Fertility Diet part 4: Foods to Avoid
One of the “anti-nutrients” all health care providers, holistic health coaches, and nutritionists can agree on is sugar. This particular food can cause widespread damage throughout your body! One of the many ways it does is by causing your insulin levels to rise. When you eat a sugary food, your body needs to release insulin in order bring down the levels of sugars in your blood. The thing you need to realize is that insulin is a hormone, and when constantly flooding your system, rising and falling, it brings along all of the other hormones as well. Your endocrine system is connected so when just one hormone can not be regulated it can no longer perform and regulate the others – including your sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc.)
It’s also hard for our body to digest and uses the nutrients our body has stored in order to get rid of it, as well as being hard on the liver (which is our bodies natural detoxifier).
Studies have shown that women who drink one to one and a half cups of coffee each day had up to a 50% reduction in fertility. Three cups a day has been linked to early miscarriage (new evidence shows 200 milligrams as the limit). The liver has to convert caffeine so that it may be passed in your urine. Your liver also has to deal with excreting your hormones. If the liver is overworked in one area, it can’t function properly. Caffeine increases the excretion of calcium which is important in absorbing vitamin D as well as providing a little baby with strong bones.
In women, alcohol may actually prevent the production of progesterone, which is vital to ensuring a pregnancy is carried to term. In men, it reduces the levels of sperm-making hormones which can actually wipe out a sperm count for three months after a heavy drinking session. (It takes 3 months for new sperm to mature)
Avoid Low-fat Milk
The problem is, it seems our bodies need fat in order to maintain our cellular structure. And removing the fat from milk has actually been shown to cause an imbalance of hormones throughout the body, causing a failure to ovulate or produce a healthy egg. In a recent study, scientists found that women who ate full fat dairy were found to have a 27% lower risk of infertility. Women who ate low fat milk products twice a day were found to be twice as likely to not ovulate. This study shows that eating healthy fats, as are in milk, is helpful in reproduction.
Soy contains something called phyto-estrogens and while some health practitioners (even holistic ones) think that eating soy can be healthy, I have a problem with something that includes these “plant derived estrogens’. While in some cases a diet that includes a small amount of soy may not be bothersome, many men and women find they have issues with this particular food.
It’s also been alleged that soy is high in something called phytic acid which prevents nutrients from being absorbed as well as robbing bodily stores of nutrients trying to digest it. (it may bind to nutrients like zinc and carry it out of the body)
Lastly, a very large portion of the soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Meaning that scientists have changed the DNA of the plant by ‘merging’ it with cells from other organisms. A few studies have been done on animals that show GMO foods may decrease fertility.
Avoid Processed Foods
This category of foods takes care of a lot of the harmful substances we place into our bodies like MSG, Trans Fats, high fructose corn syrup, and soda. there really is nothing more sabotaging to healthy eating than processed foods! Not only do they place many different toxins into our bodies (thereby making the liver less efficient at cleaning them out) we again use a lot of nutrient stores digesting them!
While we may never have a “perfect” diet, we can make a conscious effort to cut back our consumption of certain foods so that our bodies can run they way they do best. It’s all about eating for nourishment!
What foods do you stay away from when trying to conceive?