Without a doubt when you want to attain a healthy pregnancy, your diet and lifestyle are of utmost importance. Nutrients and body weight play an essential role in creating healthy eggs and sperm which in turn prepare a healthy environment in which a baby will grow.
Both men and women are responsible for maintaining a nutrient dense healthy diet since the proportion of infertility is equal among both sexes: ⅓ male only, ⅓ female only and ⅓ as a combination of problems from both.
What are some of the causes for infertility?
According to the US National Infertility Association, 30% reports of infertility cases in the world are due to weight extremes, which can alter hormone levels and throw ovulation off schedule. A little weight loss as 5 percent for overweight women could improve their fertility. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, underweight women with a body mass index 18.5 (19 to 24 is considered normal), may experience irregular menstrual cycles or stop ovulating altogether.
When it comes to the male partner, some of the most common causes of sperm-related infertility include slow moving sperm, low sperm count, abnormal shape and size of sperm and problems with semen. Although it is not possible to control all of the causes of infertility, people can control their diets and so, have an impact on their fertility, by adopting a health way of life and a fertility diet.
According to our clinic’s nutritionist, a healthy weight and lifestyle can be beneficial for both men and women who want to boost fertility.
“The Fertility Diet”
Harvard University research team proposed “The Fertility diet” to the public that aimed to prevent and reverse ovulatory infertility. The general recommendations are the following:
Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits
Eat at least half of all grains as whole grains each day
Choose leaner protein sources: turkey, fish, pork chops and/or chicken breast and eat less red meat.
Eat vegetable proteins such as nuts, beans, tofu and seeds.
Limit saturated fats from full-fat dairy products, fried foods and meats. Replace with healthy fats.
In addition, our nutritionist suggests supplementing your diet with 0.4g folic acid and 16 to 20 mg iron, at least 3 months before pregnancy. Although it won’t make you more fertile, folic acid is necessary to prevent neural tube defects. You can get folic acid as a supplement or from foods such as fortified grains and/or dark leafy green vegetables. However you should always consult a specialist before taking any supplement to choose the right multivitamin for dosage and side effects.
For more information on fertility foods, nutrition during pregnancy or if you would like a personalized diet plan to reach a healthy weight, consult our registered dietitian and nutritionist, Wai Man Cheng.