The top 5 mistakes with fertility diets
Full Circle Prenatal was born out of a desire to help better support my private practice clients who struggled with infertility.
Over the past 10 years of gaining expertise in this specialty area, I've seen a huge range of infertility cases, each with a unique set of factors. With such diversity in individual circumstances, one-size-fits-all approaches to infertility are completely unrealistic and ineffective (even though those types of diets and supplement plans are a dime a dozen)!
There are, however, a handful of issues that I've seen arise over and over again when reviewing clients' diets and total nutrition that I want to share with you to help in your efforts to conceive, enjoy a healthy pregnancy, and ultimately, have a healthy baby.
What is a "fertility diet"?
I define a "fertility diet" as a method of taking in specific nutrients to help improve the balance and function of the whole body, allowing the reproductive system to thrive. An effective fertility diet will:
- Improve digestion
- Decrease inflammation
- Provide key nutrients
So what are the TOP 5 Mistakes when it comes to most fertility diets?
1. Snacking on low-fat dairy
Swap your low-fat yogurt out for its whole-milk counterpart (preferably raw, organic, from pasture-raised cows too!). The largest study ever done on fertility showed that full-fat dairy supports fertility while low-fat dairy actually inhibits it. Why? There are natural hormones found in both the fatty and skim parts of milk. Together, they are complementary, but alone, they can throw our own hormones out of balance. Bottom line? This is another case proving that food is most beneficial in its most natural, unprocessed form. That is something you can count on being true now and forever.
2. Nixing animal protein
There are those who thrive on vegetarian and even vegan diets, however, the majority of people will benefit from the bioavailable, balanced protein and other nutrients in animal protein (think eggs, dairy, meat, poultry, and fish). Key fertility nutrients like Vitamin A, E, coenzyme Q10, choline, DHA and more are either not found in plants or are not as easily converted into a form our bodies can use. This might seem confusing, because we know plant-based diets are hugely beneficial. Keep getting in all of those colorful plants, but don't purposefully omit animal products in an effort to improve your fertility: it does the exact opposite for most.
3. Not eating enough
Perhaps your doctor has told you to lose weight to improve your fertility, so you've slashed calories to drop a few pounds. While some weight will come off quickly, your metabolism will suffer. Why does this matter? Our metabolic system and our reproductive system are reciprocally regulated. Simply put, both systems talk to each other. When our metabolism slows, reproductive functioning is turned down. This is our body doing exactly what it is designed to do, but it is not helpful for fertility!
4. Eating less "real food" in favor of convenience foods (including restaurants meals, take-out, processed foods, etc)
This is where the bulk of the processed vegetable oil comes from in our diet, and those are pro-inflammatory. In other words, they damage both sperm and egg quality as well as all of the fluids needed to conceive.
5. Avoiding fat
Not only is fat a key building block for our hormones, it also helps deliver fat-soluble, fertility supporting vitamins like A, D, E, and K to our body. Additionally, fat regulates blood sugars, which are good for metabolic functioning and in turn, reproductive function.
Need help with implementing these strategies? Or, have you made these changes and are still struggling to conceive? There may be more going on. I'd love to talk to you about how I'd approach your case. Learn more about how functional nutrition can help you conceive and have a healthy baby.