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Why it’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC at PrimingTheBump.com and Natal-Nutrition.com

Eat Right Before You ConceiveWhy It’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

Some people get pregnant without any preparation, it’s true. So what’s the point of undertaking a fertility preparation program? Why can’t you just sit down with a tub of ice cream and watch Jersey Shore instead?

Well, aside from the obvious explanation that in most cases, watching Snooki isn’t going to get you pregnant, there are two crucial reasons to eat right before you conceive:

EASE OF CONCEPTION. Speaking of ‘reality,’ not everyone is as fecund as TV shows may have you believe (see: 16 and Pregnant; 19 Kids and Counting). In fact, about 10-15% of couples now experience some form of infertility, and that percentage is steadily rising.

To conceive with ease, your reproductive system must be in good working order. Which means that your body must have all the necessary nutrients on hand – and in sufficient quantities – to feed the cells, hormones & processes of the reproductive system. In addition, any compounds that interfere with fertility must be avoided.

A nutritional preparation period helps stock your body full of healthy, fertility-boosting nutrients while eliminating anything that could block reproduction. Not only does this improve reproductive health, but it also puts you in control of your journey toward conception.
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Dirty Details of What Soda’s Doing to Your Body and Checkbook

In this infographic, developed by Term Life Insurance, you’ll see a few of the many health issues that soda plays a large role in. Heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, reproductive issues…the list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve heard these warnings before, but have you really thought about what that can of Coke is doing to your insides? By consuming soda on a regular basis you’re basically asking to be miserable and sick.
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Eat a Clean Diet and Aimee Raupp Says, “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant”

Like so many women, Jan found herself in her thirties with a career, a husband, and a strong desire to get pregnant. At 33, this corporate attorney had already had one miscarriage and two unsuccessful IUIs (intrauterine insemination), and she was “very upset and unsettled,” as described in Aimee Raupp’s new book Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: The Diet That Will Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s.

Jan is a real-life client of Aimee’s, a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and author of Chill Out and Get Healthy, who is included as a case study in this new book. Jan is described as arriving at Aimee’s office with a diet iced tea and a story of “fertility reducing eating habits,” a nutritionally void diet of low-fat, sugar-free, processed foods. Jen is probably not unlike a lot of women visiting Aimee or fertility specialists across the country; in fact, she’s probably more like the average infertility patient than not.

Where Jan may take a left fork in the road is in the diet she now follows, as prescribed by Aimee and outlined in the Yes, You Can Get Pregnant book. Today, Aimee excitedly told me that Jan is pregnant, and she did it naturally without the invasive IVF she was prepared to do. Aimee explained that Jan cleaned up her diet, took liver pills, and did eight acupuncture treatments. Then, after two menstrual cycles, learned she was expecting.

So is another of Aimee’s clients, a 43-year-old woman pregnant with her second child. “She followed my diet to a T, better than I do sometimes,” said Aimee. “She’s 20 weeks pregnant with a clean amnio.”

So what is Aimee prescribing that’s helping these women achieve the pregnancies they so desire? Just like Jan and the 43-year-old mom, they’re laser focused on what they eat as much as what they don’t.
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Eating Avocados and Olive Oil Could Triple Your Chances of Fertility

A diet high in monounsaturated fat has been found to increase fertility in women trying to get pregnant trough IVF treatments, finds a new study.

The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) by Dr Jorge Chavarro, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, USA.

“Different types of fat are known to have different effects on biological processes which may influence the outcome of assisted reproduction – such as underlying levels of inflammation or insulin sensitivity. However, it is not clear at this moment which biological mechanisms underlie the associations we found,” said Chavarro in the press release.

The study took place among 147 women having IVF at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. According to the press release, they had preclinical assessments including oocyte development. They were also categorized into tertiles of fat intake, with outcomes compared in relation to the lowest tertile. Results were controlled for other sources of energy, infertility diagnosis, ovarian stimulation protocol, body mass index (BMI) and smoking status.

The study also found that women who ate polyunsaturated fat or the “bad fat” had more poor quality embryos. The connection of a diet high in saturated fat and lower sperm count has already been discovered.
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Foods Rich in Isoflavones Are Known as Natural Birth Control

If you are frequently forgetting to taking oral contraceptives at the same time every day, you are increasing the chances of becoming pregnant. If you don’t want to switch to another form of birth control are there any foods that might help or hurt your contraceptive chances?

I spoke with our resident expert on all things food-related, Mary Hartley, RD, and this is what she told me. “Foods that are high in isoflavones have been called ‘natural contraceptives.’”

Isoflavones are plant-based estrogen-like compounds that could, in theory, create hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation and interact with birth control. Genistein, the most potent isoflavone, is found in legumes, and so soy foods, peas, peanuts, chick peas, and fava beans have been thought to influence fertility. Wild yams (not to be confused with sweet potato yams) contain the isoflavone, diosgenin, but it has a very weak effect compared to the body’s own reproductive hormones. At this point, the potential health benefits and risks of the various isoflavones are under investigation, but there is no current data to suggest that normal intakes are likely to cause hormonal imbalances.
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