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What is Fertility Nutrition?

by Nicole Holovach, RD – Dietitian at Pulling Down the Moon 

Nicole Holovach, RD
Nicole Holovach, RD

Google “fertility nutrition” and you’ll get lots of articles and different perspectives. When I was trying to get pregnant, I dived into the research and have learned a lot about fertility nutrition over the years. Here’s a secret: it’s not that complicated! Among specific, individualized goals and recommendations, I focus on the following things with all my clients:

Attain a Healthy Weight

Many come to me wanting to lose weight per their doctors’ orders for IUI and IVF. This requires a lifestyle change for most and can take time. IUI and IVF shouldn’t be the end goal – having a healthy pregnancy and being a healthy mom should be. Fad diets and quick weight loss can deplete your body of the nutrients it needs for a healthy pregnancy. Nutritionists with a focus on fertility can help design a weight-loss plan that works for you.

 Get Enough Protein

Fresh baked Tilapia fish dinner with asparagus and Hollandaise sProtein is important for estrogen metabolism. Estrogen is mainly metabolized in the liver, where it’s made more water-soluble for excretion via urine and stool. Estrogen receptors in the liver are under the control of dietary protein. I tend to recommend a moderate protein intake of 25% of your daily calories. An easy way to make sure you’re getting enough? Include a concentrated protein source (at least 15g) at all of your meals – don’t skimp out at breakfast and lunch!

Get Enough Healthy Carbs

It’s easy to eat enough carbs, but are you eating the right kinds? Most people aren’t eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables. Adding at least one serving with every meal is a great initial goal. And yes, potatoes count! Then layer on other carbs like grains. Save the processed, packaged carbs like cookies, muffins, chips, bars, and cereals for special treats.

Add Fertility Foods

Common beet and carrots

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies have been associated with significantly high reproductive risks, including infertility. Supplements and synthetic multivitamins will never replace the synergistic nutrition found in real food. I do think there are some foods that history, culture, and research have proven to be beneficial for fertility. I work with clients to see if we can fit some of these foods into their diet.

Ready to get serious about fertility nutrition? Come see a registered dietitian nutritionist at Pulling Down the Moon. We have flexible hours at many Shady Grove Fertility locations and we provide you with documentation for potential health insurance reimbursement. Find more info at www.PullingDowntheMoon.com.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.

 This article was submitted by a guest writer. The opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the opinions of Shady Grove Fertility.


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