Have you ever heard the phrase “you can’t out exercise a bad diet”? The same goes for supplements in our opinion – you can’t out supplement a bad diet. When it comes to fertility, we have the research to back up strategic supplementation based on your history and lab results. We also have the research to back up a good diet – which is a part of the fertility treatment process that often gets overlooked.
So the end goal is a baby in your arms, but look at all those other AMAZING health benefits? It’s a win-win!
Luckily our opinion of fats is starting to change. However, it wasn’t that long ago that it was low-fat everything and fats were evil. The truth is, there are different kinds of fats. You do want to stay away from trans fats, which are higher in fried food, packaged and/or highly processed foods, vegetable shortening, and margarine. The truth is our body NEEDS fats to make hormones. Low fat diets can literally stop you from ovulating or getting a period at all if your body fat % drops low enough. Some healthy fats to start incorporating into your diet are:
We love grains. Most of our meals revolve around some sort of bread/rice/pasta dish. Grains are satisfying to our palate – they metabolize into sugar really quickly giving us an awesome boost of energy, then leaving us crashing down and craving more carbs. You don’t want to eliminate carbs completely, we do need some, but we need to focus on whole grain, low glycemic grains and starchy veggies as our main source. Some awesome options would be:
Antioxidants are so important when it comes to egg quality and sperm health (not to mention about every other organ system you have). We get the majority of our dietary antioxidants from fruits and veggies. To make sure you’re getting enough, eat the rainbow. If your plate always looks the same colour it’s time to mix it up. Greens, reds, yellows, oranges, blues – you want them all. Your fridge should look like a rainbow!
Sugar can be extremely inflammatory, and like all our other recommendations, impact more areas of your life besides just fertility. It’s good to limit your sugar intake to no more than 30g per day. Most of this is going to come from eating fruits and grains, leaving you a smidge for something extra if you need it. Often times people don’t take beverages into consideration, when soda and fruit juice is likely the number 1 culprit when it comes to over indulging in sugar. Next time you’re reaching for that beverage, remember your goal and swap it out for water. Flavour your water with fresh fruits or cucumbers, try a sparkling water if you miss the fizz, or opt for herbal tea if you need some flavour.
Protein is super important when it comes to fertility, hormones and balancing blood sugar. However, too much bad quality animal protein may cause more harm than good. Sticking to lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish will reduce your exposure to bad fats and potential toxin exposure. If you are eating red meats, finding local, organic and grass-fed options are best. One day a week, try a meatless dinner. Use legumes, lentils, or eggs as a protein source and make sure to include some healthy fats for a balanced meal.
Using diet to support your fertility journey can make a difference regardless of which road you’re currently walking down. If you know you need more help making changes, we’ve put together a great 5-day meal plan for you that you can literally print and enjoy as many times as you like. The meal plan includes 3 meals + 2 snacks per day, a full grocery list and all the recipes you need to get started.