NUTRITION

Selection of nutritive food - heart, cho

Nutrition is the process of consuming the food necessary for health and growth.  Good nutrition means your body gets all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to work its best.  A healthy diet promotes healthy pregnancy outcomes, supports normal growth, development and ageing, helps to maintain a healthy body weight, and reduces the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being.  

Nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They can help people choose the right things to eat, help them plan menus, and advise them on the health effects of certain foods.  The diets and foods recommended for you will give you a healthy balance of all the fats, proteins and nutrients you need to support health and general wellness.  

HOW CAN NUTRITION HELP IMPROVE FERTILTY?

The main way nutrition affects fertility is through ovulation. Ovulation is the process by which a woman’s egg becomes available for fertilization each month, which requires adequate hormonal balance.  Problems with ovulation represent around a quarter of all infertility cases.  A poor diet can create imbalance with our hormones, which in turn, can lead to ovulatory issues. This means that eating certain foods and avoiding others can actually improve our fertility. Indeed, when the Harvard School of Public Health asked women with irregular or absent ovulation to change their diet (and exercise) habits, those who changed five or more aspects of their diet (and exercise), reduced their risk of infertility by 80 percent.

Most women are familiar with hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone but when it comes to diet and fertility, the hormone we tend to be most interested in is insulin. Excess insulin in your body can interfere with ovulation by stopping eggs from maturing properly and increasing ovarian cyst formation. A woman will often have high insulin levels if she eats a carbohydrate-dominant diet with lots of sugar and starchy foods, e.g. white bread, white flour, white potatoes, white rice. This type of diet forces the pancreas to release a lot more insulin than usual to help the body metabolise the large amount of carbohydrates being consumed.

A study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about the "Influence of Diet on Fertility," states that, "diets high in unsaturated fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fish have been associated with improved fertility in both women and men."  Please click here for the abstract of the study.

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