If you’re just starting out in your fertility journey, you may be fighting an uphill battle.
Between taking your prenatal, having timed sex and peeing on ovulation sticks, you’ve probably forgotten a key component to fertility…
Your diet! The foods you eat every day could be negatively affecting your fertility.
Until you’re actively trying to conceive, you don’t really think about the foods your consuming.
Sometimes you just shove whatever food you can get in your mouth as you’re going out the door for work. I’ve been there!
But now is the time to completely revamp your diet for your fertility health.
By eliminating unhealthy foods that are killing your fertility, you can:
1. Improve your overall physical health
2. Get your body ready for a successful pregnancy
3. Increase your chances of getting pregnant faster!
Doesn’t that sound nice? Simple food substitutions and a little will power are all you need to enhance your baby-making diet.
Let’s look at some foods to avoid to stop killing your fertility and increase your pregnancy success.
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Everyday Foods Killing Your Fertility
For years, science and research encouraged a low-fat diet. But the case against low-fat dairy alternatives like skim milk is growing stronger.
While low-fat dairy gives you the necessary calcium and good gut probiotics you need, they also contain androgens. Androgens are simple male sex hormones, like testosterone.
Too much androgens or testosterone tips the scales with your hormonal balance.
An increase in testosterone leads to unwanted acne and oily skin. If your testosterone is really high, over time it can reduce the size of your breasts.
With a hormonal imbalance, your monthly visitor aunt flow will change causing shorter or potentially missing periods.
That’s not good if you’re trying to have a baby. You need a regular menstrual cycle in order to ovulate and hopefully get a tiny embryo to implant.
Instead of eating and baking everything with skim milk or a milk alternative like soy or almond (unless you’re allergic to milk), try to substitute it with whole milk or vitamin D.
Although you don’t want to go crazy with the full-fat dairy because you could end up putting on a few extra unwanted pounds, a serving a day won’t hurt you.
In fact, a serving of full-fat dairy per day could increase your chances of conceiving.
Research found that women who swapped a serving of low-fat dairy for whole-milk per day lowered their chances of infertility by 27%. Specifically, infertility caused by lack of ovulation.
So forget about skim milk that’s killing your fertility. Opt for full-fat diary instead.
Some options of full-fat diary to add to your diet today to increase fertility health include:
Ice cream (bring on the Ben and Jerry’s!)
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Simple carbs are also known as high glycemic index foods. These types of foods cause your blood sugar to spike. Yummy, sugary treats like brownies, cakes, chocolate, cookies and much more are killing your fertility.
Basically every single delicious food I like to eat right before my period arrives. AKA period food! Sometimes life can be so cruel!
But eliminated simple carbs from your diet has its benefits.
Foods on the high glycemic index lead to blood sugar spikes, which in turn wreaks havoc on your hormones and interferes with ovulation.
Instead of simple or “bad” carbs, you need to replace them with slow-burning or complex carbs.
Complex carbohydrates keep blood sugar steady and contain essential nutrients like fiber and protein.
You don’t have to deprive yourself of sweet treats and carb cravings.
Just make substitutions. Instead of using white rice, use quinoa. Switch from white baking flour to whole wheat flour.
Here are some healthy complex carb options that are both delicious and satisfying:
100% whole-wheat bread
Trans fats are any foods that are fried. To successfully make a baby, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t indulge in carnival food.
Other foods that are not fried, but still contain trans fats are baked (yummy) treats with shortening, microwave popcorn and potato chips.
This includes potato chips that are labeled “baked.” “Baked” doesn’t mean healthy.
There are a million foods out there with trans fats you eat and probably don’t know about.
While fried foods obviously contain trans fats, other products are not so obvious.
It’s always best to read nutritional labels. This includes nutritional labels at restaurants.
Most well-known restaurant chains now have nutritional labels.
If you go out to eat and you can’t find a single thing on the menu that doesn’t have trans fats, it’s best just to pick another restaurant.
But, what do trans fats have to do with your fertility?
Trans fats have a sneaky way of causing insulin resistance and increased inflammation. If your diet consists of a lot of trans fat indulgences, your killing your fertility.
Trans fats can damage blood vessels that carry vital nutrients to your reproductive organs.
A reproductive system not receiving the essential nutrients it needs could have trouble growing a baby.
Seafood With High Amounts Of Mercury
You have probably heard by now that pregnant women should stay clear of certain types of seafood. This is because of the high mercury content that some seafood possesses.
Consuming seafood high in mercury damages the nervous system.
High mercury can be extremely dangerous for a growing fetus and a developing nervous system.
Although you may not be pregnant (yet), consuming too much seafood results in a build-up of mercury in your system.
When trying to conceive it’s important to eat less seafood containing high amounts of mercury.
Seafood with high-mercury content:
A substitution for high mercury seafood is salmon. Salmon is low in mercury and contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Just a small amount of salmon gives you both omega-3 and DHA, which is an essential building block for brain and eye development.
If you happen to not like salmon, some other low mercury seafood options are shrimp, oysters and scallops.
I might let you know too that oysters are known to raise libido in men and women.
So eat up during ovulation time to help put you in the mood!
Load up on omega-3 and DHA while you’re trying to conceive, so when you do get pregnant your body can nourish a developing fetus.
If you’re not a seafood type of person, you can choose a host of other lean animal proteins.
Just make sure (when possible) to choose animal products that are labeled organic, grass-fed, free-range, or no added antibiotics.
Lean Animal Protein Substitutes:
Top Round Beef
Artificial sweeteners are put in a billion food items. They’re commonly called sugar substitutes on nutritional labels.
One of the biggest culprits in the realm of artificial sweeteners is aspartame.
The artificial sweetener aspartame is also known as Equal and NutraSweet.
But how do you know your food product has aspartame?
Well it’s safe to say that any food product labeled “Sugar-Free” contains aspartame.
Yes, foods that are supposed to aid to your weight loss are bad for you! Tricky, Tricky!
Here is a quick list of foods with aspartame:
Hot cocoa mixes
Not all of these items have aspartame. Just some. If you are unsure always read the labels!
Aspartame is a chemical used to sweeten foods to increase taste.
When aspartame enters your body it destroys your cells by creating free radicals.
Free radicals are simply unstable molecules.
While some free radicals are formed naturally in the body, free radicals from the environment harm cellular health.
Research found that when aspartame is heated above 86 degrees it is stored long-term in the body and converted into a carcinogen.
Aspartame converting into other chemicals such as methanol and overtime formaldehyde can harm DNA replication.
This is especially harmful for women who are trying to get pregnant.
Without proper DNA replication, a fetus cannot develop correctly.
While it may be tricky to eliminate every artificial sweetener in your life right away, there is a tasty alternative.
Stevia is a natural plant-based solution for artificial sweeteners and regular sugar.
It can even be substituted in baking recipes that call for granulated sugar.
Another benefit to Stevia is that it does not raise insulin levels like artificial sweeteners do.
Stevia is available in powder form or in Stevia Drops.
Another natural sugar I recently fell in love with is Monk Extract Sugar!
Foods With High Pesticides
This may not be something you put much thought into when it comes to your fertility health.
You’re eating all the right things, like an increase in fruits and vegetables.
1But those healthy fruits and vegetables could have a high pesticide content.
Research has linked the consumption of high pesticide fruit and vegetables with reduced fertility.
In 2017, JAMA Internal Medicine found women who consumed more pesticides during infertility treatment reduced their success of becoming pregnant by 18%.
It was also found that women with high pesticide exposure were 26% less likely to carry a baby to birth.
Here is a list of fruits and vegetables with high pesticide content:
Sweet Bell Peppers
To avoid pesticides, it is best to buy organic or eat more of the following list of fruits and vegetables that are low in pesticides.
Fruits and vegetables low in pesticides:
Grocery services like Amazon Fresh has a wide variety of organic options to fit all your fertility needs.
Plus it has the added convenience of being delivered right to your doorstep!
BPA Bottles and Canned Drinks
You can find BPA in plastics, canned food linings and canned drinks marked with the recycling symbol number 7.
Any plastic product with a number 7 contains BPA. Pretty easy to remember…
According to researchers at Harvard University, BPA interrupts the reproductive process in humans.
Therefore, BPA exposure was found to contribute to 20% of unexplained infertility.
Not only does BPA disrupt how the body reproduces, it also makes a woman’s eggs develop abnormally, greatly increasing the chance of birth defects.
The best way to avoid the chemical BPA is to be aware of what products have BPA.
Products To Avoid:
Plastic Food Containers
Plastic Sports Bottles
Plastic Dinner Plates
Apparently, BPA is found in tissue paper and toilet paper. I don’t really see how anyone can remove all these items from their lives.
I have heard of families making the switch to reusable fabric toilet paper. Not really my thing.
But if you’re really serious about your fertility health, you could give it a try. No pressure though!
One of the easiest swaps you can make in your life to stop killing your fertility health is by eliminating plastic bottles.
Stainless steel bottles offer a safe alternative to plastics with BPA. They are able to keep beverages hot or cold longer and are completely reusable.
Not only will you no longer will you be killing your fertility health, but you’ll actually be saving the environment at the same time. You’re basically a super hero!
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Getting your body ready to make a baby is serious business. You don’t want to decrease your chances just by the foods you eat.
Although certain foods may be considered healthy, not always are they healthy for your fertility! You need to be careful about the foods you consume when it comes to trying to conceive.
The best advice I can give you from someone who went through 2 1/2 years of infertility is: Treat your body as if you were already pregnant.
Find ways to reduce the amount of artificial sweeteners, the chemical BPA and pesticides from your diet. BPA can easily be avoided.
But I have to admit that pesticides and artificial sweeteners are going to be a little harder to avoid at times.
Buy organic fresh produce to make sure you’re decreasing your pesticide intake. And don’t skim on the full-fat dairy products.
Indulge in that yogurt parfait to balance your hormones.
At the end of your fertility journey, every sacrifice you have made will be well worth it!
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