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9 Ways to Increase Fertility Naturally

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1. Eat a Clean Diet

Given the stereotypical imagery featuring pregnant women craving sweets, it’s not widely known that sugar can negatively affect fertility. Any food that creates inflammation, in fact, can have a negative effect.

In 2007, when he was conducting research for his thesis, Jorge Chavarro, MD, ScD now an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and coauthor of The Fertility Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2007) noticed data showing certain diabetes medications, which regulate insulin, also affected fertility.

“It occurred to me that there might be a shared mechanism between glycemic control and insulin sensitivity and ovulation,” Chavarro says. “I wanted to investigate whether the dietary risk factors for diabetes and those for infertility might be the same.”

Chavarro wound up studying behavior and lifestyle among 18,555 married women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which evaluated various diet and lifestyle risk factors on rates of chronic disease.

The study revealed that dietary habits that have a negative effect on glucose sensitivity, like eating a starchy diet, also dampen fertility. Women whose diets contained significant amounts of trans-fatty acids (found mainly in processed foods) also tended to have issues with ovulation.

Integrative practitioners recommend a non-inflammatory diet for couples who want to get pregnant, with plenty of vegetables, complex carbohydrates and protein to stabilize blood sugar. Produce should be organic and meat should come from pasture-raised animals. Women should also cut back on caffeine (studies have correlated it with miscarriage) and alcoholic beverages, which can act like sugars in the body.

2. Avoid Skim and Nonfat Dairy Products

Chavarro was surprised to find that women in the Nurses’ Health Study II who drank skim milk experienced lower fertility than those who drank whole milk. There are a number of likely reasons for this. In The Fertility Diet, Chavarro and his coauthor, Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, suggest the process of skimming away the fat from milk also removes the milk’s female hormones, which bind to the milkfat, leaving behind only male and sex-neutral hormones. This imbalance may interfere with the delicate machinery of ovulation.

Additionally, removing the fat from milk increases the ratio of lactose, or milk sugar, which triggers a higher glycemic response. Lactose is also the trigger for most allergic responses to dairy, which is estimated to affect about 70 percent of the world’s population.

If you’re having trouble conceiving, it’s wise to be tested for dairy intolerance, along with other food sensitivities. If you find you can tolerate dairy, stick to organic, whole milk products whenever possible. (For more on full-fat dairy, read “Skimming the Truth.”) And go easy: Chavarro and Willett recommend you limit your intake to the equivalent of one 8-ounce glass of milk per day.

Next: the importance of the gastrointestinal system

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Read more: Aging, Alternative Therapies, Babies, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Family, Fitness, Food, Health, Healthy Aging, Mental Wellness, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Stress, Women's Health, Yoga, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Molly, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

27 comments

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8:51PM PST on Jan 31, 2014

My name is RODA, I am from UK I want to share my experience on how I got my baby, despite the doctor said I couldn't have any, because of my health, I was Barry since the year 2008 I could not give birth to babies, until one of my family friend introduce a GREAT SPELL CASTER to me called DR LAWCY, I never knew DR LAWCY could even solve my problems, when I contacted him despite the situation on ground he told me that he is going to help me, and he gave to me some herbs to take and casted some spell on me, all thanks to GOD that sent DR LAWCY to me, just after three months I became pregnant for me husband, now I am a mother of three children, I want to thank DR LAWCY for his good work, if you are out there passing through this same problem, you can also contact him on his email on drlawcyspellhome@gmail.com and I pray to GOD that same way he helped me, he shall help you also, thanks for part of my testimony..

3:36PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

thanks

1:05AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Many thanks for the article!!

5:53AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Why increase fertility? The world is overpopulated!

5:17PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks.

11:09AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for the article!

11:08AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks

9:21AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

6:55AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Noted...Thanks

5:50AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for article on a topic that is very personal and difficult for some couples. Along these lines, NaPro technology also may help couples get to the root of infertility. http://naprotechnology.com/ It is also disappointing to see some posters perpetuate an anti-child mindset based on outdated 1970’s “population bomb” concepts. World food and resource production has never been higher due to human ingenuity. Most countries are already experiencing birth rates at or below the replacement rate to sustain their future population. http://overpopulationisamyth.com/.

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