My Nutritional Pal

My Fertility Plan

getting pregnant naturally, fertile foods, infertility

It brings me great joy to hear that I have helped someone who was struggling to have a baby get pregnant. Last week my first fertility client who attended my clinic back in October 2013 gave birth a bouncing baby girl!  This was not by accident as I am firmly believe bringing her back to optimum health through taking probiotics for her yeast intolerance and revising her diet had a major part to play.

The most common cause for not getting pregnant or unfertility is left unexplained meaning that doctors cannot find out the root cause.  Due to this more and more people are opting for the natural route and looking at lifestyle, diet and emotional elements, treating the person as a whole.  

Research shows that people with a previous history of infertility who made a change to their diet and lifestyle had an 80% success rate compared with the 20% success rate with IVF.  Surprisingly male infertility is more common, accounting for 25% of cases compared with 15% of women so both males and females need to look at their habits and behaviours.

I have helped many people, whom have previously had IVF treatment, get pregnant the natural way. Firstly I establish that there are no underlying health problems, even IBS or a bloated stomach can affect your fertility.

The other area that I focus on is hormones.  Fertility is not only concerned with the sex hormone but all the major endocrine glands such as the pituitary, thyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas and ovaries.  The one I would like to highlight is the pituitary as it releases the growth hormone which has been connected to infertility and libido problems.

5 Ways to Increase Your Fertility

1. Fasting: I do not recommend juice fasting as this will increase your insulin levels but vegetable juice is a different story and water is even better albeit much harder! Whenever I want to increase fertility levels I focus on detoxing the liver.  Therefore if you suffer from headaches, irregular periods, tension in the neck, feel cold easliy or have weak eyesight then your liver needs cleansed.  Fasting is the best way to cleanse the liver and regulate hormone levels.  See my fasting guide or alternatively take a sole solution every day to replace electrolytes and balance energy.

2. Reduce or increase Body Fat: Body fat is the biggest obstacle to growth hormone release so check out your BMI and get this right for your height.

3. Exercise: I know this seems obvious but you would be surprised at how some people ignore this one.  Exercise sends a wake-up call to the pituitary to start pumping more growth hormone. Just don't over do it!

4. Sleep: The strongest bursts or pulses of growth hormone occur when we are sleeping so this is vital when increasing fertility. 11pm is liver time so you need to be in bed before midnight to really cleanse and stimulate this hormone.

5. Diet: We are what we eat and for those of you reading this that are already pregnant I would stick to this to ensure you have a healthy bouncing baby.

Fertility Power Foods:

  • Only Eat Organic:Yes it is expensive but there are so many artificial chemicals and hormones added to non organic food and organic farming prohibits the use of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.
  • Almonds: Known as the fertility nut for a reason! They are high in vitamin E which is essential for reproduction and contain vitamin B2 to help regulate the thyroid which is linked to infertility.
  • Asparagus: Contains aspartic acid which is an amino acid that neutralises toxic wastes in teh bloodstream and eliminates them through the kidneys making your urine smell a bit lol!
  • Avocados: Contains vitamins E and B and beta- carotenes, copper and potassium for fertility. Also boosts men's libido. 
  • Aloe Vera: The gel inside the leaves contains eighteen amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes and helps detox the system.  I recommend this inner leaf one.
  • Bee Pollen: This is the ultimate fertility food as it is loaded with amino acids, vitamins and minerals needed for health and reproduction.  Get 30% off it here.
  • Beetroot: Contains manganese which is known for its fertility enhancing effects, plus vitamins B and C.  I add to juice, stirfies, quinoa and salads.  Here is a great tasting dinner recipe with roasted quinoa and beetroot..
  • Berries: The lowest sugar fruits are blueberries or raspberries and they are jam packed with vitamin C which protects eggs and sperm.
  • Blue Green Algae (Spirulina): You can take this as a capsule or as powder to add to smoothies.  It contains all amino acids and minerals and is easily digested into your system unlike meat protein so is perfect for vegetarians.
  • Celery: Contains the fertility mineral magnesium along with folic acid, vitamin C and beta-carotene.
  • Coconut Oil/Milk: contains iodine so helps improve fertility by regulating the thyroid.  Anti-fungal and anti-viral use topically or internally to heal just about anything. 
  • Cucumber: Helps to cleanse the reproductive organs.  Perfect in a veggie juice like like this detox smoothie
  • Flaxseed: Our bodies need a certain amount of fat to function and for fertility as the reproductive organs seem to be affected by the quality of the dietary fat which is why I recommend dairy free to all my clients trying for a baby.  Flaxseed help with hormone production and regulate oestrogen dominance.
  • Garlic: Anti-fungal and anti-biotic and a big liver cleanser.  It particularly kills off the bacteria that could damage the ovaries eg endometriosis whilst also keeping yeast at bay.
  • Grapefruit: Contains vitamin C and bioflavonoids which are said to support good uterine lining. 
  • Hazelnuts: A great source of amino acids and perfect for the men as they nourish the prostate due to their high vitamin E and selenium content.
  • Himalayan Crystal Salt: Replaces electrolytes and balances energy whilst ridding our bodies of nasty toxic metals.  Simply add the salt to a glass of water until it no  longer dissolves and then store it.  Every morning add 1-2 tsp to a glass of mineral water.
  • Leafy Greens & Spinach: Kale is a real winner for enhancing fertility so would recommend juicing it.  Leafy greens are packed with folic acid, magnesium, vitamin K and iron which help prevent miscarriage.   Add spinach to everything salads, soups, smoothies etc. Would recommend taking a magnesium supplement when trying for a baby and also during pregnancy.  This one is great.
  • Lemons and Limes: These bad boys are excellent for cleansing the liver and the female sex organs and glands.  They are good for men too as they cleanse and alkaline the prostate and male sexual organs.  I always take warm water with lemon every morning to flush the bowels and get rid of any waste which helps balance hormone function.
  • Maca: Balances hormones in men and women whilst boosting fertility and immunity. You can buy Maca in powder to add to smoothies or capsules.
  • Quinoa: This is one of my favourites that has really grown on me.  It is known as 'the mother grain' because it helps yiu become a mother.  Quinoa contains all the fertility enhancing essential amino acids, including lysine which is missing from wheat, corn and rice. 
  • Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds called super seeds for a reason.  They contain zinc, manganese, B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin E. I spinkle these on porridge, salads and smoothies.
  • Sweet Potato: Contains 60 minerals compared with white potato only having 3 nutrients.  They don't spike our insulin levels like white potato either.

6. Herbs and Supplements:

- Herbs

Black Chosh balances hormones, Dong Quai tones a weak uterus, horney goat weed increases sperm count, liquorice root normalises ovulation, saw palmetto is great for people suffering from PCOS who want to conceive, Agnus Castus (Wild Chasteberry) stimulates the function of the pituitary gland and balances hormones.

- Minerals

Chromium metabolises glucose

Iron boosts fertility

Magnesium is known as the anti-miscarriage mineral

Manganese helps to maintain sex hormone production

MSM detox's the liver and boosts fertility

Zinc is the fertility superstar for both men and women as it forms and maintains the reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone in women.  In men it increases sperm count, especially as zinc is lost through ejaculation

- Vitamins

B Vitamins are essential for the reproductive glands and maintaining the correct levels of sex hormones.  Plus they are water soluble so must be taken as a supplement. I recommend a B complex one called P5P Extra as it contains the full range of B vitamins required plus vitamin C, Chromium and a probiotic.

Folic Acid ensures the proper genetic formation of ova and sperm

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that increases sperm count and protects semen from damage so should be supplemented by men.  

Vitamin E is known as the sex vitamin because it balances hormones and increases sperm count which is why I recommend eating avocado

Probiotics are essential to cleanse the colon and get rid of any yeast overgrowth in the stomach.  I recommend Fos-a-dophilous.

Now this can all get a a bit overwhelming but essentially I would take 3 things in addition to the correct diet; Probiotic x 1 per day, P5P Extra x 1 per day and Magnesium 1 per day.  For men I would recommend P5P Extra x 1 per day and zinc x 1 per day.

10 Infertile Foods to Avoid

  1. Aspartame: If you are not aware of aspartame by now then read on.  Aspartame is killer sweetner that leaves behind a residue of formaldehyde every time it is ingested.  It kills brain cells by making them over excited.  It also stops ovulation and can cause birth defects if by some miracle you did get pregnant whilst taking it.
  2. Animal Fats: Causes oestrogen levels to rise in women and lowers sex drive and sex hormones in men. 
  3. Fish from Mercury contaminated waters: Mercury causes infertility, miscarriages and birth defects. These include the following, shark, tilefish, king mackerel, tuna red snapper and mahi mahi.  Also if you have mercury in your fillings get them removed asap.
  4. Genetically Modified Foods:  These are made from inserting a genetically modified gene into a plant and then turning it off and on.  These inserted genes are usually unstable and can mutate which can reduce fertility.
  5. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate): Be cautious when eating chinese foods or flavoured crisps as MSG has been shown to cause infertility.
  6. Peas: They contain a natural contraceptive which interferes with oestrogen and progesterone but you would have to be eating a lot of them.
  7. Rhubarb: Has been linked to fertility according to some studies.
  8. Soya: Soya contains isoflavones that cause infertility by blocking a body's own oestrogen production.  It can also impair sperm function.
  9. Sugar: This is the one product I urge you to cut from your diet if you want to have a baby, especially as it feeds yeast (candida) and I have found a big link to fertility and yeast overgrowth.  Sugar and hidden sugars in white flour (pasta & bread) starve pur body of valuable fertility enhancing minerals that cause our insulin levels to rise and growth hormone to decline. Eating more good fats and protein will help to curb those sugar cravings but eating more sugar will make you crave it.
  10. Wheat/Gluten: Research has shown that people with coeliac disease (gluten allergy) are sub-fertile and have an increased risk of stillbirths.  I get many clients who are intolerant to wheat and once I take them off it their health problems improve dramatically because it is such an acidic grain.

Other actions to take to improve your fertility:

1. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, diet drinks, cows milk and tonic water

2. Don't smoke or take drugs, including medication like headache tablets, antihistamines, antidepressants 

3. Filter your water

4. Store your food in glass and not plastic

5. Avoid non-stick/teflon frying pans

6. Avoid stress

7. Lose weight

If you want to know more on this subject and what other things you can do then read 'The Fertility Diet' by Sarah Dobbyn.  I have provided you will all the tools and advice so do what you can and when you can.  It may take you a while to change your diet and your habits but even small changes will help you on your way to making your dreams come true.