We’ve all heard of a fertility diet. It’s a hot topic for our FHH Fertility Squad community, and there’s pretty-much a key food or micronutrient for every fertility concern. But from thyroid to blood sugar and Omega 3s, where should we focus?
Small changes, big impact
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Whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or undergoing fertility treatment, now’s the time to look at your overall nutrition and lifestyle. Small changes can have a big impact, really helping enrich your fertile ground to support a healthy conception.
Lorna, Wild Nutrition’s Head of Nutrition, shares her top six tips for starting your family:
Healthy hormones, healthy thyroid
Thyroid health is a fundamental part of healthy fertility. Your thyroid hormones need to be in a healthy range not only for conception, but also in the very early weeks of pregnancy. This is because your baby’s own thyroid won’t yet be up and running, so it will rely solely on yours for growth and development.
Poor thyroid health, unstable thyroid hormone levels or out of range thyroid antibodies can impact many key bodily functions, including:
- hormone balance
- healthy menstrual cycle and ovulation
- robust immune system
- good energy levels
Include key thyroid nutrients in your diet, and choose a supplement containing Iodine and Selenium, such as our Food-Grown Fertility. You can also keep an eye on things with routine blood tests, checking your thyroid.
As a base level, be sure to choose a prenatal supplement formula that contains natural methylated folate. Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate (whereas folate is found in food sources). But not all women can metabolise synthetic non-methylated Folic Acid, which means they won’t be getting enough folate at this crucial time.
Stress less (easier said than done)
Stress is never particularly welcome, but especially when you’re trying to conceive. It can affect the communication between the brain, female hormone production and ovulation – all required when trying to conceive. Not only that, it drains the body of key nutrients that should be in plentiful supply, when looking to grow a tiny human.
Take a good look at your day-to-day and work out where you can potentially minimise stress. As for the stress you can’t avoid, work on cushioning the impact. Nutrients such as Magnesium and the B Vitamins can be really supportive. I also love Ashwagandha to soothe when feeling frazzled, optimise hormones and support tranquil sleep when feeling over-demanded by life.
Note: Ashwagandha is safe to use during your fertility journey unless you are undergoing IVF. In IVF please do not use. I don’t advise using it in pregnancy.
Omega 3 is key
The essential fat Omega 3 is super-important for fetal brain and eye development. Plus, it’s key to support women’s health in conception, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Omega 3 is the raw materials to create hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone (yes, testosterone is important for women too). Therefore Low levels of Omega 3 may cause hormone imbalances and irregular ovulation. In fact, if you experience PMS, low mood, poor memory, dry skin and painful periods, there’s a chance you’re low in Omega 3.
It’s important to build up reserves of Omega 3 in advance of pregnancy, so a growing baby has enough to ‘pull on’ for its own development. Sadly, many of us don’t get enough through diet alone – two to three weekly portions of oily fish, such as trout, salmon, sardines and mackerel, is recommended. If you don’t like eating oily fish or you’re not hitting this fertility foods goal, supplementation is key, especially if you need to optimise your levels quickly.
Balance your blood sugar
Healthy blood sugar levels are important in your fertility journey. Blood sugar highs and lows create biological stress that can make the body feel it’s in a ‘flight or fight’ mode.
Remember, when the body becomes biologically stressed, fertility is not the main priority. Eating fibre-rich dark green vegetables, protein and healthy fats, and increasing your intake of minerals like Zinc, Magnesium and especially Chromium will help to maintain blood sugar balance, sending ‘safe signals’ to the body. So too will avoiding refined sugars and meals that are carbohydrate ‘top heavy’.
Look after the good bacteria
The latest research tells us that good gut flora and vaginal flora make a difference to conception. Dysbiosis (an imbalance in your microflora) symptoms and risk factors include:
- irregular bowel movements
- repeated courses of antibiotics
- frequent upset stomachs
- gut sensitivities
- vaginal itching or changes in discharge
- Vaginal and oral thrush
- Constipation or loose stools
- Flatulence (constant)
These are all signs that you may need to take a closer look at your microbiome status.
“I used these supplements for 4 months following a loss to get myself ready to conceive a healthy pregnancy. I expected it to take much longer but we were blessed only 4 short months later with our rainbow baby. I wholeheartedly put it down to these supplements as my whole body and mindset felt different after a month or so. They’re also easy on the stomach which is a bonus. Would highly recommend it to anyone.” – Jessica, Wild Nutrition Fertility customer
Need advice on nutrition or supplements for fertility or pregnancy? Wild Nutrition’s expert all-female nutritionist team invites you to a free 15-minute consultation.
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