Get your body prepped by dealing with hormonal imbalances, supporting your organs and making sure you’re optimally nourished for conception and pregnancy.
- Eat these foods for a better chance of conceiving
- Simple daily changes for healthier eggs and sperm
- How to include essential fertility nutrients in your everyday diet
Sperm and eggs take 3 months to grow and mature so it’s ideal to start a nutritional programme to support conception well before you start trying, we’d suggest around 6 months or longer if you can wait! Improving the quality and health of the sperm and eggs means that, when you do conceive, the pregnancy is more likely to be successful.
How To Get Balanced Hormones
In order to conceive, it helps to establish a ‘normal’ regular cycle, but how many of us actually have one? Hormonal imbalance is very common; it causes issues like PMS, period pain, endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovaries and water retention. Men’s hormones don’t fluctuate as much as women’s but they are just as important to get balanced, and the advice below applies to both parties.
Here are the factors messing up your hormones and what to do about them:
The liver can get overloaded with alcohol, caffeine, medications, pollution, pesticides and more, so it can’t do its other important job of detoxifying and excreting our excess hormones. This can mean hormones get reabsorbed into the bloodstream in a stronger form and cause major disruption.
How to support the liver:
- Eat high quality protein (from organic meat, wild fish, eggs, nuts, tempeh, quinoa)
- Add green vegetables to all your meals!
- Drink dandelion or fennel tea – a cup or 2 a day
- Try 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in warm water each morning
- Add turmeric to your food – a chunk of fresh turmeric is amazing in smoothies
- Take Organic Burst Chlorella, which cleanses toxins from the body. Take 4 tablets or 1 teaspoon in lemon water, juice, or your favourite smoothie every day
Fake oestrogens from our environment can suppress other important hormones for fertility including progesterone and follicle stimulating hormone, and in men they can affect testosterone levels. These external oestrogens come from herbicides, pesticides, plastics and even drinking water recycled from our rivers.
How to avoid external oestrogens:
- Reduce the plastic in your life (don’t wrap food in cling film, use glass or BPA-free food containers, choose a stainless steel canister instead of a plastic water bottle) and never heat foods in plastic containers
- Eat organic food as much as possible to reduce exposure to pesticides, antibiotics and hormones
- Drink filtered and mineral water (preferably from glass bottles) not tap water
- Try to use mainly natural toiletries
- Take a break from dairy. Milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream, etc. contain a lot of animal and sometimes synthetic hormones which can affect fertility
Stress diverts energy and nutrients away from the sex organs so they don’t produce the right levels of sex hormones. When your body thinks it’s under attack, making babies is the last thing it wants to do, but biologically there’s no way to explain that you’re just very busy (mental stress), or enjoying a caffeine buzz and not being chased by a wild animal!
Help eliminate stress:
- Reduce stimulants including caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and nicotine which increase stress hormones
- Take ½ - 1 teaspoon Organic Burst Maca mixed into a cup of warm almond milk instead of a latte/cappuccino for a caffeine-free energy boost that also helps fertility! In multiple studies maca was shown to balance hormones, including sexual hormones for both men and women and enhance fertility.
- Make sure you exercise regularly and use relaxation techniques such as a few minutes of focusing on your breathing, meditation, or stretching each day. Use essential oils such as lavender and rosemary on your temples and wrists, or try a room diffuser.
Star Fertility Nutrients And Where To Get Them
Help your fertility with our pick of the top nutrients and foods below. Depending on whether you’re currently experiencing any health issues (e.g. skin conditions, problem periods, low energy) and if you have a restrictive diet (for instance if you’re vegan), it may be worth speaking to a nutritional practitioner to order some tests to check your levels of essential fats, iron, vitamin D, zinc.
- Fertility multi-vitamin tablets are most people’s first thought when it comes to trying for a baby, but choose them carefully. We would always recommend to nourish your body with natural whole foods first, then consider ‘food state’ vitamin tablets that are more easily absorbed and used by the body. Cheap, mainstream vitamins are full of additives, bulking agents and preservatives that we don’t need and could potentially be harmful.
- Folate (folic acid) is the star nutrient for cell division (making new cells) all fertility nutritional supplements will contain it, but the synthetic form isn’t a patch on natural folate found in vegetables like courgettes/zucchini, kale, broccoli and in Organic Burst Spirulina and Chlorella. Eat A LOT of greens and add in some amazing superfood algaes and you’ll be getting good levels of natural folate along with a wealth of other valuable nutrients including iron that is especially important in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Omega-3 essential fats are pretty much the key ingredients for baby making. They’re components of our hormones, hormone receptors, new DNA and more. Eat 3 portions of oily fish per week (mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies). If you choose a fish oil supplement, only buy the highest quality to ensure it isn’t oxidised and free from contaminants. For conception and pregnancy, choose one that has a higher ratio of DHA to EPA. If you’re vegan, don’t worry, chia seeds should become your new best friend, eat 1 – 2 tablespoons per day.
- Zinc is an essential component of genetic material, and lack of it is a common reason for not conceiving quickly. Eat lots of pumpkin seeds – especially the man. Make pumpkin seed flapjacks, spread, or eat a handful a day as a snack. Seafood is also a rich source of zinc. If you’d like to try a supplement, choose zinc citrate (which is a more absorbable compound).
- Antioxidants help stop sperm from getting damaged and the DNA fragmenting (this is a common reason for miscarriage when the quality of the sperm is not optimal). Lots of brightly coloured vegetables like greens (again!) squash, bell peppers and berries will offer vital protection, plus Brazil nuts for selenium and vitamin E – eat 5-6 Brazils per day.
- Two important amino acids l-arginine and l-carnitine, found in protein (particularly meat protein) are responsible for building sperm, but if you don’t eat meat, eat a wide range of vegetable proteins like seeds, beans and peas or take 2 tablespoons or 8 tablets of Organic Burst Spirulina every day.
- Vitamin D3 levels in both men and women should be optimised before conception, it helps to balance hormones, improve sperm count and also regulates the immune response, which is important in early pregnancy. Sometimes the woman’s immune system rejects the embryo because it doesn’t recognise the foreign DNA. In summer make sure your skin is exposed to the sun for 20 mins per day – we’re talking shorts and vests not just your face and forearms (but make sure you don’t burn). Eat fish, mushrooms and eggs to maintain levels in winter.
Good luck and remember to enjoy yourselves during this exciting time!