More and more studies are being done on diet and fertility for women and men, whether it’s about coffee or alcohol consumption, or the carbohydrate, fat & protein ratio. We all know know that processed foods and foods high in caffeine and alcohol are not supportive to trying to conceive (TTC), but what about specific types of foods, and when you eat them?
The Menstrual Phase
During menstruation the body is clearing and shedding endometrial tissue, and hormones down-shift. This is a good time to include minerals in your diet, and do whatever you can to improve your hormonal function in preparation for the upcoming cycle. Foods like avocado, vegetables (especially seaweeds and other sea veggies), and small amounts of organic animal protein can be helpful in building up your system for the next phase of the cycles, the follicular phase.
The Follicular Phase
This is the time in your phase to really reduce inflammation. Having more turmeric in your diet (curry!) as well as fermented foods (think kimchi, cultured vegetables like homemade or high quality organic sauerkraut, and sprouted foods. These can helpt o deliver the bio-available nutrients to the ovaries and help to clear inflammation in your whole system, leaving you ready for the next phase, ovulation.
The Ovulatory Phase
This is the time to boost your (and your ovaries) energy. Foods like raw fruits and veggies can help increase glutathione levels which are thought to support this process. Movement is good, so adding in more movement in this phase is fine. Since one might view ovulation as an inflammatory process, having a small amount of caffeine or red wine will not be harmful in most cases (depending on your personal health situation) – just make sure you are staying hydrated and eating natural fruits and vegetables in this phase.
The Luteal Phase
The luteal phase is the time to think about boosting progesterone levels. Root vegetables, such as yams or sweet potatoes, and dark, cooked leafy greens like spinach or kale can help one with elimination, reducing estrogen build up and encouraging an optimal ratio of estrogen & progesterone to help support a pregnancy.
Incorporating these foods into the phases of your cycle can help increase your chances of natural conception, and can help to prepare for a successful IVF cycle. If you have any questions about holistic fertility approaches, such as customized fertility diets and fertility acupuncture, feel free to contact Santa Monica Fertility. Our clinic offers an array of resources and advanced medical techniques for all phases of fertility enhancement and treatment, including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), mini-stim IVF, gender selection, genetic testing and third party reproduction. We are always happy to help guide you on your path to parenthood!