Whether you are prepping for pregnancy, birth or energetic parenthood, diet impacts your body, your mood and your success. Significant fertility issues will call for medical advice and intervention; however, a balanced diet can support optimal hormone levels and keep your reproductive organs healthy.
Obesity and BMI are clearly related to regular ovulation as well, so it’s really important to maintain optimal weight. Lifestyle choices affect your health and your fertility.
This week’s key diet ingredients: Dairy Fat and Calcium A 2007 Harvard study, printed in the Oxford Journal, analyzed Nurses’ Health Study data and concluded that high intake of low-fat dairy foods may increase the risk of ovulatory dysfunction and therefore increase infertility. Conversely, the intake of high-fat dairy foods may boost fertility.
“These findings were unexpected. We certainly were not expecting low-fat dairy to have an effect on ovulation,” said Dr. Jorge Chavarro who led the research team.
That might seem to run contrary to what we all think about dairy, that low fat is always better. But think about it: when the fats are skimmed out of milk, the hormones which adhere to the fat globules are removed as well.
A rich source of natural estrogen, progesterone and some androgens are discarded. The Harvard researchers found a link between full-fat dairy and better fertility resulting from regular ovulation. The additional hormones may be the reason. And the calcium doesn’t hurt either.
While calcium is not related to fertility, it is most definitely related to the bone health, of the mother and the unborn, developing baby within. “This should not signal women to get buckets and buckets of ice cream. That would be bad for fertility and bad for their overall health,” Chavarro pointed out.
Try to replace at least one serving with a day and make it a temporary lifestyle change while trying to conceive. Do not increase overall caloric intake. Whole milk over cereal is a good, easy place to start. Another is a nutritious smoothie like the ones suggested below.
Cranberry-Raspberry Smoothie This recipe calls for orange juice which is also a good source of folate, a B vitamin necessary for cell development in pregnancy and is important to prevent serious spinal birth defects.
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced (frozen will make your smoothie thicker!) ½ cup fresh raspberries ½ cup vanilla whole milk yogurt 2 tbsp fresh or frozen cranberries ½ cup fresh orange juice Honey to taste Combine everything in a blender on low and mix until smooth.
Add more orange juice if too thick.
Add honey to taste. Makes 1-1/2 cups. Source: CBS News, Oxford Journal, Cooking to Conceive Chef’s Choice Frozen Fruit Smoothie These are great for snacks, breakfast, or even dessert!
Change the fruit as the season changes. Experiment by changing the juice too. 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced (frozen makes it thicker) 1 cup peeled and sliced fresh fruit: peaches, strawberries, mango and/or blueberries 1 cup vanilla whole milk yogurt ½ cup unfiltered apple juice Everything goes into the blender on low until smooth.
Add more apple juice if too thick. Makes 3-1/2 cups. Recipe source: Cooking to Conceive References
A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility, J.E. Chavarro et al, 2007, Oxford University Login or register to post comments