This post will question whether there is such a thing as a fertility diet and examines how acupuncture, fertility and nutrition are intertwined elements and best results are achieved when they are considered as a whole.
Acupuncture, Fertility & Nutrition Go Hand in Hand
It is about eating real food and not “food-like substances”. It doesn’t need to be complicated and it isn’t just for fertility.
In fact, I question whether there is really such a thing as a “fertility diet” or whether it should be called a diet at all? Diet implies hardship, willpower, temporariness, until the job is done!
I would suggest that if you think that you need to change your diet because you’re trying for a baby, then you need to change your diet, full stop.
Fertility is not an isolated aspect of ourselves; it is not a separate entity that can be looked at in isolation for a short period of time. Just as we are more aware nowadays of how our diet and lifestyle can affect our heart health, we need to be similarly aware of how it can affect our fertility.
So, it’s time to start thinking of your body as a whole, all systems working together for balance.
This means your nutrition needs to optimise not just your reproductive system, including the health of your sperm and eggs, but also your digestive and immune system; it needs to restore blood sugar balance to even out energy peaks and troughs and it needs to balance your hormone system.
Is your diet good enough?
If the majority of your meals over the past week are comprise mostly of the following foods, then I would suggest that the answer is “no”
- pizza, pasta, pastries, pies, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, milk chocolate, sweets, crisps, white bread, white rice, sauces from packets or jars, margarine, chocolate cereals, low fat yoghurts etc., take-aways, ready meals…..
- fizzy drinks, diet drinks, alcohol, fruit juices, hot chocolate, milk shakes…
Most of the foods on this list are highly processed and contain ingredients that you wouldn’t use if you were making them at home (preservatives, flavourings, extra sugar…) In fact some of these foods are so processed that you couldn’t make them in a home kitchen – these are what I refer to earlier as “food-like substances.”
Top pointers for success
- Make sure both partners are invested in your new regime.
- Manage your expectations: changing your diet doesn’t mean you’ll be pregnant within a month.
- Allow 3 months for any long lasting benefits to happen – it takes this long for egg and sperm cells to mature.
- Look at your lifestyle and see if your stress and cortisol levels are too high. This isn’t conducive to conceiving
- Drink plenty of water, just water, not flavoured water, just water. Put a squeeze of lemon in your first glass of the day, which you should have when you wake up.
- Include acupuncture in your regime: this can give a boost to your digestive system and has been proven to improve outcomes of both natural and assisted conception.
How does Acupuncture Help?
In the context of this topic, acupuncture helps both the digestive and reproductive systems
No amount of nutritional improvement is worthwhile if you have poor gut health.
Poor gut health can trigger inflammation in your body and raise levels of free-radicals both of which will damage eggs and sperm.
If you suffer from constipation, IBS, bloating, loose stools or indigestion on a regular basis, you almost certainly could improve you gut health.
Acupuncture is now well-known to help these conditions; in fact, regardless of what they have come for, I nearly always have some gut problems to treat in my clients.
Studies have shown that acupuncture can improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, lower stress hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle and regulate hormones.
It can improve positive outcomes in both natural and assisted conception.
So, because of it’s beneficial effects on both of these essential systems, it is possible to see that acupuncture, fertility and nutrition are closely linked and are best looked at together as one package.
Are you thinking of trying acupuncture for fertility issues?
I recommend that you use an acupuncturist that is registered with The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) because members of the BAcC are guaranteed to have completed full training to degree level and will be covered by most private health insurers.
I would always take a good look at your diet and offer nutritional advice in conjunction with acupuncture treatment.
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