Why Is Our Food Killing Us & What's Fertility Got To Do With It?

What is it about our modern diet that is killing us? How can we restore our health and eat our cake too? What do we do to keep ourselves alive

Our holistic health clinic reviewed multiple theories abound. Processed food; larger portion sizes; reduced nutrient density; poor food choices; poor relationship with food; and many others. There is no doubt we are in an obesity crisis. But, how does food relate to our fertility?

In our practice we see many people struggling with infertility. Each person has a unique set of factors affecting their reproductive health. However, diet is a common focus of lifestyle counselling. Still, research is often unclear whether or not diet itself improves fertility rates, or if weight loss associated with modified diets may cause improved fertility. One thing is clear, maintaining a proper body weight through healthy diet choices, can affect fertility.

Researchers have devised the following eleven nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to remember if conception is your goal.

1. Avoid trans fats, the artery-clogging fats found in many commercially prepared products and fast foods. 

2. Use more unsaturated vegetable oils, such as olive oil or canola oil. 

3. Eat more vegetable protein, like beans and nuts, and less animal protein. 

4. Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrates that have lower, slower effects on blood sugar and insulin rather than highly refined carbohydrates that quickly boost blood sugar and insulin. 

5. Drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt every day; temporarily trade in skim milk and low- or no-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and frozen yogurt for their full-fat cousins. 

6. Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins. 

7. Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans and supplements, but not from red meat. 

8. Beverages matter: Water is great; coffee, tea and alcohol are OK in moderation; stay away from sugared sodas. 

9. Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing between 5% and 10% of your weight can jump-start ovulation. 

10. If you aren't physically active, start a daily exercise plan. If you already exercise, pick up the pace of your workouts. But don't overdo it, especially if you are lean. Too much exercise can work against conception. 

11. If you smoke: stop.*

If you would like more information about nutrition, diet and lifestyle choices that may affect your ability to conceive and deliver a healthy baby, please book an appointment with one of our Chinese medicine practitioners or our Naturopathic Doctor.

* The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant, Chavarro and Willett.