National Fertility Week 30th October to 5th November 2017
A Healthy Weight
Try to aim to be a healthy weight, as being overweight or underweight isn’t helpful for optimum fertility. It is best to lose weight gradually and not to skip meals. Balancing your blood sugar levels is a great way to help avoid cravings and maintain a healthy weight. Include quality proteins with meals and snacks. Avoiding the peaks and troughs in your blood sugar also avoids putting any unnecessary stress on the body.
Include some healthy fats in your diet – don’t go fat free. Your body needs essential fats. Include oily fish twice a week, some nuts, seeds and olive oil. Coconut oil is great for cooking with as it is stable under high temperatures. Use all fats in moderation along with a balanced diet.
Drink plenty of water and some herbal teas and avoid too many fruit juices or artificially sweetened cordials. Caffeine and alcohol is best avoided or at least limited, or it can create additional stresses to the body and can also negatively affect your blood sugar balance.
It can be hard getting all the right nutrients from your diet so supplementing with a fertility multivitamin including folic acid is a good idea. If your BMI is over 30 check with your GP if you need additional folic acid. Safe exposure to sunlight can help increase levels of vitamin D naturally and include a little oily fish and eggs. It may be helpful to get your vitamin D levels tested to see if you need to supplement.
Making ourselves more resilient to stress can only be helpful for fertility. Try to manage stress levels as best you can with moderate exercise, meditation and relaxation. Finding something that you enjoy doing will increase the chances of sticking to it. Learning techniques that can help avoid negative thinking patterns can also be very helpful in reducing anxiety. Seeing a counsellor can be helpful if you are finding it difficult to manage your stress levels.
Celia Cooper, Nutritional Therapist BSc, MBant, CNHC