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What food support natural conception?

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It is important to start nourishing your body at least 3-4 months before trying to conceive. Most of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need should come from the food you eat.

Protein is made of amino acids and plays a vital role in the body as it is necessary for egg production, supports the production of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). Foods rich in protein include eggs, dairy produce, lean meat, fish, poultry, wild game, peas and beans, lentils, brown rice, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Cysteine, an important amino acid is found in white meat, lentils, beans, seeds and nuts.

Fats also called essential fatty acids act as hormone regulators. Good sources of fats include butter, margarine, vegetable oil, milk and milk products, avocados, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, ground or soaked flax seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds. 

There are two basic types of fat –saturated and unsaturated.

  • Saturated fats are found in meat and dairy products.
  • Unsaturated fats are found in fish, olive oil, butter, ghee, cold pressed coconut oil, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, and lecithin granules.

Carbohydrates are important in providing energy needed for reproduction and to balance the hormone and the blood sugar level. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, sugar, honey, fruits and vegetables.Emphasis should be placed on ‘slow-releasing’ or ‘complex carbohydrates’ such as fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses and whole grains.

Water is essential as it is needed for elimination of toxins, transportationhormones, development of follicles, and helps formation of sperm, semen, cell membrane and cervical mucosa. Its important to drink at least two litres of filtered or glass bottled water.

 

Other Key nutrients for fertility:

Vitamin A is vital for the production of female sex hormones and is needed for the development of embryo. Good source of vitamin A includes eggs, whole milk and milk products, oily fish, yellow fruits and vegetables, and dark green vegetables. However avoid consuming vitamin A in the form of retinol as it has been linked to foetal abnormalities.

Vitamin B in particular B6, folic acid and B12 is important for fertility. Folic acid plays a significant role in development of the eggs and during pregnancy it helps form the foetal spinal cord. The hypothalamus which releases sex hormones is sensitive to vitamin B deficiency, so choose whole grains, avocados, cauliflower, eggs, spinach and meat.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant which prevents damage to the free radicals and it supports egg production. Good source of vitamin C includes citrus fruits, cherries, cantaloupe melon, mango, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, blackcurrant, watercress, parsley, spinach, peas, potatoes, asparagus and broccoli.

Vitamin E is valuable for fertilisation and deficiency of it has been linked to miscarriage in some studies. Good source of vitamin E is asparagus, watercress and alfalfa. 

Iron deficiency can affect fertility and adequate amount is needed to prevent miscarriage. Food sources include lean meat, eggs, fish, poultry, cherries, dried fruits including prunes, green leafy vegetables, kelp, spinach, parsley, broccoli, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts and oatmeal.

Magnesium is a vital nutrient for both men and women. Magnesium deficiency is associated with female infertility and increased risk of miscarriage. It is found in kelp, green leafy vegetables, tofu, pulse, rye, buckwheat, millet, molasses, brown rice, banana, cashew nuts, almonds and dark chocolate.

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Professional Memberships

 

•British Association for Acupuncture (BAcC) British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

•Pregnancy and Birth Network

 •British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

•EMDR AssociationUK &Ireland