According to WHO, Infertility is the “failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”. Age, weight, stress, hormonal imbalance, alcohol, improper nutrition are all various reasons for infertility.
Studies show people (both men and women) with high intake of unsaturated fats, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, and fish are more likely to conceive as compared to people consuming saturated fats, sugars etc. People with a BMI of equal to or more than 30kg/m2 are seen to usually have fertility issues.
Amongst all the various complications hypertension, diabetes and hypothyroidism are the most common.
HYPERTENSION Increase in the levels of stress and age have increased the percentage of patients trying to concieve with hypertension. However, studies show hypertension to be more common in men than women.
The first and the most important nutritional goal for therapy is to limit the sodium (Na) in the diet. Steps taken are -
- To add less salt in food while cooking.
- Encourage to read the nutritional label before purchasing. To avoid buying foods with more than or equal to 350mg per serving.
- To let your server know about your low sodium requirements while eating out.
FATS - Patients show improved results by limiting the usage of saturated (butter, whole milk, cream, fatty meats) and trans (margarine, hydrogenated fats) fatty acids.
PROCESSED FOODS - To increase the shelf life of products usually a lot of salt is used, hence the intake of such products like instant foods, drinks, wafers, crackers, pickles etc should be restricted.
PHYSICAL EXERCISE - Regular physical exercise like walking, yoga, swimming, etc have shown drastic improvements.
DIABETES MELLITUS - Diabetes, often referred to as a lifestyle disorder is one of the biggest threats tpinfertility. Patients suffering from PCOD, increased eight gain are often seen to suffer from it.
CARBOHYDRATES - Altering the carbohydrate intake is the main therapy for regulating blood sugar levels. Increasing the intake of complex carbohydates(whole grains, vegetables etc) and removing simple carbohydrates like refined grains, starches etc has seen to improve the condition. Although sugar in any form totally needs to be removed from one’s diet.
FIBER - Including fruits, vegetables, lentils, nuts etc increase the fiber in the diet which results in regulated sugar levels.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Any physical activity of atleast 30 mins for 5 days a week have shown increased insulin levels in the body.
HYPOTHYROIDISM - A state of low levels of T3 and T4 levels in the body is known as hypothyroidism. Avoiding or including certain foods increase the body’s absorption of these hormones.
AVOID - Soya, Iodine Rich Foods, foods rich in iodine (fish, iodised salt,) are seen to be beneficial for people suffering from hypothyroidism. Certain vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc are seen to inhibit the absoption of the hormone.
INCLUDE - ANTI-OXIDANTS, Assorted berries, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc improve the overall health due to its high antioxidant levels.
VITAMIN B RICH FOODS
Sunflower seeds etc rich in selenium are required for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.