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Fertility & Pregnancy Nutrition

Fertility & Pregnancy Nutrition

Are you confused as to what constitutes an optimal diet to support fertility or pregnancy? Melbourne Natural Medicine Clinic can provide a pregnancy nutrition plan as well as dietary principles for when you’re trying to conceive a healthy baby. First and foremost, if you are overweight, it is important to modify the dietary recommendations below to reduce total calorie intake, particularly sugar and refined carbs and sometimes total carbohydrate intake.

If you suffer from specific health conditions, like food allergies, IBS, coeliac or auto-immunity, your fertility or pregnancy dietary requirements should be personalised to optimise your health.

Ideally, all food should be organically grown to reduce exposure to ‘xenooestrogens’, or ‘oestrogen imposters’ present in plastics and pestidices in conventionally grown produce. See the Environmental working group (EWG) list of the current “Dirty Dozen” – vegetables and fruit that have high levels of potential endocrine disruptors (EDCs) and pesticides. If you can’t afford to eat completely organically, stick to the “EWG Clean 15” or wash carefully in vegetable wash (from health shop) or 2 teaspoons of bicarb soda in the washing water before eating.

PROTEIN

For optimal fertility and pregnancy nutrition, aim for a palm sized portion of protein with each meal, either as a:

  • Primary protein which contains all 8 essential amino acids (like meat, fish, eggs, and soy products) or
  • A combination of ‘secondary proteins’ within the same meal to get the full complement of amino acids, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian.

This means mixing 2-3 of the following best foods for pregnancy and fertility – (1) Nuts/seeds (2) Grains or (3) Legumes

Examples would be bean chilli and rice, porridge with a seed mix, or a bean curry with quinoa.

FATS

These are important for supporting healthy hormone production and aiding satiety (feelings of fullness).

1. Avoid Fried food: These increase oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Stir fries are okay.
2. Avoid margarine: 1 teaspoon of organic butter daily is good for healthy cholesterol and hormones
3. Use lots of cold pressed oils: This means heat has been minimised that helps preserve essential ingredients like Vitamin E. Flaxseed oil is great used in salad dressing (rich in omega 3/6) – make sure to store in the fridge. Extra virgin olive oil can also be used as a dressing and for stir fries/baking.
4. Coconut oil is okay for baking, curries and stir fries.

CARBOHYDRATES

1. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, and junk food. If trying to fall pregnant, drink minimal alcohol. If pregnant, do not consume any alcohol. Stevia and xylitol is okay in small amounts if you really need the sweetness, but it’s better to wean off altogether.
2. Stick to low GI carbohydrates – mostly non-starchy vegetables, legumes (like chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils), whole grains (like basmati or brown rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth) and up to 2 fruits daily.

DRINKS

1. Minimal coffee (it depletes essential minerals like magnesium) and up to 2 cups of naturally low caffeine (e.g. Madura) tea is okay.
2. Drink mainly filtered water or lightly sparkling mineral water with small bubbles.
3. Drink lots of herbal teas and dandelion root tea/coffee (an excellent liver tonic).
4. Drink occasional mainly veggie juices or diluted fresh fruit juices
5. Cow’s milk can be quite allergenic and is oftentimes best avoided. There are plenty of calcium rich foods to compensate – calcium fortified coconut or almond milk, sardine/salmon, leafy greens and seeds/nuts.

OTHER TIPS FOR FERTILITY & PREGNANCY NUTRITION

1. Add seeds to salads/breakfast, on fruit or over stir fries to optimise minerals, fibre and healthy fats.
2. Fermented foods are beneficial to the good bacteria in our gut – try saurkraut, kefir, kimchi and small amounts of kombucha.
3. Add lots of fresh herbs to your meals – in soups, casseroles, curries and soups, especially turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties
4. Use minimal salt, and use Himilayan or Celtic sea salt in small amounts where needed.

Want more information on fertility and pregnancy dietary requirements? Call our clinic today on (03) 96862566 or email reception at info@melbournenaturalmedicine.com.au to make an appointment for your own fertility or pregnancy nutrition plan.

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