8 Top Nutrition Tips for Fertility

Author: Maryke Bronkhorst (B.Dietetics, Msc.Nutrition)

1. Keep Foods closer to their Natural State (Consume whole, unprocessed foods).

Include whole foods in the diet as opposed to very refined, processed, and sugary foods. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, regularly include legumes and pulses in the diet, and choose unprocessed sources of lean protein and healthy fats.

2. Fill up on Healthy Fats.

Whilst a high fat diet is recommended for fertility, the quality of fats is important. Choose plant-based fats such as avocado, olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, nut butters and full cream dairy. Limit intake of saturated fats i.e., chicken skin, fat on the meat and fatty cuts of meats. Avoid fried foods.

3. Include more Legumes.

Aim to include legumes i.e., beans, lentils, and chickpeas, at least 4 times per week. Legumes are high in fibre, low GI and low in fat and contribute both plant protein and healthy carbohydrates.

4. Include more Fish.

Include a combination of Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, yellowtail and mackerel AND lower fat fish such as hake, sole, kingklip, angel fish.

5. Limit Red Meat (to once a week).

Choose leaner cuts when you do include it.

6. Eat a Rainbow with extra emphasis on Cruciferous Vegetables.

Include a wide variety of different types and colours of vegetables with specific emphasis on cruciferous vegetables i.e., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, bok choy.

7. Choose low GI Carbohydrates.

Even though a lower carbohydrate programme is recommended, the carbohydrates you do consume should be low GI. These low GI carbohydrates slowly release glucose into the blood, therefore lowering the required amount of insulin to control blood sugar levels. 

8. Avoid food and beverages high in sugar.

Consuming high amounts of sugar will cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, therefore signalling high amounts of insulin to keep up with the glucose load entering the body. 

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