Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fertility Diet

A friend of mine gave me a December 2007 Newsweek magazine. It has an article about "Fat, Carbs and the Science of Conception".

More than 18,000 women took part in a Nurses' Health Study. Each women said she was trying to have a baby. Over eight years of follow-up , most of them did. About one in six women were able to become pregnant, while some did have trouble. When diets, exercise habits, and other lifestyle choices where compared with those women who easily became pregnant, some key differences became apparent.

Carbohydrates, such as white bread, potatoes, and sugared sodas, increases the odds that you'll find yourself struggling with ovulation. Eating lots of healthy carbs like whole grains, beans, vegetables, and whole fruits can improve ovulation and the chances of getting pregnant.

Eating less artificial fats and adding healthy unsaturated fats can improve fertility. For instance if you ate 2,000 calories a day, 2 percent of calories is the same as two tablespoons of stick margarine, one medium order of fast food french fries or one doughnut. A diet with 2 percent or more in trans fats can greatly decrease fertility.

Eat less animal proteins. Women who ate a diet high in animal protein was 39 percent more likely to have ovulatory infertility. The reverse was true for women who ate a high amount of plant protein.

The Nurse's Health Study found that two servings of whole milk and foods made from whole milk (full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and ice cream) seemed to increase fertility while low fat versions decreased fertility.

Exercise is recommended to everyone except those who are having trouble getting pregnant. Too much exercise can turn off menstruation and ovulation. For women who exercise hard for many hours a week and who are extremely lean, it is recommended that you slow down to a moderate exercise for only 30 minutes a day. If you are overweight you may need to up your exercise to a moderate pace for 60 minutes a day. Too much and too little exercise as well as not enough body fat or too much body fat can cause fertility problems. The Infertility Cure recommends walking at a moderate pace for 30 to 60 minutes a day. No sit ups or core body exercise which can cause blood flow to flow away from the uterus.

The bottom line, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat beans and other plant proteins and then top it all off with a small bowl of regular ice cream flavor of your choice (well, no chocolate sorry!!!). Then go for a nice walk (this will also help with stress).

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