grasses e.g. wheatgrass and barley grass, avocados, pineapple, asparagus and mango.

Herbs include black cohosh and valerian root, both which help to provide the entire reproductive system with the correct PH for conception and implantation.

Ensure the majority of the fruit and vegetables comes from an organic source.

Essential Fatty Acids

The essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are essential to every living cell in the body. They are also key to ovulation, specifically in the process of follicular rupture (releasing the egg) and collapse (allowing the development of the Corpus luteum).

Good sources are fish and fish-oil from deep sea fish, and flaxseed oil and pumpkin seed oils, eggs, soy products, raw nuts and seeds, and dark green and winter vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, kale, cabbage, turnips, and brussel sprouts.

Omega 3 Oil is found in deep sea fish oil. Fatty acids, which have been found to clean the blood of fat deposits, reduce clotting and encourage blood flow to tissues, including the uterus. They also boost the immune system by reducing certain killer immune cells, which prevent the embryo’s implantation in the uterus.

Organic foods and hormone free meats

Pesticides, chemicals and hormones contain synthetic oestrogen-like substances, which occupy oestrogen receptor sites and have negative effects on our organ and endocrine systems. Food also loses its vibrancy when treated with such pesticides.

Add more cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. They contain di-indolylmethane DIM, a compound that stimulates more efficient use of oestrogen by increasing the metabolism of oestradial. It allows the oestradiol to break down into 2-hydroxy oestrogens, which don’t have the oestradiol’s negative effects.

Excess oestradiol is associated with breast pain, weight gain, breast and uterine cancer, moodiness, and low libido.

Bee pollen and/or Royal Jelly supplements

Bee pollen, a worker bee food, is rich in vitamins, minerals, nucleic acids, and steroid hormones, and improves health and immunity.

Royal Jelly is modified pollen, fed only to the Queen Bee, whose joy is to make babies. It is rich in amino acids, vitamins, and enzymes.

This is considered the bee equivalent of fertility drugs.

Blue green algae

Spirolina is saltwater blue green algae, and Chlorella is freshwater green algae.

They contain chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and steroid building blocks, and nourish the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems.

This is a high mineral source and regulates metabolism.

Wheat grass

This is a high nutrition source nourishing core energy, blood and essence, (according to Chinese Medicine),  enhancing immunity and restoring hormone functioning.

Vitamin D

This is a vitamin which research is showing to have more influence on healthy pregnancy than previously thought. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to miscarriage, and is common among people with inflammatory and auto-immune disorders. In a study of 67 women with anovulartory infertility, 93% were deficient in Vitamin D. Supplementation helps to restore normal ovulation. Vitamin D deficiency is high among women with PCOS.

Blood thinning drugs such as clexene (heparin), prescribed during IVF treatments, interfere with the uptake of Vitamin D and calcium.

Sources – eggs, oily fish, herrings, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna. Sunlight.

Co-enzyme Q10

Assists mitochondrial function – the power house of each cell. Helps to convert food to energy within the cells.

Vitamin A

Important for the absorption of protein, follicular development, embryo growth and thyroid health and immunity. Not in prenatal vitamins, as high amounts are toxic to the foetus.

Sources – full-fat dairy, eggs, oily fish.

Vitamin E

A major antioxidant, and works with Vitamin C and Selenium to reduce free radical damage, thins the blood, and regulates menstrual flow.

Sources – wheat germ, nuts and seeds and their oils, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B6

Helps the body metabolize excess oestrogen, produce adequate progesterone, and lower raised prolactin levels. Increases brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine, which control FSH and LH.

Sources – wholegrains, bananas, potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, seeds, fish, milk products, oats and avocados.

Vitamin C

Helps to regulate ovulation. Major antioxidant, working well with Vitamin E to help protect developing and maturing eggs from oxidative stress related damage.

Selenium

A powerful antioxidant protecting developing eggs and embryo from free radical –induced damage. It is linked with the prevention of miscarriage and pre-eclampsia.

Sources – brazil nuts, seafood, eggs, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms.

Zinc

Very important for genetic regulatory hormones, and crucial for the synthesis of DNA, the receptor proteins, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, Vitamin D and thyroid hormones.

Sources – oysters, seafood, meat, sunflower seeds, wheat germ.

Iron

Forms oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Deficiency causes anovulation and serious problems in pregnancy. Low iron levels are linked to infertility.

Sources – red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, pulses, dark green leafy vegetables

Folic acid – 400 mcg a day

It is crucial to take folic acid 3 months before you conceive.

Folic acid is important in cellular division. If there is a history of cervical abnormal cell division it is important to take folic acid months before trying to get pregnant. It helps to prevent neural tube defects as found in Spinabifida.

Sources – dark leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and oranges, oats, and wholegrains.

Iodine

Essential for the correct functioning of the thyroid gland, which strongly influences fertility. Crucial in pregnancy for foetal brain development. Iodine concentration in the ovaries is high and studies have found a correlation between levels in follicular fluid and follicular development.

Sources – fish, shellfish, dairy and iodised salt.

Eliminate caffeine, alcohol and nicotine

Nicotine ages the ovaries, and makes the eggs resistant to fertilization.

Caffeine is associated with recurrent miscarriages. Green Tea is a good substitute of coffee and, as it is an antioxidant, it opens up the vessels rather than constrict.

Alcohol is especially damaging if there is already damp, heat or liver Qi. Drinking alcohol during IVF cycle reduces success by 50% according to one study.

Avoid junk food

Avoid excessive sugar and wheat. Wheat and grains convert to sugar, which is laid down as fat deposits if not required as fuel. This is particularly important if there is PCOS.