Over the past several months I’ve been researching how diet affects fertility and continuously modifying what I put into my mouth in an effort to kick-start my reproductive system.
It’s been interesting.
Some of the changes have been welcomed by my body and others have been, well, to say it lightly, rejected.
My Fertility Diet
While there are still several books and numerous studies I plan on reviewing; I have developed this initial set of diet principles.
My fertility diet must:
- promote a healthy digestive system (with regular, healthy bowel movements)
- promote healthy blood sugar levels
- exclude all toxins
- provide all the nutrients my body needs
Achieving each principle individually required me to make some changes to my diet, but turned out to b
e relatively straightforward. Changing my diet to incorporate all of these principles simultaneously, however, has led my body to some moments of protest (most notably constipation and weight loss).
Now, I do have to admit that my diet is more complicated than most since I used to be a vegetarian and now include fish, but still do not eat meat or poultry (which is likely to change soon).
Changes I Had to Make to My Diet to Maximize
So what went wrong?
Well, I found out what nutrients needed to be in my diet and how to avoid toxins. Then I promoted a healthy digestive system which, for me, was a bit of a challenge, but doable.
A few of the changes I made for this, for example, were to eliminate all cheeses and to increase my vegetable intake, especially including regular servings of parsley and the green leafy vegetable called rocket or arugula.
These changes were helpful in making me regular, but not quite enough.
So on days when my system was slow or non-responsive, I made myself a big bowel of vegetable soup in the morning – yes, I ate vegetable soup for breakfast (without a side of orange juice). This inevitably kick-started my system and sent me to the bathroom for a healthy bowel movement in the morning hours.
Discovering How Diet Affects Fertility and Problems I Encountered
So what’s the problem?
Well, after increasing my intake of vegetables and having vegetable soup for breakfast a couple times a week, I lost weight.
For me, this is totally counter productive. The simple answer to counter weight loss would be to increase calories. This proved difficult, however, since adding calories as a non-meat eater lead to conflicts with the other diet principles.
Here are a few of the problems I faced:
- adding too many carbohydrates (even quality carbohydrates like beans and brown rice) is counterproductive to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level
- eating more fish sent my digestive system into a full stop mode (and potentially adds too many toxins due to mercury – fish twice a week is the recommended dosage)
- adding nuts wasn’t enough calories and also not easy on my digestive system
- adding more healthy fats from their natural source was tough since I have excluded dairy (majority of my research points to dairy as harmful to fertility)
The only solution that I currently see to this conundrum is to add poultry and/or meat to my diet for fertility. (It’s been about 5 years since I last ate poultry and about 15 years since I ate meat.) As long as this big move away from the vegetarian diet agrees with my digestive system, it will make meeting the principles of my fertility diet easier.
What I Discovered: How Diet Affects Fertility Main Principles
- Choose ‘good’ carbohydrates, including whole grains and vegetables- all essential for energy, vitamins and minerals and bowel movement
- Eliminate trans-fats and include high quality ones such as Omega -3 Fatty Acids
- Add more plant protein to the mix
- Take a premium multivitamin with pro fertility ingredients
- Swap out sugar sweetened beverages for water
Discovering how diet affects fertility has been an iterative process. Let’s see where this next step takes me.
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