Whether you’re trying to conceive or you’re preparing for IVF or another assisted fertility procedure, thinking about your diet and overall health is one of the ways in which you can prepare yourself to be as healthy as possible
Here’s our tips on nutrition and wellness to help you on your fertility journey.
Whilst there is no ‘magic’ diet that will help us to conceive, we can eat healthily to look after the health of our fertility and unlike other factors such as age, genetics and illness, our diet is something that we can control.
Carbs are not the enemy but opt for brown, wholegrain bread and pasta over the refined white versions. Whole grains take longer to digest, releasing their beneficial nutrients slowly – refined white carbs are quickly turned into sugars by the body, leading to a spike in insulin which can have an effect on ovulation.
Aim to make around half of each meal fresh fruits and vegetables, especially iron rich green leafy veg. Rich in beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fresh produce is extremely beneficial for overall health.
Not all fats are created equal – some are very beneficial so aim to eat foods that include good fats such as oily fish, olive oil, avocados and walnuts.
As well as taking folic acid supplements, consider taking a vitamin supplement designed specifically for conception. These contain all the vital nutrients necessary for becoming pregnant and so act as a good “catch all” supplement to your diet.
Avoid eating too much junk food and consider giving up caffeine and alcohol. This will help to ensure you’re looking after your overall health and wellbeing, which in turn can help to support fertility.
As well as our diet, lifestyle plays an important role in our health and emotional wellbeing, including that of our fertility.
Sleep is crucial, so aim to get 7-8 hours a night. Switch off your phones and tablets in the hour before bed, make sure your bedroom is cool, comfortable and clutter-free and avoid heavy meals, caffeine alcohol and strenuous exercise before bedtime.
Stay well hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Herbal, caffeine free teas and weak squashes also count, but the majority of your fluid intake should be water.
Choose regular, gentle exercise over strenuous, high impact exercise. This includes yoga and Pilates, as well as gentle jogging (rather than running), swimming and cycling.
Try using mindfulness meditation to relax and switch off. There are lots of free apps available that offer guided mediations and these can be used at home, on your commute or whilst enjoying a nature walk.
Some studies suggest that holistic therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology can support a woman’s body when she’s trying to conceive or is going through IVF. Check with your doctor first, before trying any holistic treatment.
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We wish you so much luck and love on your journey to parenthood.
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