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Planning a Baby

planning a baby

Nutrition and lifestyle choices play a crucial role in optimising your fertility and ensuring that you are creating a healthy environment in which your baby can flourish.

As it takes approximately 3 months both for the egg to mature and the sperm to develop, eating a nutritious diet and following a healthy lifestyle needs to start well before conception.

A healthy balanced diet is important and should be based around the following:

  • Protein to help build hormones and develop a healthy egg and sperm.

High quality protein from lean meat and poultry, as well as fish, eggs, beans and pulses contain the essential amino acids which form the building blocks for health.

  • Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 fats are crucial for hormone production. They must be obtained from the diet as the body cannot make them; oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines are rich in these as are flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.
  • However, saturated fats, typically found in animal and dairy products can interfere with cell membranes and so should be limited as should trans fats found in processed, fried food and some margarines as they can prevent the body from making good use of the essential fats.
  • Carbohydrates are required for energy.  Good carbohydrates are the complex ones which break down slowly such as wholegrains, pulses, beans, quinoa and oats.
  • However, refined sugars found in sugary food, cakes and white carbohydrates can release sugar too quickly into the bloodstream leading to insulin imbalance and so should be restricted in the diet.
  • Antioxidants help to protect the body from damage.  Toxins, poor diet and lifestyle (including smoking, too much alcohol and sunburn) can cause cell damage which can be harmful to the developing egg and sperm.  Fruit and vegetables are packed with powerful antioxidants and will help to protect the cells. The darker or brighter the colour of the fruit or vegetables, the greater its antioxidant power.  Nuts and seeds, herbs spices and green tea are also good sources.

Please note that hormones start their life in the gut so healthy digestion is a key component in optimising fertility as is being a healthy weight, minimising alcohol and avoiding nicotine.

If you would like further advice on a diet plan to help prepare your body, do give me a call or drop me an e-mail.

Alyson Carter, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Naturality Wellness Centre, alyson@nut4life.com, 07816981858, www.nut4life.com

Alyson Carter

Alyson Carter

Nutritional Therapist

Alyson Carter is a Nutritional Therapist having graduated from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. She is registered with the Nutritional Therapy Council (NTC) and is a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CHNC) and the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).