Look at your diet
Food is not just about carbs, fat and protein.
It’s not just about if it builds muscle or contributes to fat stores.
Food is the building block for EVERYTHING your body. It provides vitamins, minerals and fibre that are needed throughout your body. Many of which cannot be replaced by synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements. This includes your hormones, your uterine lining, your eggs and your DNA replication (ie building new cells). Its undeniable basic human biochemistry that science has known for years.
In regards to fertility, there is overwhelming evidence that suggests a Mediterranean style diet is associated with more positive fertility outcomes.
There are a number of versions of the Mediterranean diet, but basically the Mediterranean style diet is high in fruits, vegetables, fish, wholegrain, nuts and seeds and cold pressed olive oils. It is moderate to low in red meat, and it is low in dairy, alcohol and processed foods such as breads, cakes, biscuits, pasta, pre made sauces and dressings.
I actually tend to call it a farmer’s diet as to me it’s all about the foods that are grown on the land and not bought from a store.
(Side note – from a naturopath point of view, a wholegrain is exactly that; an intact grain that has been minimally processed. Its not a food that has had the grain, husk, and germ pulled apart then crushed and baked into a cracker or is in the shape of a brick.)
What does this mean for you?
Really take stock of the processed foods that you eat and commit to a whole food diet.
Yep, that means a butt tonne of vegetables every day and you might have to break up with sugar and chocolate (unless its 80%+ organic dark chocolate in small amounts).
If in doubt if a food is likely to be good for you, then think about how many steps it takes to get from its natural source to what you have in front of you. If its more than about 2 then it’s processed in some way.
Take a look at the alcohol that you drink.
I think most of us are aware of the recommendations when you are pregnant but we needed to be looking at alcohol consumption BEFORE you get pregnant as well.
Alcohol robs your body of essential vitamins and minerals – many of which are needed for egg health. It aggravates your gut and it can damage the liver which between them have a massive impact on your overall hormonal health.
It will probably mean that you also need to include some time in your life for food prepping and planning so that you always have healthy food on hand.
Totally worth it though. The pile of evidence about the impact of food on health and hormones in women is about as high as Mt Everest.
Written by Wendy Burke