The Effects of Nutrition on Fertility
There are a number of diet / nutrition recommendations that can be made that may have a benefit on fertility.
Diet Related Topics:
- Alkaline Versus Acidic Foods
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Organic Foods and Hormone-free Meats
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol
- Medications and Drugs
The following list contains some of the more alkaline foods and herbs that help provide the reproductive system with the right pH for conception and implantation.
- non-citrus fruits
- cereal grasses (wheatgrass, barley grass)
- black cohosh
- valerian root
Acidic foods tend to produce acidic environments in the body. Acidic cervical mucus may be hostile to sperm.
Acidic foods include:
- Dairy products
- Most grains
Good sources of essential fatty acids are unprocessed plant sources and deep-sea fish. Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are essential to every living cell in the body. They are a key to ovulation, especially follicle rupture (the release of the egg) and development of the corpus luteum.
Good sources of essential fatty acids include:
- fish oil
- non-hydrogenated cold-processed oils such as flax seed and pumpkin seed oils
- soy products
- raw nuts and seeds
- dark-green and winter vegetables like:
- kale collards
- brussel sprouts
Omega 3 fatty acids clean the bowel of fat deposits, reduce clotting and encourage blood flow to the tissues (including the uterus). This in turn witll boost the immune system and is important in fetal brain development.
On the other hand, trans fatty acids can impair the proper functioning of the immune and reproductive systems.
Pesticides, chemicals and hormones used to treat produce and animal products contain synthetic estrogen-like substances, which occupy estrogen receptor sites. They have a negative effect on the organs and our endocrine system. Processed foods lose most of their nutritional value during processing. These processed foods contain a high quantities of sodium and / or sugar and preservatives.
Cruciferous vegetables are one of the most common food crops in the world. They are generally considered to be healthy foods and have been shown to have positive effects in the fight against some diseases. Cruciferous vegetables contain di-indolylmethane (DIM), a compound that stimulates more effective use of estrogen by increasing metabolism of estradiol. Estradiol is associated with breast pain, weight gain, breast and uterine cancer, moodiness and low libido.
Some examples of cruciferous vegetables are:
- Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata)
- Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica)
- Brussel Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera)
- Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis)
Consider adding a natural, high-potency multivitamin with mineral complex including iron, folic acid and B vitamins to your daily routine. Vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, zinc and selenium all enhance fertility.
Other supplements known to help with fertilty are:
- Bee Pollen with or without Royal Jelly
- Blue-green algae
- Vitamine B6
- Co-enzyme Q-10
- Folic Acid
Nicotine ages the ovaries and makes eggs resistant to fertilization. In addition to its negative effects on the eggs, smoking has also been seen as a prominent contributor to low sperm counts in men. Nicotine and caffiene are both known to cause vasoconstriction (constriction of the vessels).
Green tea does contain caffeine but is a good alternative to other caffinated beverages like coffee. Green tea actually causes dilation of the vessels. In addition, it has anti-oxidant effects.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can block the synthesis of prostoglandins and therefore inhibit ovulation. It is best to avoid such drugs if possible. Also, if you have scanty cervical mucus you should avoid decongestants, antihistamines and excess supplemental vitamine C.