Trying to get pregnant? Watch your diet!

Your lifestyle and diet have a huge impact on your fertility.

By Dr Kathyani VS

According to a recent study, 27.5 million couples in India are suffering from infertility. Although the occurrence of infertility is governed by several factors which may lie beyond an individual’s control, there are some things that you may do in order to boost your fertility. Lifestyle and diet play a major role in governing your fertility. Making certain changes in your diet and lifestyle can help improve your chances of pregnancy by as high as 69 per cent.

The following are some changes to make in your diet and lifestyle in order to boost fertility:

Cut down on carbs

This is a tip that is especially important for women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Cutting down on your consumption of carbohydrates helps you maintain a healthy body weight, encourages fat loss, helps maintain the regularity of your menstrual cycle as well as reduces insulin levels in the body, all of which help boost your fertility.

The smart move here is to cut down on your consumption of highly processed carbs, while consuming slower, complex carbohydrates. Bad carbs not only contribute to an increase in obesity, but also cause spikes in the insulin levels of your body, which are linked to problems in ovulation.

This means that you must cut down on your intake of foods like white bread, cakes, cookies, white rice etc. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, wheat and similar foods.

Increasing your consumption of plant proteins from food items, such as tofu, nuts, seeds and beans, is helpful in fat loss. Consuming one to two servings of full fat dairy products such as yogurt as well as whole milk has been known to boost fertility levels.

A study conducted on a group of 2700 women in the fertile age for pregnancy group revealed that women who took multivitamins containing 400 grams of folic acid were 40 percent less likely to suffer from problems of infertility during conception.

Cut down on caffeine

Consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol is advised only in moderation, while it is advisable to cut down on your intake of sugary drinks entirely.

Experts recommend light exercises for at least 45 minutes each day, especially when you are trying to conceive. Increased fibre intake like fruits, vegetables, whole wheat and beans has been known to remove excessive estrogen from the body, thus boosting fertility.

Studies have established that increasing vegetable protein intake as compared to protein consumption from meat sources protects you from infertility. Another study, in fact, revealed that consuming higher amounts of protein from meat is linked to a 32 per cent increase in the risk of developing ovulatory infertility.

Your chances of infertility go up with increasing stress and anxiety in your personal or professional life. Your body affects hormonal changes when you are under stress, which in turn, affect your fertility.

(The writer is an infertility specialist at Apollo Fertility, Brookefield, Bangalore.)

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