PRECONCEPTION CARE: DIETARY & LIFESTYLE TIPS TO FOLLOW
WHEN TRYING TO CONCEIVE 
 
PRECONCEPTION CARE FOR THE FATHER 

Male infertility factors contribute to approximately 30% of all infertility cases, and male infertility alone accounts for approximately one-fifth of all infertility cases.

 

What are the main reasons for male infertility?

- low sperm count

- poor sperm mobility

- no sperm production

- abnormalities in the sperm

- obstruction (due to infection, injury or STD)

- undescended testes

- thyroid and diabetes

- prostate infection

- enlarged vein around the testes so that they overheat

 the testes and damage sperm production

What factors may damage the sperm?

  • infection or illness - appetite may drop and there may be a lack of essential vitamins and minerals

 

  • low-level cholesterol as testosterone is made from good cholesterol (HDL). This may be avoided by supplementing your diet with Vitamin E (as highly antioxidant)

 

  • alcohol as it stops the body absorbing nutrients, mostly zinc

  • drugs

 

  • being overweight

 

  • caffeine  as it robs the body of minerals, even if a small expresso prior to intercourse may increase motility of the sperm

What shall a man avoid/limit for a successful preconception care plan? 

  • Marijuana - it makes the sperm burnt out or hang around

  • Tobacco

  • Alcohol

  • Antimalaria pills

  • Steroids

  • Ulcer medication

  • EMF (electromagnetic frequency)!!! EMF affects DNA/RNA and may turn cells into cancer cells. Researches found that electromagnetic radiation from phones being kept in a man’s trouser pocket or on a belt as well as working with a laptop resting directly on their legs can lead to up to a 30% reduction in sperm being produced as well as causing many sperm to swim abnormally. 

  • HEAT - sauna, hot bath, oven, excess biking, tight underwear - Try to limit this as it may affect sperm count and viability

What are the best vitamins & supplements most recommended for male infertility?

Most people can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a balanced, healthy diet. Even though, sometimes it is no harm to get a little extra help! Therefore you may decide to add to your healthy diet some of these vitamins & supplements recommended for male infertility & boost the chances of succeeding in your preconception care plan.  

 

Please remember that these are only general guidelines; always remember that is best to consult a qualified nutritionist for a customised plan. 

  • Semen contains a high level of ZINC and men lose a lot of zinc with each ejaculation. Zinc is the most essential nutrients both for men and women to build healthy sperm and hormones. Only 1 out of 10 people receive the daily recommended zinc. 80% of the zinc is removed from the wheat during the milling process. Besides strong teas interfere with the absorption of zinc and iron. 

 

How to boost zinc naturally:

  • shellfish (oyster, shrimps, haddock)

  • egg yolk, lamb (organic lean meat)

  • wholemeal and rye bread and oat

  • peas and beans

  • ginger

  • organic yoghurt and milk

  • hard cheese

  • Vitamin A may help to develop a normal shape sperm

  • Vitamin B12 increases sperm count

  • Magnesium and L-arginine  may help to increase sperm count and motility

  • Selenium: if too low it contributes to the abnormal shape and low count; if too high it can be toxic

 
PRECONCEPTION CARE: HEALTHY DIET TIPS, SETTING YOU UP FOR SUCCESS

Have a balanced, healthy diet is absolutely essential for a successful preconception care program. I have often come across women who think they have a very healthy diet, while I find that what they actually eat only do them more harm. For example, they eat muesli bars and cereals (which have a lot of hidden salts) and have fat-free products (which hide artificial sweeteners that are like poisons for the body), thinking they are healthy food as they are low in calories; other women have lots of salad and consume not organic fruit and vegetable, which contain high levels of pesticides and phosphate. These affect the nervous system, therefore the endocrine system too, often causing hormonal imbalance in women. 

 

I believe that only through understanding better our dietary needs, what are the best healthy food for a successful preconception care program and the quality of the food we eat, we can make a real progression and improve women's health.

 

I usually recommend my clients to see a dietician for a proper customised plan. 

(Please get in touch if you would like some referrals). Nevertheless, I decided to include some general guidelines and info about what is considered to be a healthy diet focused on preconception care so you can start to figure out if you can improve any of your eating habits and add more healthy food to your plate. 

What are the best healthy food for your preconception care plan? 

 

  • Filtered water (tap water could contain a high level of oestrogen from the contraceptive pill as the water has been recycled)

  • Fibres (organic fresh fruit and veg, unrefined carbs, nuts & seeds) as they clear out old hormones preventing oestrogen from being reabsorbed, thus balancing hormonal levels. They help to get rid of chemicals, pesticides, toxic metals preventing their reabsorption. It is important to not overcook food rich in fibres, otherwise, the fibres get destroyed.

  • Adequate proteins - necessary for egg production

What food should you reduce to boost your preconception care plan's success? 

  • Red meat. Never cook it at high temperature as this could damage the genetic material of your eggs.

  • Caffeine products/ tea

  • Artificial additives/ processed food

  • White flour, bread.

  • Sugar

  • Canned food

  • Salt

No organic food is usually high in phosphate and pesticides. They affect the nervous system, therefore the endocrine system too, causing hormonal imbalances in women.

Be aware that not organic:

 

  • MILK - contain a high level of oestrogen 

  • MEAT - contain a high level of steroids (as steroids make the animals growing quicker) and antibiotics. Antibiotics given to animals are affecting us more and more. How? They affect our intestine and people are getting more resistant to antibiotics. They may cause Dysbiosis, an imbalance of the bacteria of the gut, as they wipe out the good bacteria which produce important vitamins for conception. 

This leads to:

  • Poor absorption of vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy eggs and sperm

  • Aggravating syndromes such as IBS/IBD/Chrone’s disease 

  • constipation or diarrhoea

  • Mood swing (as the gut is part of our enteric nervous system)

  • Arthritis type symptoms because they increase inflammation

  • Cognitive issues (i.e. autism)

How To enhance your gut health with healthy food:

  • fermented food, 

  • bio live yoghurt; 

  • limit/avoid no organic, fat-free and fructose-rich food;

  • Probiotics supplements. They contain the so-called "friendly bacteria" that can supposedly restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria, therefore enhancing the correct amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to function properly. 

...in a nutshell: eat plenty of ORGANIC & NATURAL Healthy FOOD as possible! 

PRECONCEPTION CARE: HEALTHY DIET & BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS 
 

How to get pregnant fast?

To succeed in your preconception care plan, add to your healthy diet another important element: REGULAR MEAL TIME!

Regular Meal Time is an essential component of a healthy menstrual cycle and to boost your chances to get pregnant fast!

 

Why is Regular Meal Time is so important to boost your preconception care plan's success?

Meal time is one of the major factor influencing blood sugar levels... and Blood sugar levels affect the secretion of the female sex hormone progesterone which is necessary for procreation. Disrupted level of Progesterone can cause Hormonal Imbalance in Women such as Oestrogen dominant conditions, such as PCOS, Endometriosis and Fibroids. In addition, when progesterone levels are low, you may experience spotting pre & post cycle, and you may have more difficulty to get pregnant as the fertilised egg will struggle to implant in the uterus. 

When Blood sugar levels rise too much, they cause a surge of Adrenalin, which, when in excess, blocks the release of progesterone. So first of all, ask yourself: Are you eating regularly throughout the day?

How can you balance your blood sugar levels naturally & boost your preconception care plan's success?

  • Eat little portions every 2-3 hours

  • Eat protein and complex carbs at each meal

  • Use Coriander and Cinnamon essential oils to support the liver and pancreas, two important organs for balancing out those blood glucose levels

  • Eat food listed in the below infographic from Dr. Axe

What are the main benefits of balance your Blood sugar levels?

When your Blood Sugar levels are more balanced you will:

  • have a more stable weight

  • get relief from mood swing

  • improve women's health

  • reduce headache

  • increase energy levels​

  • succeed in your preconception care plan! And get pregnant fast :)

What foods shall you avoid in order to balance your blood sugar levels & boost your preconception care plan's success?

 

If you want to get pregnant fast, It is essential that you AVOID ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS! The most common artificial sweeteners are high fructose syrup and aspartame. 

  • HIGH FRUCTOSE SYRUP can’t be metabolised by the liver, therefore it causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly, increasing the risk of diabetes and also affecting negatively the pancreas. The pancreas produces and releases insulin which is the hormone responsible for lower glucose levels in the bloodstream, thus balancing blood sugar levels. Insulin promotes the storage of glucose in fat, muscle, liver and other body tissues. When we eat foods rich in high fructose syrup, our pancreas gets overused, which may cause not only hormonal imbalance in women but also it may contribute to weight gain. 

 

What foods are rich in high fructose syrup?

- Sweet cereals

- Muesli bars

- Ready-to-eat Soup and fruit juices

- Fizzy drinks usually contain a high level of fructose syrup.

They are terrible for our health! To make the drink fizzy,

lots of salt needs to be added, therefore even more

fructose is needed to mask the salty taste. 

Another negative note about this artificial sweetener is that study found that High fructose syrup contains MERCURY. Mercury can sabotage your preconception care plan and lower your chances to get pregnant fast! Thus another good reason why to avoid foods rich in high fructose syrup! Be aware that you may already be unknowingly exposed to mercury, especially if:

- living close to a factory which uses mercury as a preservative for wheat seeds as this may contaminate the water supply

- some vaccinations contain mercury as a preservative

- eating deep water fish (such as tuna, swordfish, shark, marlin) that swim closer to the Earth which naturally emits mercury

- taking cod liver oil supplement - that could have been extracted by deepwater fishes

- amalgam dental fillings. White porcelain fillings are a safer alternative.

 

  • ASPARTAME, which it used to be prescribed as an ulcer medication.  Nowadays aspartame is widely found in our food because it can be advertised as “sugar-free”. Our body can only take a limited amount of aspartame. When this exceeds, it may cause symptoms of strokes! 

 

Natural sweeteners are much healthier for us! Try to use agave syrup, honey and nectar syrup.

These type of food turn the PH of the blood really acidic so the body is forced to use the calcium in the bones to alkalise it and this may contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Fructose increase Uric Acid, thus increasing high blood pressure.

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