DID YOU KNOW BLOOD SUGAR CAN EFFECT YOUR FERTILITY?

Did you know that blood sugar imbalances can have a negative effect on your fertility? Poor blood sugar control has been proven to lead to more serious conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes and PCOS all of which are conditions that can impact your fertility.

 

What Is Blood Sugar?

The sugar present in our blood is called glucose and our bodies use this for everything from simple things like talking, breathing and thinking to more complex activities of walking, exercising and cleaning the house.

Any food that we eat has an effect on our blood sugar levels. These levels can change depending on what we feed our body. After a meal, our blood sugar levels rise and then fall again as our body either uses or stores away the energy. Blood sugar levels that are imbalances (either too low or too high) can be quite dangerous, which is obviously not ideal when you want to be in tip top shape to get pregnant and create a healthy baby.

 

Why Is Diet So Important To My Fertility?

To maintain optimum blood sugar levels it is important to base your meals on non-starchy vegetables and quality protein. This ensures that your body is getting the nutrients it needs in order to do both simple and complex tasks, and prevents your blood sugar levels from getting too out of whack. Experts recommend having a serve of protein about the size and thickness of your palm – however, don’t include your fingers! – for meat and chicken, or the size of your whole hand for fish. Using this sizing of protein for every meal and combining it with fresh vegetables (steamed or raw is best) makes for the perfect, balanced meal.

There are some foods that are best avoided as well, particularly if you do have current blood sugar problems. Caution is advised for simple sugars such as table sugar, and refined carbohydrates such as white flour as both of these are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes spikes in blood sugar levels and produces a sudden release of insulin. This is then followed by a quick fall as the glucose stashed away.

 

Understanding The Glycaemic Index and Low GI

The glycaemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0-100 according to how much they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are hastily broken down and absorbed. This results in significant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, low GI foods are digested and absorbed slowly. This produces a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, which has been proven to be of benefit to general health and fertility. Low GI foods are those that are 55 and under on the scale; medium is 56 to 69; and high GI foods are 70 and above.

There are many benefits of incorporating a low GI diet into your life including:

  • Improved fertility
  • Weight loss
  • Improved management of PCOS
  • Improved diabetes control
  • Decreased risk of gestational diabetes – for when you do fall pregnant
  • Reduced hunger and feeling satisfied for longer
  • Increased physical endurance
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced blood cholesterol levels

As you can see blood sugar plays an important part in your fertility, so for improved success at falling pregnant why not try a change in your diet to low GI; you may be surprised by just how good you feel.

GUYS, SAY YES TO FRUIT & VEG!

Have you noticed that the men in your life (or that you as an individual if you are a male) tend to ignore the “2 fruit and 5 veg” message that’s been (perhaps rather unsuccessfully) sewn into our daily meal plan?

Researchers at both the University of Western Australia and Monash University may have found a new reason for men to get their daily fix of mother earth’s goodies, with a recent breakthrough suggesting that dietary antioxidants can help maintain male fertility.

Studies recently conducted have found that a combination of antioxidants is the best method for improving health for male reproduction, which neutralises highly reactive molecules known as free radicals.

The free radicals are actually waste-products of the cellular process which fuels the body’s activities. Without proper nourishment from antioxidants, these free radicals actually damage the body’s cells, which slow down the male’s reproductive workers.

Long story short, the study confirmed that those men that walk amongst us who obtain sufficient levels of antioxidents through their diet are much more likely to have successful swimmers than those who turn their nose up at their broccoli, peas and carrots.

So! When your male counterpart (or you, sir) next go for a snack, side-dish, or dessert, bear in mind its fruit and vegie content! Your little swimmers will be in Olympic-gold-medallist condition in no time!  

 

OMEGA 3-6-9, ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS FOR FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY

One of the main suggestions you may come across as you explore natural fertility methods is the importance of a healthy diet. Eating foods that are natural and supply the body with essential nutrients is not only good for our health in general, but also helps to improve fertility and make conception easier.

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

For years it has been driven into our heads that fats are bad. We must eliminate fats from our diet to lose weight, prevent heart disease and more. However, what many people seem to fail and realize is that there are some fats that are actually good for us, and are in fact essential to our good health.

Essential fatty acids are some of these good fats. There are three different types of unsaturated fatty acids; Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the body. Omega-9 acids are not “essential” for human health, because unlike Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which cannot be manufactured by the body, Omega-9 is naturally occurring because the body does contain the necessary enzymes for synthesis of the fatty acid to take place.

However, there are some cases where the body is unable to produce adequate amounts of Omega-9 on its own, so in this case a supplement is definitely beneficial. Since Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are unable to be produced by the body, we must gain it by eating foods that are rich in these unsaturated fats or use a dietary supplement to get the necessary amounts in our body.

Best Sources of 3-6-9 Essential Fatty Acids

The three best sources of essential fatty acids that will provide the different levels of unsaturated fats are borage oil, flax oil and fish oil. As each of the types of fatty acids are processed differently by the body and work in different ways, it is important to ensure that you are getting the proper intake of each.

Flax oil and fish oil are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids have been shown to help fertility by helping to regulate hormones in the body, increase cervical mucous, promote ovulation and overall improve the quality of the uterus by increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organs. Borage oil is rich in Omega-6 fats, which can assist fertility by improving reproductive cell structure, decrease risk of inflammation and improve the condition of organs in the body. Omega-3 fats also contain two acids that are crucial to good health: DHA and EPA. These two acids have been shown to help many forms of disease. Low levels of DHA have been linked to depression and other mental health issues. During pregnancy, a lack of DHA may be associated with premature birth, low birth weight and hyperactivity in children.

Omega-9 monounsaturated fats are found in various food sources with the most amount of the nutrient found in olive oil. Other sources of Omega-9 fatty acids include fresh seeds and nuts, avocado and sunflower oil.

It is important to ensure that your daily intake of nutrients includes each of these essential fatty acids, particularly paying attention to intake of Omega-3 and 6. Dietary supplements can be found that contain 3-6-9 fatty acids combined or you can take them separately or add foods to your diet that are rich in these fats. For best results, look for supplements that use fish and flax oil for the Omega-3’s, and borage oil as a source of Omega-6.


Why Omega-3 EFA are Essential for Your Fertility

Essential fatty acids help to:
• Regulate hormones
• Increase the blood flow to the uterus
• Reduce sensitivity to the hormone prolactin, which can suppress ovulation.
• Increases fertile mucous, which is needed to help the sperm reach the egg.

For more information on Omega 3-6-9 or any nutrition related questions please talk with our resident expert naturopath Shanna Choudhary.