Did you know that your diet plays a major role in your fertility? Inflammatory foods can wreak havoc with your hormones, leave you more susceptible to illnesses and are a factor in infertility.
Your body’s primary fuel is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugars. Processed, refined and simple sugars are highly inflammatory and spike blood sugar. Diets high in sugar are linked to inflammation that impacts fertility, causes insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, an increased risk of infection, and weight gain. Incredibly, research from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine links high sugar diets with reduced IVF success!
Processed foods/convenience foods
Chips, packaged foods, cereals, snack bars, condiments, frozen meals, and even some canned foods contain ingredients known to increase inflammation. Look for products free of added sugar, salt, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors and anything that has a chemical name you have to sound out to pronounce!
- A 2018 Australian study in Human Reproduction showed that women who ate fast food 4 or more times weekly had an 8-16% increase in risk of infertility.
Saturated + Hydrogenated fats/ most Vegetable oils
Healthy fats help fertility by supporting hormone production and hormone balance. However, the wrong kind of fats mess up your hormones, trigger inflammation and can cause fertility issues.
Trans fats, saturated fats, vegetable oils, and margarine are on the hit list. Studies show that fertility issues and insulin sensitivity increase as the consumption of trans fats increases.
Non-organic foods, GMOs
Regulations allow for the use of pesticides/herbicides on most food crops. Unfortunately, these chemicals are linked to inflammation and fertility problems in men and women. Women with higher chemical exposure have a 40-70% increased risk in developing endometriosis. Men have lower sperm counts. The only way to avoid them is to choose organic and non-genetically modified foods (GMOs).
What to do:
- Focus on organic, whole foods, whole fruits/vegetables, greens and whole grains.
- Enjoy clean proteins (salmon is a fabulous choice for fertility).
- Hydrate properly and make sure you are getting enough fiber to produce 3 healthy bowel movements daily (this alone can help your body detox and balance hormones.)
- Reduce refined sugar. Avoid added sugars by abstaining from foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, lactose, brown sugar, rice syrup, agave, malt syrup, raw sugar, turbinado sugar and fruit juice concentrates.
- Avoid unhealthy fats. The easiest way is to focus on using healthy fats like avocado, nuts, nut butters, coconut, ghee, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, raw coconut oil, expeller-pressed organic oils.
- Avoid non-organic animal products, items on the Dirty Dozen list, farmed fish, and GMO foods (corn, soy, canola, wheat and rice).
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