There is much talk lately of whether eating certain foods can increase your chances of conceiving, but is it true?
Recently I've been reading about Harvard's research into the link between diet and fertility and it has shown that, yes, diet and exercise DO play a role in your chances to conceive.
So let's have a quick look at the overview of what foods are good to eat:
Specifically the difference between good and bad carbohydrates can impact on your fertility significantly.
Bad carbs - White bread, potatoes and sugary drinks do disrupt the balance of hormones needed for reproduction.
Good carbs - Wholegrain pasta and breads that are rich in fiber can improve your chances of conception by balancing your blood-sugar and insuline levels (which in turn balance your hormones).
It is already well known that women who restrict fat from their diets altogether can have trouble ovulating or may even stop menstruating altogether. Fats carry building blocks of hormones and cell renewal.
That's not to say your should start gobbling down lots of fatty foods though. Bad fats such as Trans fats actually increase the likelihood of developing ovulatory infertility.
Stick with the good fats and oils, like olive oil and fish oil. (Particularly fats and oils high in Omega 3).
Again it depends on the type of protein eaten as to how it will affect your fertility. One of the most significant studies shows that eating plant proteins (such as beans and nuts which are an excellent source of protein, fiber and other nutrients) can significantly improve fertility.
It therefore makes good sense to include more plant proteins such as nuts and beans into your diet.
Milk and Ice Cream
Now for some good news! Eating one or more servings of full fat dairy (such as yoghurt, milk, cottage cheese and ice cream) can help improve fertility.
So ditch the low fat milk from the fridge and replace it with the full fat version. Women who consumed low-fat dairy products were more likely to have trouble conceive than those who at full fat dairy products.
Now you don't need to feel guilty about having that icecream sprinkled with nuts - it's good for your fertility!
Weight & Exercise
Keeping yourself within a healthy weight range (not too big and not too small - just right ..) will help improve your conception chances by balancing your hormones. While we have all heard of this before, it does make sense that keeping your weight under control will help guard against high blood sugar and keep your insulin levels in check.
Exercise also improves circulation, and since your blood carries your hormones, better circulation means that you have an increased chance of getting your hormones to the right place at the right time, and improving the elimination of toxic substances from your blood.
Another great benefit of exercise is that it increases the body's natural stress relievers which is very beneficial when you are trying to conceive!