We’ve all heard the credo “you are what you eat” and there’s a lot of truth to that. What we eat, along with the way we live, has a huge impact on health and wellness. A steady diet that’s high in processed foods, trans fats and sugar may spell trouble for your heart health, diabetes and many chronic conditions today or down the road. A diet rich in veggies, fruit and lean proteins helps you maintain a healthy weight and provides a good bit of nutrition. Athletes understand the importance protein for muscle development and endurance while training.
If the foods we eat play such a key role in our health and wellbeing then it would stand to reason certain foods are better for those undergoing IVF. In fact some foods likely facilitate your success and help make your body more receptive to process. Here we take a look at specific foods you should enjoy while going through IVF and certain foods you should avoid.
The Mediterranean Diet
Recent research published by the NIH supports the popular notion that the Mediterranean diet has a tremendous affect on IVF success. And another study published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and embryology concluded sticking to a Mediterranean diet upped your odds of pregnancy by as much as 68%.
So what is this remarkable diet and how does it bring about so much success? In short a mediterranean diet is predominantly plant-based with a heavy focus on nuts, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy and olive oil. While adhering to the Mediterranean diet, you also enjoy lean protein such as poultry and fish and omit red meat and salt as well as processed foods.
Season your food with herbs and spices and avoid any high-fat condiments. Refined sugars are also forbidden, however, honey, cane juice, agave and pure maple syrup (not the typical pancake syrup that’s maple-flavored) are allowed in limited amounts.
9 Best Foods to Eat for IVF
The Mediterranean diet is heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory. It may help you lose weight as well or maintain a healthy weight, both of which support your fertility journey. So, based on the Mediterranean diet, here are the best 9 foods to have while going through IVF.
- Leafy Greens: Green leafy vegetables are a powerhouse of folic acid, iron and antioxidants, all essential to boosting your fertility and supporting a healthy pregnancy. So load up on spinach, kale and any other green leafy veggies you enjoy.
- Cabbage: Cabbage is a versatile and delicious way to help your body get essential vitamins and minerals and metabolize estrogen. Cabbage, as well as broccoli and cauliflower contain a compound called diindolylmethane, or DIM, which has superpowers for metabolizing estrogen and preventing cancer.
- Broccoli: In addition to the DIM found in broccoli it is a powerhouse of vitamin C, which aids in maturing eggs. Broccoli is also a great source of iron, folic acid and anti-oxidants which support your health and, soon, the health of your baby as it develops.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are rich in both vitamins E and B. Potatoes also help increase cell division within the body. Pretty powerful for such a humble spud.
- Banana: Bananas supply your body with vitamin B6 which is good for your nervous system and immune system. It also helps regulate your menstrual cycle.
- Pineapple: Recent social media activity has many women struggling with fertility loading up on pineapple. While many dismiss this as a new-old-wives-tale pineapple provides a lot of fertility boosting nutrition. It’s loaded with manganese, known as the reproductive mineral as it helps regulate your hormones. And pineapple contains bromelain which is an anti-inflammatory and aids in endometrial development which is essential for successful embryo implantation.
- Salmon: Salmon is a potent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is helpful in balancing your hormones as well as increasing blood flow. One word of caution: make sure your salmon is properly and thoroughly cooked. Put the sushi on hold for now.
- Eat a Rainbow of Fruits and Veggies: Colorful fruits and veggies such as orange bell peppers, red cabbage, purple grapes, etc. provide a wide spectrum of essential nutrients. Load up your plate with all the colors of the rainbow.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Foods such as beans, peas, lentils, whole unprocessed grain such as oatmeal, quinoa, barley and rice, sweet potatoes, apples broccoli and carrots are all considered complex carbohydrates. These superfoods balance your blood sugar in addition to providing you with feel-good fiber. When you experience unbalanced blood sugar, your egg quality suffers, a major factor in PCOS.
Foods to Avoid
Now that you know the best 9 foods to have while going through IVF let’s take a look at some of the foods you really need to avoid.
- Artificial Sweeteners: The results of a study presented by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine showed just how drastically artificial sweeteners negatively impact the success rate for IVF. Diet sodas, in particular, were shown to negatively affect embryo quality and reduce implantation and pregnancy rates.
- Alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol disrupts ovulation.
- Caffeine: Limit the amount of caffeine you consume while undergoing IVF. No more than two cups of coffee per day (Hold the artificial sweeter!) as research shows caffeine may inhibit egg maturation.
- Some Seafood: As per the US Food and Drug Administration, you should avoid certain seafood considered high in mercury and raw or undercooked seafood. It’s possible raw seafood may cause serious illness and mercury may interfere with fetal development. But enjoy your properly cooked salmon for the Omega-3’s!
Your health and the health of your future baby depend on many factors, but one of the biggest, your diet, is in your control. For more on a successful IVF journey contact LA IVF.