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Nutrition

Nutrition and fertility

By Kathy Sutton / 27th May, 2016

There are numerous natural and medical treatments available to boost fertility, however, I truly believe that good nutrition is the cornerstone from which to start.

As Deepak Chopra says, “The life energy in a kernel of corn today, may become a light receptor in your eye tomorrow.” Or in your case a healthy egg and seed.

I am certain that diet can be both the cause and cure of many of the world’s health issues, fertility being one of them. How can our bodies function properly if they are not being fuelled with the nutrients we really need.

A good diet should consist of a varied range of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains and good protein sources. Clean food, nutritious food, whole food.

Also we must remember that infertility is a shared problem, meaning both partners should be fully committed to their own health and wellbeing. Of course the women are the carriers of the precious cargo once it is conceived but to get to that point there is as much the male can do as the female. It is a 50/50 partnership from the start.

It goes without saying that keeping weight down and reducing alcohol, smoking and other toxic stimulants is an absolute must. These habits will get in the way of your ultimate goal.

Avoid processed, convenience foods that are loaded with sugar, salt, MSG and other questionable preservatives and offer very little nutritional value in return.

Also take a break from refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, rice etc) and sugar. Did you know the refining process can strip food of up to 96% of its original nutrient content making it not really worth eating at all. And sugar can deplete important nutrients from you body too.

I am not saying you need to be a saint, but being aware of why and what can help you make the right choices and will be a great step towards better health

With a little forward planning, quick, easy, and more importantly nutritious meals and snacks can become the mainstay of your diet and lead you onto a healthier, longer life and a more fertile ground for bearing fruit.


The Important Nutrients

Selenium is particularly helpful for male fertility and can also prevent miscarriage. It is so easy to incorporate into your diet, just 2 brazil nuts a day is all you need, how simple is that?

Vitamin C is an absolute must for sperm health, immunity and balancing hormones. It can be found in abundance in fresh, uncooked fruit and vegetables especially citrus fruit, kiwi, peppers and leafy greens

Vitamin E along with Vitamin C have proved to be very effective in increasing sperm levels and quality. Vitamin E can be found in nuts and seeds, oats, whole grains and leafy green vegetables.

Zinc is another important trace element to increase sperm production, it is also found in nuts and seeds, whole grains, eggs and leafy green vegetables.

Iron, for women in particular is a very important mineral. Throughout the entire menstrual years we need sufficient iron and this applies well into pregnancy too. Iron can be gained from red meat (although too much is not advisable,) pulses, parsley, some green vegetables and cocoa powder.

Iodine, is essential for good thyroid health, where the thyroid is out of balance fertility can often be a problem. Iodine can be found in seaweed, (sushi is a great option,) fish and seafood, pineapples and raisins. (Avoid raw fish sushi and seafood after conception)

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) mainly Omega 3 & 6 are named so because they are essential for our health although we are unable to manufacture them ourselves. EFAS help with both conception and foetal development and are easily found in oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds specifically sunflower, pumpkin, hemp and flaxseeds.

Last but by no means least is Folic Acid, another essential Vitamin, as most people trying to conceive will know. A breakthrough study in the 1980s proved that increasing Folic Acid intake could protect against Spina Bifida, which up until Folic Acid supplements were actually recommended by the government in 1992, was a common birth defect due to widespread deficiency.

This was an amazing breakthrough and saved a lot of undue heartache, however more importantly it highlighted the inadequacies of the western diet, if Folic acid, which is readily available in green vegetables, citrus fruit, avocado and pulses, is in such short supply, we must immediately ask ourselves what other vitamins and minerals are also lacking?

Written by Kathy Sutton

Kathy Sutton, trained Naturopathic Nutritionist, mum of 2 & founder of Your Healthy Self. Sharing boundless ideas & simple tips to support you on your journey to a healthier you yourhealthyself.co.uk

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