So you are considering starting a family. First off, CONGRATULATIONS! Secondly, did you know there is a fertility diet that makes conceiving a little easier? It’s full of REAL nutritious foods that will help before, during, and after your pregnancy. With many influences like lifestyle, environment problems, and internal factors playing havoc on fertility, why not take charge of something you can control, like food?
Many early cultures would require a couple to begin a fertility diet six to twelve months prior to conception. This allowed the couple to detox their body and stock up on nutrients. Most of the time, the diet would also help ease mothers into the first trimester. Cravings, food aversions, and nausea can be caused by slight deficiencies in the body. Deficiencies in B vitamins can also cause infertility. Nowadays, a lot of women find out they’re pregnant after a missed period, which does not give them time to increase their nutrient stores.
The traditional diet was rich in Vitamin A, D, E, K, B6, B12, and folate. Couples also did not partake in any refined foods, such as white flour, sugar and vegetable cooking oils. Refined foods play a bigger part in today’s diet than it did in earlier times.
In the late 1800’s, Dr. Weston Price became a major pioneer in the field of nutrition and fertility. He was fascinated in the effects of nutrition on dental and physical health. Much of his later research revolved around the effects on diet and fertility. After studying several couples trying to conceive, he noticed that women AND men both ate a diet high in fat-soluble vitamins and later came up with his Preconception Diet. The diet is as follows:
- Cod liver oil supplement for Vitamin A
- 1 quart whole milk
- 2 or more eggs
- Additional egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 4 tbsp. butter
- Fresh lamb or beef, always consumed with fat
- A cup or more of bone broth, either to drink or use in stews
- Lacto-fermented vegetables
- 3-5 ounces of liver, once or twice a week
- Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week
The modern diet is similar to the traditional diet but adds iodine, DHA & EPA, and zinc. Each vitamin plays a crucial role in helping couples conceive. Women and men both have to be mindful of what they are eating when it comes to preconception health.
Fertility Nutrients for Women:
- Iodine aids in the development of baby’s brain and nervous system.
- Examples: fish, roe, kelp, unrefined sea salt
- Vitamin A aids in making estrogen and is important in the first three weeks of pregnancy.
- Examples: liver, butter, and eggs
- B Vitamins aid in making sex hormones, libido, and producing sperm and egg
- Folate aids in conception and helps baby’s neural tube develop into the brain and spinal cord
- B6 balances estrogen and progesterone
- B12 aids in conception
- Examples of B vitamins: spinach, eggs, banana, chicken, nuts, and lentils
- Vitamin D makes sex hormones \
- Examples: milk, pork, seafood, and sunlight
- Vitamin K2 is important in fertility and bone health
- Examples: shellfish, organ meats, and real butter
- Vitamin E is important for a healthy placenta and getting oxygen to the baby
- Examples: olive oil, nuts, avocados, and whole grains
- Zinc makes sex hormones and eggs.
- Examples: oysters, shrimp, beef, and chees
Fertility Nutrients for Men:
- Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega-3 fats, and Zinc are all important in the production of healthy sperm. Selenium, which is found in Brazil nuts, beef, and tuna, is important for testosterone production.
I’m sure you are looking at all this information with your eyes crossed over. Trust me, I get it. It seems like a lot but if you break it all down there are only a few simple rules to follow when trying to conceive. You can even use this throughout your whole pregnancy!
- Eat meats such a chicken and beef
- Don’t forget to eat seafood (low in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, and shrimp)
- Consume GOOD fats such as avocado and olive oil
- Trade junk food for fruit and vegetables
- Take a prenatal vitamin as early as possible
- Ditch alcohol
Does this sound like something easily achievable? What would be the hardest hurdle to jump? Let me know your thoughts!
Now that your preconception diet is mapped out, relax, pull the goalie, and HAVE FUN!