Nutrition

It is no secret that nutrition is critical to a healthy reproductive system. As an individual both in the throughs of inferility and also in the process of pursuing RD credentials, the interaction between nutrition and reproduction. I will try to make the advice easy to follow and divided by gender or condition (later date). References will be provided.

TTC Mamas-
Diet:

  • High intake of fresh fruits and vegetables for their antioxidants, nutrient density and fiber [1][2][3]
  • Lean protein sources such as those from poultry, fish (in moderation) and vegetarian sources [1][2][3]
  • Speaking of vegetarian protein sources, foods such as tofu and other soy based proteins can be of benefit as they have an estrogenic quality [1]
  • Moderate intake of a full-fat dairy (does not need to be every serving but one a day can help) which can be from cheese, whole milk or ice cream (let’s be honest, we all know it’s going to be the ice cream) [1][2]
  • Whole grains, whole grains, whole grains… these lend fiber, nutrient density and especially b-vitamins such as folic acid which is important for development of baby [1][2][3]
  • Avoidance of trans fats which are found in many processed foods and fast foods as well as in high fat beef/dairy (when consumed in high quanitites) [1][2][3]
  • Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol and narcotics/illicit drugs (duh, you guys know) [1][2][3]

Exercise:

  • Exercise in moderation can be helpful but overdoing it can actually lead to infertility and ovulation problems [2]
  • Being a healthy weight is important, the recommended BMI is 20-24 [2]

Supplements:

  • Take a multivitmin or prenatal that contains 600 or more micrograms of folic acid as well as a balance of the other essential vitamins and minerals [1][2][3]
  • Take DHA, which can be found in fish oil (look for mercury free) or flax seed oil

TTC Daddies
Diet-

  • Get your five (or more) a day of fruits and vegetables [1][2][3][4]
  • Consume low fat dairy products [1][2][3][4]
  • Avoid trans fats, smoking, and excessive alcohol use (you all know this one) [1][2][3]
  • Cut back on the meat, especially the red meat (although in some circumstances lean cuts of red meat in moderation are beneficial) [2][3][4]
  • Replace saturated fats with unsaturated varieties from plant sources [1][2][3][4]

Exercise-

  • Same as mamas, a moderate but adaquate amount of exercise to stay at a healthy weight [2][3][4]

Supplements-

  • Take a daily multivitamin for adults that contains Folate, Zinc, Vitamin E and Vitamin C [3]
  • If there is a male factor, ask a specialist about other vitamins of benefit and their quantities

Food Safety
Pregnant women are at an increased risk for food borne illnesses which can lead to complications. [3]

  • Cook all raw food thoroughly [3]
  • Keep food out of the danger zone of temperatures between 40-135 [3]
  • Practice clean food preparation to avoid cross-contamination (clean hands, clean surfaces, don’t use a cutting board for fresh foods and raw meats or cooked and raw foods) [3]
  • Food preservation is a good thing, avoid raw milk and cheese, raw honey, raw juice and be careful with home canned foods [3]
  • Respect expiration dates [3]
  • Eat fish but watch for mercury and PCBs as these can increase chances of miscarriage- avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish as they are the biggest offenders [3] *side note: tuna, shrimp, salmon, scallops, lobster and white fin fish are better options

Fact Check these References:

  1. Shepherd AA. British Journal of Nursing. Nutrition through the lifespan. Part 1: Preconception, infancy and childhood. 2008. Nov. 13-26. 17(20) 1261-1268.
  2. Chavarro JE et al. Harvard Health Publications. Follow the Fertility Diet? Adapated from Fertility Diet. 2009. May. Accessed April 7 2014 via http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/May/Follow-Fertility-Diet
  3. Blake JS et al. Nutrition. From Science to You. 2011. Pearson Benjiman Cummings: San Francisco, CA.
  4. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. How a Man’s Diet Affects Fertility too. 2012. December. Accessed April 7, 2014 via http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6833
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