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Optimal Fertility Diet – 10 Top Tips

This article is based on the well researched book: “The Fertility Diet” by Jorge E. Chavarro, Walter C. Willett, Patrick J.

I have adjusted some of the information to account for food potential food sensitivities, newer information related to genetic variations in folate metabolism , issues with GM foods and lots of experience in helping couples optimise their fertility.

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 cold-pressed olive oil or flaxseed oil.

3. Eat more vegetable protein, like beans and nuts, and less animal protein. If you’re using tofu and tempeh, choose organic brands that are not genetically modified

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

5. If you are not sensitive to dairy, drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of  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. This seems counter-productive considering everyone is pushing low fat dairy, but a large study (involving 18,000 women) investigating the dietary impact of food showed  a link between low fat dairy and not ovulating and conceiving.

6. Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins. If you have a variant in the MTHFR gene (and 40% of us do), this means folate is not the best supplement to take, as you don’t process it very well. Instead of folic acid, use activated forms such as folinic acid or methyl folate, or better still, seek the advice of someone well versed in this field.

7. Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and supplements but not from red meat. I recommend you have your storage iron (ferritin) checked with a pathology test from your local GP, and consider supplementing it is very low (less than 30), or if you are vegetarian.

8. Beverages matter: water is great; coffee, tea, and alcohol are OK in moderation (small amounts of red wine can be beneficial); leave sugared sodas unopened. Herbal teas are great and I suggest no more than one coffee daily, and it can deplete essential nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins.

9. Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing between 5 and 10 percent 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 quite lean—too much exercise can work against conception.

Available from Skerrett McGraw-Hill. $24.95 ISBN: 978-0071494793.Natural Fertility