Eating to Optimize Fertility
Eating right is the cornerstone for optimizing your fertility health. The typical North America diet produces an excess amount of acid in the body. Humans are naturally more basic and when food intake leads to continuous acidity this can lead to more sickness and chronic illness. In addition to the more acidic environment; the North American diet has more food that promotes inflammation. The combination of foods that promote this acidic and inflammatory state is a real detriment to your fertility health.
It is important to balance the foods you eat. It is not to say that we should only eat basic and anti-inflammatory foods, but to be sure that we are mindful about getting enough of these “good” foods every day so our bodies stay balanced. Balance and moderation is essential. Extremism with any particular way of eating is potentially unbalanced for your body and unhealthy for your mind.
Moderation is a very important word when discussing a healthy way of eating. Severe restrictions like only eating one type of nut, using one type of oil, or completely eliminating things like chocolate or occasional caffeine consumption can have a negative effect on one’s mood. It could also increase the intake of other “comfort” foods unnecessarily.
Below are several tables – one has the list of anti-inflammatory foods and the other has a list of alkaline/basic foods. One list gives good protein and oil sources. Selecting 60% to 80% of your daily intake from these two tables will promote a healthier body and optimize your fertility potential. This is not a complete list by any means, it is a guide and you will see that some foods are on both lists.
Important Foods to Avoid As Much As Possible or Eliminate
Foods to Eat Regularly
While some fruits are very acidic like the citrus varieties, when digested they have a very basic effect. If possible try to eat a variety of organically grown fruits. Think about “eating the rainbow” when it comes to the fruits. The color variety gives you diversity in your healthy polyphenolics. Pure blended fruit and vegetable juices either homemade or commercial such as Odwalla or Naked brands, but also try to have whole fruits and vegetables. Challenge yourself to get at least 5 servings per day.
This is really the basis to healthy eating. Strive for as many servings per day as possible. Again, variety plays a key role in balanced nutrition. If at all possible have several servings in the raw form. Meals should be built around this group rather than it being an afterthought for a side dish. Put variety into salads (add fruit and nuts), munch on celery, carrots or broccoli. Put some spicy peppers into your dishes and reap the benefits of their ant-inflammatory powers. Make vegetables the base of your pyramid. Their importance can not be overstated.
Some of the best protein sources are plant-based including beans, nuts and seeds. Seafood is always an excellent choice for healthy protein. Minimizing fatty red meats and avoiding processed meats (sausage, bacon, ham, salami, etc.) will minimize their acidic effect and potentially add years to your life. If seafood and beans are not in your dietary vocabulary then skinless chicken and of course eggs are an option for a good source of healthy protein.
The real push behind eating seafood is consuming the essential fatty acids. The problem with seafood is the potential for high mercury levels or that it is not sustainable. There is also a concern that some farmed raised fish may have high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs are are linked to cancer). A good guide for seafood is on the seafood reference list. Two to five servings per week is recommended to optimize the essential fatty acid intake.