By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
Want to get pregnant? You’ve just got to have unprotected sex, right? Wrong. While some peeps are fertile Myrtles, others find it trickier to start a family. And with infertility rates on the rise, there are some minor stressors and larger lifestyle factors that can throw our bodies out of whack.
Zoe Dent, Health Scientist and Nutritionist for global health brand Amazonia, says those trying to conceive need to think about what they can do to help boost their fertility, naturally. And it starts with nourishing your mind, body and soul. So whether you’re TTC or know someone who’s struggling, here are some hacks to work into your daily life.
1 // Chill the f*ck out
Stress can hamper with fertility in a big way, so learn to manage it with relaxation techniques (such as mindfulness meditation or yoga) or seek support from a counsellor or friends, so you can get your hormones back on track.
2 // Load up on nutrients
Make sure to include enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D in your diet, because deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to lengthened menstrual cycles (and therefore less frequent ovulation) and a higher risk of early miscarriage.
3 // Healthy fats are your friend
Healthy fats, such as Omega 3s, aren’t just important for boosting fertility, but also to feed you and your soon to be baby’s growing brain. So load up on oily fish (wild salmon, sardines), nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), and avocado. Yum!
4 // Nourish your bod
If you can, aim for a whole food based diet, which means cutting down or eliminating as many processed foods as you can and focusing on nourishing foods that are grown or raised naturally, without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, synthetics or preservatives.
5 // Include protein in every meal
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, there are loads of plant-based protein sources that are just as beneficial as animal protein, such as Raw Pregnancy Plus Protein. Plus, swapping out some of the animal proteins in your diet has been shown to help reduce your risks of infertility. But don’t worry if you’re a fan of steak and eggs, you don’t have to go full vegan, even just swapping out the occasional animal protein may help.
6 // Kick butt
Cigarette toxins not only damage a woman’s eggs, interfering with the fertilisation and implantation process, but also cause the ovaries to age.
7 // Think before you drink
We’re not just talking booze here, unfortunately caffeine is contender too. Yup! Research has linked alcohol consumption with a decreased ability to get pregnant as it alters estrogen levels, which may interfere with egg implantation. But… good news, pouring an occasional glass of Pinot with your dinner is unlikely to harm fertility. Phew! As for your beloved coffee, caffeine can affect female hormone levels and may also affect how long it takes to get pregnant. SO maybe cut back on your morning coffee, for now.