Fertility Food, Nutrition of the Egg
Why change your diet? Many women get pregnant eating processed foods all the time, why does it matter? Well look at it like this, if you are experiencing fertility issues don't you want to give your body the optimal tools to build one's health? Every body is different and some need to work a bit harder than others. Think of health like a garden, the more nutrition the garden receives the more beautiful it will be.
One of the key goals of a fertility diet is to balance your blood sugar and insulin levels by choosing the right kind of carbs or choosing a low carb diet. One of the problems with a sudden spike in blood glucose levels is that it causes the pancreas to release a huge amount of insulin in an effort to get the muscle cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. This system is important because if all the extra glucose stayed in the bloodstream, it would quickly cause damage throughout the body. The higher the blood glucose level, the more insulin is released.
All this sugar and insulin is a big problem for fertility because it disrupts the balance of other hormones that regulate the reproductive system. It comes as a surprise to most that insulin is a hormone that not only regulates glucose uptake and metabolism but also regulates reproduction by binding to receptors in the ovaries and altering levels of other reproductive hormones. The ovaries respond easily to insulins message to alter hormone production, only now there is vastly more insulin than normal, so hormone production in the ovaries is severely disrupted. This hormone disruption then interferes with ovulation and fertility.
Our bodies are not made to metabolize large amounts of sugar/carbs, hence many modern day health problems. These spikes and dips in blood sugar levels can cause overeating, anxiety, sleep disturbance, PCOS, irregular periods, thyroid issues and the list goes on and on.
So we now understand low carb diet is beneficial for fertility but what foods boost it? Fats, fats and more fats…healthy ones of course. For example coconut oil, olives, grass-fed butter, avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, grass-fed beef, fish and bone broth. These foods along nutrient dense veggies like dark leafy greens, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and other low carb veggies. As far as fruit let's stick to the lower glycemic ones like berries, they are high in fiber and antioxidants which protect against free radicals damaging fertility.
A note about slow absorbing carbohydrates. Small amounts of complex carbs can be beneficial, if you need a little carb in your life make sure it is the right one. Brown rice and sweet potatoes are highest on my list, both nutrient dense and are slow burning to regulate blood sugar. Ideally, when you eat one of these, try to do something active within 24 hours. This boost your metabolism to digest these carbs quickly.
Try to stick to as organic as much as you can. Look up The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 to see which fruits and veggies have the most pesticides on them. Pesticides alter and change hormones within itself, so keep those low as much as you can.
So what could we call these diets? What to search for to find some yummy meal plans? Sticking to anything of a whole food diet but modified to lower carb. This would include Paleo, Whole 30 and Ketogenic “diets.” Please remember the most important thing is to eat nutrient dense foods these balance hormones the best.
As always, I'm here if you need me. Let me hold your hand through the whole process and bring clarity and peace to this ever changing situation. Much love, Katie