Eating for Fertility

Managing your blood sugar levels is one of the keys to reducing infertility. Increased levels of blood glucose have been linked to developing endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. Too much sugar pushes out beneficial bacteria in our guts which cannot survive in its acidic environment and allow harmful pathogens to flourish. A healthy gut alive with beneficial microbes is needed for our body to produce necessary neurotransmitters which are hormone precursors. Some foods that have been studied and linked to regulate blood sugar are maitake mushrooms and bitter melon. Being sure to eat equal amounts carbs and protein with adequate fat will ensure the sugar released is time delayed. When we eat too much sugar or too many carbs (especially processed) our poor pancreas is worked to the max to pump out more and more insulin. Down the road this can lead to insulin resistance and eventually, if unchecked, to type 2 diabetes.

Here are some foods that I'm singling out today as promoting fertility:

Coconut oil has been shown to be very beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels because a type of fat found in it, MCT (medium chain triglycerides). MCTs are able to be utilized by the brain as ketones immediately without further work from the body. Eating a tablespoon of coconut butter between meals can keep blood sugar levels even and do just the trick to keep you running smoothly. 1

Foods that promote your body's natural production of precursor hormones (pregnenolone, DHEA, and growth hormone) are healthy fats (ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc), wild yams, and fermented cod liver oil. 2

Sauerkraut: Rebuilding your gut flora with fermented foods is critical, and variety is key. Different strains of bacteria have been found to live on different vegetables and fruit, so mix it up! Some ideas: beets, carrots, turnips, salsas, and kimchee. Our bacteria are necessary to help us manufacture neurotransmitters!3

Egg yolks: Contain choline which is crucial for healthy brains (precursor to acetylcholine). Choline converts to betaine in the body and assists in the conversion of homocysteine to methiononine. Homocysteine is a marker of inflammation and has been linked to recurrent miscarriages and increase risk of cardiovascular disease.  Choline deficiency during pregnancy is common. Adequate choline may have life-long implications on memory and brain function from infancy to adulthood. Daily requirements during pregnancy are about 500mg/day. There are about 129mg of choline per chicken egg and my favorite, duck eggs have a whopping 184 mg/egg!

Organ meats, liver: these are one of the highest sources of bioavailable folate, preformed vitamin A, zinc, copper, B12, and other B vitamins. Vary the livers you eat as they are all different in what they contain. For instance, beef liver is very high in copper, so I may suggest that some clients eat chicken liver instead which has a ratio much more favorable to zinc as many people are low in zinc. Lamb liver is amazingly high in B1 which helps with carbohydrate metabolism. And most livers provide a good dose of vitamin E, which is a wonderful nutrient that supports fertility by ensuring high quality egg and sperm.

There are so many rich, nutrient dense foods that support fertility. I hope that these have given you some ideas and resources. Be well!

 

Sources not linked to: 1,2,3 Brighton Baby.