Slava Sviridovs • Geneva / Genève

Fertility Diet Tips

A universally perfect diet does not exist, as we always need to take into account our unique body types, climates we live in, our work load and seasonal changes. However, there are some general principles that can help in preparation for healthy conception.

These are the biggest offenders to your health and fertility, so better avoided:

– any cold foods or drinks;
– coffee (can have a negative effect on female hormones);
– sugar (including white sugar, corn syrup, wheat syrup) – a highly addictive substance, causing blood sugar fluctuations, that can sabotage a proper ovarian function;
– alcohol (affects the liver and hormonal balance in men and women);
– monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food enhancer added to foods best avoided while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy, so check your food labels;
– soft drinks (contain sugar, preservatives and synthetic chemicals, so best to be avoided when trying to get pregnant);
– tap water can also contain chemicals, so aim to drink mostly filtered water and avoid cold icy drinks;
– processed foods (those can put an extra chemical burden on your body);
– green tea (reduces VEGF production and inhibits granulosa cell proliferation);
– minimise and always cook cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and similar green leaf vegetables), as those contain goitrogens, negatively affecting production of thyroid hormones.

A few general basic rules when choosing your foods:

– use organic
– use whole
– use fresh

Balancing the six food groups

A healthy eating plan begins with consuming a wide variety of foods. The key is to eat a variety of foods from all of the groups mentioned here.

① The meat group is high in protein and will contribute to maintaining healthy levels of iron and zinc which are very important for both female and male fertility.

Fish is rich in Omega 3, improving the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.

If you eat animal products, you can add the following to your diet:
– beef (grass fed)
– chicken (organic)
– turkey (organic)
– cod
– crab
– halibut
– salmon (wild)
– sardines

If you choose not to use animal products, increase the amount of beans and plant based protein sources, such as vegan protein powder, spirulina, nuts and seeds, whilst supplementing your diet with B12.

The fruit and vegetable group is essential for health and they should be the foundation of a healthy diet. They will strengthen the reproductive system with precious phytonutrients. A healthy diet for fertility should consist of between 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

② The vegetable group

Dark green vegetables:
– broccoli
– chard
– kale
– lettuce
– mesclun
– spinach
– watercress

Other vegetables:
– asparagus
– beets
– butternut squash
– cabbage
– cauliflower
– carrots
– celery
– Chinese cabbage
– eggplant
– green beans
– green peas
– mushrooms
– potatoes
– pumpkin
– onions
– radishes
– parsnips
– red peppers
– sweet potatoes
– tomatoes
– zucchini

③ The fruit group will provide essential vitamins, minerals and fibre:
– apple
– apricot (fresh and dried)
– avocado
– banana
– blueberries
– cantaloupe
– cherries
– figs
– grapefruit
– kiwi
– mango
– orange
– papaya
– pear
– pomegranate
– raspberries

④ The grain group, providing complex carbohydrates and energy.
You can use the following whole grains:
– oats
– brown rice
– wild rice
– buckwheat
– millet
– barley
– whole wheat flour if not gluten free

Avoid refined grains such as:
– cornflakes
– white pasta
– white bread
– white rice
– processed cake/cookies

⑤ The bean group will provide an excellent source of fibre and protein:
– aduki beans
– black beans
– chickpeas
– lentils
– mung beans
– split peas
– soybeans (organic only), including organic tofu (in moderation) and organic tempeh

⑥ The healthy fats group. Aim to include a small quantity of healthy fats with each meal:
– nuts (almond, walnut, macadamia, cashew)
– seeds (hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, black sesame)
– coconut oil
– extra virgin olive oil
– avocado oil


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