Conventional advice for couples trying to conceive includes recommendations that make a point at decreasing some of the more drastic problems. But they include all encompassing rules that often leave room for error, and completely miss the mark on the male’s role in the process.
So what do we do?
In the ideal world, pre-conception lifestyle changes should begin 6 months to 2 years prior to attempted conception, and both parents must participate.
Why so long?: Not everyone needs so much time; someone who consumes a nutrient dense diet has the potential to be ready in 6 months. However, the Standard American Diet that the majority of the population consumes creates nutrient deficiencies and malnourished tissues that make it difficult to support another life. Additionally, the egg follicle matures in the woman’s body over the course of three months of growth and development, then is ovulated. Even if someone follows a “perfect” diet, in order to make changes to the egg follicle, you must provide proper nutrition for at least three months before ovulation.
Ok… What should I eat?
First off, get rid of known inflammatory foods: sugar, processed and refined “foods”, and known allergens for your body. Gluten, dairy, corn, and soy are the most common inflammatory allergens, but anything that you know is causing an allergic reaction in YOUR body MUST go. Then, add healthy, organic fruits and vegetables and these recommended “superfoods” for the preconception time:
Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil provides a healthy 10:1 ratio of Vitamin A to Vitamin D. It also promotes healthy teeth and organs for mom to support a growing baby, and in dad, it plays an essential role in sperm production, and protects the sperm against environmental damage!
Whole Eggs and Grass Fed Butter
Eggs are a great source of Vitamin A, D, K2, and E, as well as being high in selenium, folate, biotin, zinc, iron, and choline. When buying eggs for these nutrients, preference should be given to pastured eggs, then organic eggs as these contain the highest amount of nutrients. At 115mg per yolk, eggs are also the best choline, which is essential for brain development and neuron firing. During the pre-conception time, women should consume 425mg per day. Grass Fed Butter is also high in Vitamins A, D, K2, and E, as well as selenium, copper, zinc, chromium and iodine. It also contains DHA and Arachadonic Acid which supports the nervous system, immune system, and gastrointestinal system while also decreasing inflammation. These nutrients are only found in grass fed butter (compared to conventional butter), but because of the anti-inflammatory content, it can be used in, on, and for cooking meals.
Meat and Bone Broths
Meat should always be consumed from high quality, grass fed sources and with fat. Meat is a complete protein that contains many essential nutrients for mom, such as iron and zinc, which essential for building baby’s body, brain, and blood. Bone broths can also be prepared to get as many of meats essential acids as possible, and allow for better digestion of protein. It is also very high in the amino acid glycine. Glycine protects mom and baby from toxins and stress, while also supporting protein synthesis essential for fetal growth. If mom doesn’t get enough glycine in her diet before and during pregnancy, baby will be deficient and growth will be impaired.
PHEW!! You made it to the end of the blog post. I know this is a lot of information, but thanks for sticking with me. This information may seem like a lot, but just barely scratches the surface of everything that can be done to increase fertility. If you have any questions on anything covered today, or want a more individualized plan, please call the office to make an appointment. I can’t wait to help you on your journey to start a family.
*All information in this post comes from a recent webinar I attended earlier this year: Nourishing Life Webinar Series. Material: © 2017 Ronda L. Nelson, PhD, MH.