The Times UK
January 17, 2008
Healthy diet and lifestyle are two vital keys to conception
For the past 25 years I have worked as a nutritionist, specialising in women’s health, and have seen thousands of people for many different reasons. But by far the most common, divisive and traumatic problem for which both men and women seek help is fertility. Each case is different, but one thing I have noticed time and again is that few people take a holistic approach to the problem. They eat the right things, but smoke. They are fit, but have never been checked out for infections.
For many of us, even the smallest changes to our lifestyle may make the difference between having a child and not. It doesn’t take long for the benefits to kick in: three months, in fact. Why? Because it takes about three months for the follicles on your ovaries to develop before one is mature enough to release an egg at ovulation. A woman is born with her store of eggs: although she cannot change the number of eggs she has, she can certainly change the quality. For men, it takes at least three months for a new batch of sperm cells to mature.
Here, I highlight the speediest and most useful ways in which you can help yourself to get pregnant, fast (the fuller version is in my new book). My plan is designed for any woman who wants to have a baby, whether she is thinking about it or has been trying with no results.
Human fertility is complex and every aspect must to be taken into account, from your diet and lifestyle to your medical history, current stress levels and any environmental and occupational hazards. The good news is that many of the factors involved are within your control.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DIET
If you’re sceptical about the connection between food and fertility, bear in mind that your body uses the nutrients from the food that you eat – and the supplements that you take – to repair cells, produce hormones and, ultimately, produce healthy eggs and sperm. In many ways your fertility depends upon what you eat.
If your blood sugar is not balanced, or if you are under or overweight, the reproductive hormones that control your fertility will not work properly, severely limiting your chances of conceiving. Also many of the women I treat in my clinic who are having problems getting pregnant exhibit at least one or more important nutritional deficiency.
Your aim is to ensure you include all the vital food groups – sufficient intake of carbohydrates, fibre and essential fats, healthy amounts of protein and lots of water – in your diet three months before you start trying for a baby. Try to incorporate into your diet as many of the guidelines below as you can.
These are your key energy source. There are two types: complex and simple. Complex include vegetables and whole grains, such as rye and wheat, and legumes, such as peas and beans. Simple include white sugar, fruit and fruit juices.
For optimum fertility, limit your intake of simple carbohydrates (with the exception of fruit) and eat plenty of unrefined complex carbohydrates. Whole grains are packed with fertility-boosting nutrients.
To continue reading:
Extracted from Getting Pregnant Faster by Marilyn Glenville, published today by Kyle Cathie