We’ve crafted an accessible nutrition and fitness plan tailored for individuals on the fertility journey, be it IVF or egg freezing. By following some of these steps, you can potentially enhance egg health, alleviate symptoms of PCOS, regulate ovulation, bolster sperm count and motility, facilitate conception, and elevate your overall fertility.
Here are some essential steps to empower your fertility journey:
1. Prioritise Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Combatting excessive free radicals is crucial for preserving egg health. Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods like red beans, blueberries, and artichokes into your diet. Aim for at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit daily. Have anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric for added benefits.
2. Optimal Protein and Carbohydrate Intake: Research suggests that a diet with 25% protein enhances embryo development, while maintaining carbohydrate intake at 40% or less increases pregnancy rates. Strive for more than 100 grams of protein daily from sources like eggs, fish, lean meats, or cheese.
3. Embrace Healthy Fats: Prioritise Omega-3 fats found in fish oil, salmon, flax oil, and chia seeds while limiting Omega-6 fats from sources like soybean and corn oil. This balance supports heart and fertility health, enhancing embryo development and estrogen levels.
4. Choose Lean, Unprocessed Proteins: Avoid processed meats due to their association with cancer risk. In a recent classification by the World Health Organization, processed meats like bacon, sausages, and hot dogs have been labeled as cancer-causing, sharing the same risk category as tobacco and asbestos.
Opt for lean, unprocessed proteins like chicken breasts, turkey cutlets, or salmon filets to support overall health and fertility.
5. Maintain a Healthy Body Mass Index (BMI): Aim for a BMI between 19-25, as both underweight and overweight conditions can disrupt hormone patterns, affecting the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
6. Engage in 30 Minutes of Daily Physical Activity: Prioritise 30 minutes of daily physical activity, whether it’s a walk, run, elliptical session, or workout class. Use fitness trackers like FitBit for accountability and progress tracking.
7. Switch to Gentler Workouts: Replacing running and extreme exercising like bodybuilding to a gentler routine. Yoga, walking, swimming, hiking, and biking are wonderful ways to get gentle exercise during fertility treatments and pregnancy.
8. Quit Smoking and Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Both smoking and excessive alcohol intake have detrimental effects on fertility. Women who smoke may require more fertility treatments, and alcohol consumption can reduce the number of eggs. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake are crucial steps for reproductive health.
9. Prioritise Quality Sleep: Adequate and quality sleep is vital for cellular repair, stress management, and overall fertility. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night to support your well-being on your fertility journey.
10. Stress Management for Fertility: Minimising stress is crucial for optimising fertility success. Explore stress-relief techniques such as acupuncture, walking, journaling, and meditation to reduce anxiety and enhance your overall well-being during this process.
11. Invest in Essential Vitamins and Supplements: Enhance your fertility journey with key vitamins and supplements. Here are some suggestions:
- Pre-natal vitamins with folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and copper.
- Co enzyme Q10 (200mg, 3x daily) to improve mitochondrial function and antioxidants.
- Fish oil (1200-1500mg EPA + DHA daily) for higher quality eggs and reproductive function.
(Note: It’s advisable to consult your specialist and healthcare team for the recommended supplements that are most suitable for you.)
Engaging in moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, and breaking unhealthy habits can significantly reduce the risk of infertility for women in their childbearing years. Scheduling a checkup with your doctor to address your health concerns and discuss fertility-related questions is a wise step. We hope that the tips outlined above will help you in your fertility journey, all the best!
Anna Haotanto is the Founder of Zora Health and a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. Anna’s personal experiences with egg-freezing, PCOS and the challenges of fertility have fueled her mission to provide high-quality information, financing, and support to help women and couples navigate their fertility journeys with confidence. She is also recognised for her achievements in finance, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment, and has been featured in various media outlets. You can also follow her on Linkedin or Instagram.
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