Being overweight or underweight can affect your fertility, but a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet is important for boosting fertility no matter what weight you are.
There’s a lot needed to get pregnant when you think about it: the health of your eggs, the motility of your partners sperm, the right levels of several different hormones to get each of these going at the right place at the right time.
Stress and other lifestyle factors can affect your hormonal balance. Your diet can be key in helping you feel better mentally and physically.
Should I eat low-fat or diet foods?
Don't obsess about eating ‘low-fat’ or ‘diet’ foods. These often contain chemicals to compensate for taste or to reduce fat. Instead, think about the quality of what you’re eating.
Should I eat organic?
You mightn’t have the money to buy 100% organic food all the time. However, some foods are more valuable in an organic form. Tomato ketchup, for example, is a third more nutritionally beneficial when it’s organic (just remember that it’s the non-organic, deliciously fatty chips you splash it over that could require some attention if eaten too often!)
Eggs are nutritionally better if the chicken that laid them is in good health, so try to source organic, free-range varieties.
How can I prepare my food to get the most out of it?
- There are things you can do when buying, preparing and cooking your food to reduce the amount of extra additives that come between you and what you eat, regardless of whether the food you buy is organic or not.
- Prepare meat and fish simply rather than relying on ready meals
- Buy fruit and vegetables fresh
- Steam vegetables where possible
- If you're going to eat treats (puddings etc) try making your own so you know what’s gone into them, and can avoid unnecessary additives
- Sweeten things with fruits rather than loads of sugar, where possible
Snacking and fertility
Processed food is a major issue when you’re busy – it’s quick, convenient, and usually pretty cheap.
To convince yourself of how much better a healthy snack makes you feel, try this experiment, unless you're allergic to nuts…
- Do you get the mid-morning munchies? Do you usually have biscuits, chocolate or a packet of crisps? If so, next time you have your morning hunger attack, make a note of how you feel over the next hour after eating your snack
- Are you hungry again by 12noon? The next day, try a bag of trail mix, nuts or seeds – there are some tasty ones about that don’t taste like bird feed, and come in handy little portion size. Make note of how you feel an hour later. Chances are you’ll still feel full and by lunchtime will be in a better frame of mind to eat well rather than opt for the quick-fix processed food