Last updated: May 11th, 2018 at 10:08 am

FERTILITY NUTRITION FOR WOMEN:

One of the best (and tastiest) ways to assist this biological imperative is to eat in such a way as to create an environment of fertility. We tend to think of food as being like the petrol we put into our cars to make them go, however, food is so much more than that. The right quality foods actually rebuild, rejuvenate and change your body/car on a cellular level into a fertile Ferrari. If you want to build a human being you need ingredients. Improper foods and eating can turn your body/car into a clunker where the body rusts, the engine starts to stall, your wipers break and the radio doesn’t work. Good fertility nutrition for women is essential for optimal living at every stage of life: for an egg, sperm, foetus, newborn, toddler, child, teenager, adult and the elderly.

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” –Hippocrates

OUR CURRENT TOP BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

“Fertile: Nourish and Balance Your Body Ready for Baby Making”, author Emma cannon.

FERTILITY NUTRITION FOR WOMEN: DIETARY AND SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATION FOR MAXIMISING FERTILITY
Eating the foods suggested below is the natural way to increase your health, vitality and fertility. Supplementation of these nutrients is a reliable way of increasing your intake. Both eating and supplementation together is ideal for ensuring adequate levels of these nutrients.

1. Anti-oxidants


Anti-oxidants help protect your body from free radical damage to the cells in your entire body.
Food sources: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, garlic, broccoli, red peppers, kale, brussel sprouts and alfalfa sprouts.

2. Amino acids


These are the building blocks of life and are necessary for egg and sperm production. (note: Some healthcare practitioners will prescribe amino acids such as l-arginine to enhance fertility-do not take this is if you have the herpes virus as it can cause outbreaks).
Food sources: Meats, fish, eggs and dairy produce, lentils, peas, beans, nuts, brown rice, quinoa, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

3. Vitamin A


This is essential for the production of female sex hormones and is very important for a developing embryo. It is advised that women who are either trying to conceive or pregnant NOT take vitamin A supplements-this is because in the past pregnant women were encouraged to eat liver for the high content of vitamin A in the form of retinol and high doses of retinol have now been linked to foetal abnormalities. So it is best to get vitamin A from other food sources.
Food sources: Eggs, yellow fruits & vegetables, whole milk & milk products, dark green leafy vegetables and oily fish.

4. Betacarotene


This is a plant pigment which the body converts into vitamin A. The corpus luteum (which is critical to the luteal phase) has the highest concentration of this nutrient in the body. Supplementation is also known to reduce the incidence of ovarian cysts.
Food sources: Peas, broccoli, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes.

5. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)


In studies of animals, a deficiency of B1 prior to mating has been linked to failed ovulation and implantation.
Food sources: Whole grains, nuts, brown rice, organ and other meats, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses, seeds, molasses and brewer’s yeast.

6. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)


Deficiencies in B2 have been linked to sterility, miscarriage and low birth weight. The liver uses B2 to clear away used up hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone. If those used up hormones are allowed to accumulate then new hormone production may become inhibited and their levels fall.
Food sources: Whole grains, nuts, brown rice, organ and other meats, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses, seeds, molasses and brewer’s yeast.

7. Vitamin B5


This is particularly important around the time of conception for foetal development.
Food sources: Wheat germ, salmon, sweet potatoes, broccoli, oranges, cashews, pecans, strawberries, whole grains, nuts, brown rice, organ and other meats, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses, seeds, molasses and brewer’s yeast.

8. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)


This is essential for the formation of female sex hormones as well as the proper functioning of oestrogen and progesterone. The ovaries respond to a deficiency by shutting down progesterone production which leads to oestrogen dominance. Research has shown that if women who have problems conceiving take B6, their fertility improves during a six month period. B6 must be taken together with zinc because zinc is needed for the absorption of B6.
Food sources: Whole grains, nuts, brown rice, organ and other meats, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses, seeds, green leafy vegetables, molasses and brewer’s yeast.

9. Vitamin B12


B12 and folate are needed for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. These make up the blueprint for the genetic code of the entire body.
Food sources: The only reliable sources of B12 are animal products, in particular lamb, sardines and salmon.

10. Folate (Folic acid)


It is recommended that women planning a pregnancy should take folate in order to reduce the risks of neural-tube defects in a developing embryo. Vitamin C aids the absorption of folate.
Food sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, oysters, salmon, milk, pulses, asparagus, oatmeal, dried figs and avocados.

11. Vitamin C

This is an anti-oxidant that blocks the damaging action of free radicals. Low vitamin C levels have been linked with an increase in birth defects. Too high a dosage might, however, act as an antihistamine and dry up the cervical mucous.Food sources: Citrus fruits, cherries, cantaloupe melon, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black currants, mangoes, grapes, kiwi, pineapples, asparagus, peas, potatoes, parsley, watercress, spinach & alfalfa sprouts.

12. Vitamin E


Research on animals has indicated that taking vitamin E along with vitamin C in the treatment of unexplained infertility may improve ovulation. In some studies, a deficiency has been linked to miscarriage. Vitamin E has anticoagulant properties. Note: supplement of the natural (d-alpha-tocopherol) as opposed to the synthetic (dl-alpha-tocopherol) is more easily utilised and retained in the body for longer.
Food sources: Cold pressed oils, wheat germ, organ meats, eggs, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, avocados and molasses.

13. Iron


Low levels of iron can affect fertility. Adequate amounts of iron help to guard against miscarriage.
Food sources: Organ meats, lean meat, eggs, fish, poultry, molasses, cherries, dried fruits, prunes, green leafy vegetables, spinach, parsley, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, broccoli, oatmeal, sardines and nuts.

14. Magnesium


A deficiency is associated with female infertility and possibly increased risk of miscarriage.
Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, tofu, pulses, rye, buckwheat, millet, molasses, brown rice, bananas, dried figs and apricots, nuts, barley, seafood and whole grains.

15. Selenium


A deficiency is associated with female infertility and possibly increased risk of miscarriage.
Food sources: Tuna, herring, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, bran, whole grains and sesame seeds.

16. Manganese


A deficiency may lead to defective ovulation and inhibit the synthesis of the sex hormones. Note: Manganese competes with iron for absorption, it is advisable to take it with vitamin C and protein foods.
Food sources: Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli, ginger, pulses, nuts, pineapples, eggs, oats & rye.

17. Zinc


Zinc is vitally important for growth and proper cell division in a foetus. Low levels of zinc slow down the metabolism of protein, which is needed for the production of good quality eggs. Zinc also maintains the menstrual cycle. Deficiencies of zinc are quite common. Alcohol depletes zinc. Vitamin B6 and C may aid in the absorption of zinc. The following may inhibit the absorption of zinc: folic acid, tea, coffee, high fibre intake and iron.
Food sources: Lean meat, fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, rye, oats, whole grains, pulses, ginger root, parsley, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast and wheat germ.

18. Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)


This is important for energy production because Co-Q10 assists with the mitochondrial functions of your body’s cells-it provides power to all your body’s functions. It is found in every cell in the human body. Research has indicated that Co-Q10 levels tend to be lower in women who have had a recent miscarriage. It also improves blood flow and fertilisation rates may rise when taking this supplement.
Food sources: It is extremely difficult to obtain sufficient amounts of Co-Q10 from food sources. Supplementation is a reliable way of increasing your intake.

19. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s: Omega 3 DHA and 6)


The EFA’s DHA act as hormone regulators and are very important when trying to conceive. Omega 3 DHA and Omega 6 are important structural elements of cell membranes, body tissue and brain development in a foetus. DHA is needed for the production if cell membranes in the ovaries.
Food sources: Mackerel, herring, salmon or sardines.

20. Royal Jelly


This is pollen which has been modified by bees and is the sole source of food for the queen bee whose only function is to produce all the offspring for the hive.
Sources: Available as a supplement.

21. Spirulina or Chlorella


These are blue-green algae which contain amino acids, steroid building blocks, minerals, vitamins and chlorophyll.

Sources: Available as a supplement
Advice in relation to Fertility Nutrition for Women from a qualified nutritionist should be sought before taking any supplements to rule out contraindications based on medical history or other factors.

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