It sounds strange doesn’t it, that you can eat yourself pregnant? But we really believe that nutrition lays the foundations for healthy eggs and sperm and that, in a real sense, your baby is what you both eat. And that the older you are, or the more difficult you’re finding it to get pregnant, the more important getting this right can be.
Building key nutrients now will give you the reserves needed to grow a healthy baby.
Egg and sperm are cells like any others in the human body, yet how they are nourished and looked after is largely ignored. Considering that they have the most important job of all – continuing the species – this may be something of an oversight! The maturing egg, sperm, endometrium (womb lining) and foetus depend upon nutrients for development. If the diet contains too many environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals – like trans-fats, refined sugars, or excess additives – or is depleted of nutrients, then research shows an individual’s fertility can be significantly affected.
Most women have problems balancing their blood sugars and during reproductive years are ruled by their moods, foods and hormones. Imbalanced blood sugars play havoc with fertility and hormones: so slow-releasing carbohydrates can help. The way we eat today is typically on the run; often not spending enough time to chew and digest our food, and eating late into the evening. Eating like this leaves a lot of women with digestive problems because they are not absorbing nutrients properly. It’s an all too common feature of modern couples͛’ hectic lifestyles in which there are often other sources of stress, too. Stress robs the body of essential nutrients needed for hormone production.
Protein, fats and carbohydrates are needed for healthy reproduction and fruit and vegetables are necessary to protect against free radical damage to which eggs and sperm are sensitive. Wholesome traditional foods provide a good balance of what you need. There are too many food fads today that exclude some of these key nutritional building blocks – including low-fat foods – as well as foods known to have detrimental effects for fertility.
My top tips are:
- Keep it simple – apply small tweaks over a period of time
- Avoid the tyranny of the shoulds – it’s important to feel that you’re doing something because you want to, not because you should
- Allow yourself treats
- Allow yourself to slip up – it’s very hard to be good all of the time.