Tuesday Blog: 10 ways to boost fertility naturally
By: Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT
Jasmine is the Program Director for Healthy Results, Ltd, and Program Coordinator for Educational Fitness Solutions, Inc. She has a diverse fitness background with over ten years of fitness and wellness industry experience working in campus recreation, corporate wellness, and a high-end commercial health club setting. She has presented on a wide range of health and fitness topics for the community, at major corporations, and at national and international conferences. Jasmine specializes in Maternal and Child Health and Wellness focusing on pre and postnatal fitness and is a Master Trainer for Healthy Moms® Fitness and Resist-a-ball®.
Getting pregnant seems like the easiest and most natural process in the world, until you hit a roadblock. In fact 1 in 8 couples in the United States are challenged with this word “infertility.” Both mainstream and alternative doctors point the finger at a host of issues, medical, environmental and social factors including pesticides on our produce, hormones used in our foods that disrupts the body’s natural process and everyday related stress. The Center for Disease Control states that 20 percent of women are facing the issues of not becoming pregnant. In fact, one-third of women will be diagnosed as being infertile, however, up to 40 percent of the time, it can be traced back to the man. There is so much both men and women can do to enhance their fertility naturally, technology should be used as a last resort. A 90-day lifestyle change can do wonders to help boost your fertility. Here are some ways you can boost your fertility naturally:
- Ditch the white stuff. Avoid eating foods that cause major blood sugar spikes which can can cause shifts in your hormones. These foods include, white sugar, white flour, white rice, white pasta, white breads, breakfast cereals, baked and packaged goods. Increase foods that enhance fertility, including fresh produce such as avocados and sweet potatoes, as well as red peppers and good fats like coconut oil, olive oil and raw pumpkin seeds.
- Buy organic. Reduce your exposure to pesticides, which has been linked to reduced sperm counts, and purchase organic produce that you consume the most of by following the dirty dozen list. A study in the Lancet found men who ate pesticide-free organic foods had a 43% higher in sperm concentration.
- Exercise at least 30-minutes three days per week. High-intensity, extreme workouts can throw your hormones out of whack. Stick to circuit-style training programs that is easy to fit in without spending hours at the gym.
- Try a yoga class. Reducing stress levels is key in helping the body to relax can help put your mind at ease. Not to mention increasing cortisol levels is another way to throw your hormones out of sync. Adding hip openers to help relax the pelvic muscles can also increase blood flow to the pelvic region. Try laying in bed with your legs on the wall to increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus.
- Consider herbs and supplements. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and is thought to help keep the fallopian tubes relaxed, helping the sperm and egg meet. If you are not familiar with DHA, then you should be and it will be important for your growing baby. Fish oils help reduce internal inflammation and balance your hormones. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega + Vitamin D3 is a favorite among health professionals. The best studied supplement for infertility is FertilityBlend for women, which helps improve circulation to the reproductive organs.
- Don’t be afraid to get poked. Acupuncture is a non-invasive way to help increase the blood flow to the uterus. It also helps normalize the hypothalmic-pituatary-ovarian axis, which is considered the control center for hormones. A recent study also proved that acupuncture increased one’s chances by 65 percent when used with IVF.
- Think positively. Negative emotions can reduce IVF success by 93 percent. Just having an optimistic attitude can help relax your body and reduce cortisol levels. If you think of yourself as infertile, then you become what you are thinking. Consider joining a mind-body program to help feel good about your body and self.
- Boost your protein. Consider adding more plant-based proteins, such as beans, raw nuts, quinoa and lentils Eating less animal proteins reduce the amount of insulin levels and decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility by 50 percent.
- Get your Zzzz’s. While we sleep, our bodies are busy repairing cells and regulating our hormones.. One special hormone, leptin, is a key link between sleep and fertility. Leptin can also increase our appetite for high sugary and fatty foods. Sleep has a powerful influence to the body’s hormonal system, which controls a woman’s cycle and regulates ovulation. The same goes for sleeping in a dark room, which can boost growth hormones.
- Just go out and have fun! Many couples are taking vacations that are centered in helping them conceive. Check out the Miraval Spa in Arizona, and The Fertile Soul Retreats has various locations throughout the U.S.