We all know that what we eat when we’re pregnant helps keep us and our growing bub healthy.
But exciting new fertility research shows that what you eat before you get pregnant matters too!
So put down the hot chips, step away from the cookie jar … and read on to find out what foods women who want a baby should be eating.
Foods can affect your fertility
A study at the world-renowned Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne has shown that some foods directly affect your fertility.
Doctor Jemma Evans has led the study, which shows that some foods cause your body to produce toxic proteins that can alter the environment in your womb. Higher levels of these proteins can trigger inflammation in the womb, making it harder for an embryo to implant – and for you to get pregnant.
Step away from the fried foods!
So what are the foods that could affect your chances of getting pregnant? Your favourite fried foods – think hot chips and anything deep fried.
Also off the list of your fertility diet are sugary or processed foods – bad news for the chocoholics amongst us! But that also means biscuits, cakes and crackers are on the no-go list too when it’s baby making season. And you’ll need to limit foods cooked at high heat, like those that are fried, grilled, caramelised or roasted.
So how do these foods affect fertility?
Your body is full of healthy proteins. But when these are exposed to sugary foods, they change to become highly toxic products, called advanced glycation end products or AGEs. Foods that are highly processed or cooked at high heat also contain AGEs. When AGEs build up in your body, they can cause stress and inflammation such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But for the first time, this study showed that these toxic AGEs also alter the cells in the lining of the womb and interfere with the development of the placenta.
We discovered that these toxic ‘by-products’ alter the cells in the lining of the womb. They also interfere with placental development, which may contribute to pregnancy complications.” Dr Evans
Simple changes can boost your fertility
So what does it all mean if you are thinking about getting pregnant? The good news is that making simple changes to your diet could improve your fertility and chances of getting pregnant. You can reduce the amount of sugary and highly-processed foods and drinks in your diet. And you can eat foods that are not fried, grilled, caramelised or roasted – think steamed vegetables rather than hot chips.
And best of all a short term change could make a big difference to your baby plans! A diet low in AGEs can improve the health of people with diabetes in as little as four weeks.
Dr Evans and her team will now look at whether a low AGEs diet could also help more women fall pregnant and have healthier pregnancies. And they hope that the womb will respond quickly to a change in diet, because the cells are regenerated every month. This could offer some women a simple way to improve fertility – and potentially avoid the need for IVF. You can hear Dr Evans talk about her research in this webinar.
Of course, it takes two to make a baby. Did you know that Ibuprofen could be affecting your partner’s fertility?