You can boost your fertility - and you can boost your fertility fast.
Maybe you've been waiting years to get pregnant, or maybe you just decided it's baby time - whatever the case, these 7 steps will get you solidly on the way to a healthy pregnancy and a happy baby.
Step 1: Eat a Fertility Diet
Though there are seven steps in this plan, this one is the first you should make - and the easiest. Diet changes may feel overwhelming at first, but you can make them little by little over a few weeks and see big benefits.
High Protein & Low Carb
Researchers have proven that a high protein, low carbohydrates diet "greatly improves" fertility1.
It’s not surprising to discover that this diet also helps with insulin resistance, which is thought to play a part in PCOS 2. Changing your diet over to low-carb and high protein improves insulin response and it also helps your body maintain optimal hormone levels.
An easy way to start to make this change is to reduce grain products in your diet. Here are some example meals:
As you can see, each of these meals provides plenty of protein and keeps the carb-count low, too.
Quick Tip: You can enjoy fruits on a low-carb diet, but choose those that are naturally low-carb, like blueberries and strawberries. A few apple slices spread lightly with peanut butter are another sweet and protein-filled snack.
Eat Enough - And Get Healthy Fats
In addition to eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, you need to make sure you're eating enough. It's true that you don't need as much as you will when you hit your 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, but you do need quality calories now.
Many women have trouble conceiving when they drop under 1500 calories a day, so try to hit a range of at least 1500-1800 calories a day.
We'll cover weight loss in Step 4.
Healthy fats are also crucial to conception. Research has shown that high-quality, full-fat dairy can greatly increase fertility 3.
This makes a lot of sense - the sex hormones all require fat for proper production. Many vitamins (such as vitamins A and D) are fat-soluble, meaning if there's no fat, you don't get these nutrients.
High levels of nutrients and proper hormone ratios are key to getting pregnant, so eating healthy fats is really helpful
There is a warning, however. The fats you've been told are "healthy" - like vegetable oils - are actually unhealthy and dangerous.
How do you know which fats to trust? Think about the fats your great-great-great-great-great-great grandma could have cooked with. If it's a traditional fat, it's likely safe. Here's a breakdown:
Make sure you're choosing healthy fats and staying away from chemically-extracted "new" oils - these are not healthy and can actually block nutrients you need for pregnancy.
You don't have to gorge yourself on fats - just choose the right ones and use them sensibly in cooking and flavoring your foods.
Nutrient Density Matters
It sounds like something you'd learn about in your high school science classes, but "nutrient density" just means that you want to eat foods that pack a lot of nutrition into each bite.
That means avoiding processed foods. Choose foods that are loaded with nutrition.
You'll always see these "common" foods listed:
Since you're trying to stay lower carb, whole grains are fine but use them in moderation. The same is true with fruits.