What food optimises fertility?

The food you eat plays an important role in your fertile health. By making sure you have a healthy balanced diet, you can optimise the quality of your eggs or sperm, enhance your body’s ability to get rid of toxins and provide a nourishing environment for a baby to grow. If time’s on your side, ideally you want to start becoming more conscious of your food choices three months before you start trying to conceive.

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Juliana Kassianos
5 fertile superfoods for women and men

Five fertile superfoods for women: Boosting your fertile health. 1. Almonds, super source of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), deficiency linked to sterility, miscarriage and low birth weight. 2. Sunflower Seeds, super source of Folate (Vitamin B9), increase progesterone levels, as well as reduce risk of anovulation and birth defects. 3. Brazil Nuts, super source of Selenium, development of healthy ovarian follicles.

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Juliana Kassianos
What food to avoid?

Why avoid some foods? Protect the quality of your eggs or sperm; Prevent insulin resistance, which can affect hormone levels; Prevent inflammation, which can be a huge source of chemical stress in the body; Reduce your consumption of toxins; Prevent depleting your body of nutrients; and Maintain a healthy weight. Fertility Food Supervillans: Watch out they don’t put too much stress on your body…

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Juliana Kassianos
What are vitamins and minerals?

What are micronutrients? Vitamins and minerals – nutrients required in very little amounts. Why do we need them? They are essential for keeping the body working properly, especially when trying to conceive. They don’t contain calories or provide us with energy, but they do have an effect on our energy metabolism as they help the body convert calorie containing nutrients into energy.

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Juliana Kassianos
Four-day energy experiment

Your body is the most powerful research lab that you have free, all-day access to. Explore how your body feels when you do or don’t eat certain types of protein. Use this four-day energy experiment to determine which type of protein gives you energy and which robs you of it. Why is this important? The more energy you have, the better you will feel and the more motivated you’ll be to take care of yourself.

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Juliana Kassianos
What is high quality protein?

Animal products: chicken, eggs (Free-range and organic. If you’re from the UK, choose those with a British Lion Quality Mark. This is a symbol on the egg shells and packs that show the eggs have been produced to high food safety standards, so your risk of contracting salmonella poisoning for example is very low), lean grass-fed red meat and turkey.

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Juliana Kassianos
What are high quality carbs?

These are digested and absorbed slowly, so instead of giving us a sugar rush like simple carbohydrates (sucrose – table sugar, fructose – fruit sugar and lactose – milk sugar), they provide us with a steady stream of energy, keeping our batteries running throughout the day. E.g. Wholegrains (e.g. oats, oatmeal, buckwheat, quinoa), Vegetables (e.g. peas, broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, asparagus)…

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Juliana Kassianos
What are high quality fats?

Oils: The smoke point, which is shown in degrees Fahrenheit, is how high a temperature the oil can reach before the natural impurities in the oil begin to burn and smoke. Unrefined/virgin oils are cold-pressed to naturally extract the oil. This retains naturally occurring phytochemicals such as polyphenols, plant sterols and vitamin E (natural goodness) and gives the oils their distinct flavour.

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Juliana Kassianos
What are protein, carbs and fats?

Proteins aren’t used as they are found in food, but are broken down into amino acids. These amino acids are vital for manufacturing reproductive hormones, such as luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, as well as for heathy egg and sperm production. Therefore, it’s important to have a diet high in protein when trying to conceive.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to balance blood sugar

Why keep your blood sugar balanced? To prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when cells fail to respond to insulin, which results in blood glucose levels rising above normal levels. This can cause the ovaries to make excess androgen hormones, which are converted into oestrogen, increasing the level of this hormone above normal levels, affecting ovulation. Prevent inflammation – Increased inflammation can be a huge source of chemical stress in the body.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to reduce inflammation

Why reduce inflammation? Increased inflammation can be a huge source of chemical stress in the body. Think of it like a fire going on inside your system. When there is a fire, the last thing you have resources for is to get pregnant; Protect eggs and sperm from free-radical damage; and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is associated with low grade chronic inflammation.

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Juliana Kassianos
How food can up your mood

Serotonin is a feel-good hormone, which tells the body to feel happy, calm and mellow. Some foods contain serotonin, but as it’s difficult for serotonin to cross the blood-brain barrier, raising levels in the brain isn’t as simple as just eating these types of food. However, the amino acid tryptophan is a building block for the production of serotonin, so by eating foods rich in this amino acid, we can naturally boost our levels of serotonin.

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Juliana Kassianos
Three natural aphrodisiacs for men

A substance, which tends to be derived from plants, that increases sexual desire, performance or pleasure. The word is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love. Always consume in moderation though, as the adverse effects of consuming large quantities is not clear. When we’re ovulating, we tend to want our man to perform at the drop of a hat, however, this can be harder than we think for them, especially if they’re tired and stressed out after a long day at work. The use of natural aphrodisiacs can help get them in the mood and enhance sexual activity.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to keep hydrated

Why is it important to keep hydrated? Your body is made up of ~60% water, key to survival, maintain bodily functions, flush out toxins and boost your energy. How much water should I drink a day? As a rough guide, drink between 64 ounces and 0.67% of your body weight. For example, if your body weight is 150 pounds, then you need to drink anywhere between 64 ounces and 100 ounces (0.67% x 150) of water per day.

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Juliana Kassianos
Be aware of GM crops and pesticides

As far as I’m aware, genetically modified (GM) crops are not grown in Britain, except for small batches for research. Some supermarkets like Waitrose do not sell any GM food and supply produce like meat, eggs and milk that has come from/been produced by animals that are fed non GM feed. Tesco’s doesn’t allow the use of GM ingredients in its own branded products. Any of its non-Tesco branded products that contain GM material are labelled according to EU legislation.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to eat mindfully

Why munch mindfully? Improve your digestion, absorb more nutrients from the food you eat, create a nourishing environment for a baby to grow, improve your egg or sperm quality, prevent comfort eating, prevent overeating and build healthy habits around food. My mum’s gooey hot walnut brownies are to die for. Their sweet chocolaty aroma fills the kitchen as they bake in the oven. Even just thinking about it, I can feel my mouth water and my stomach start to churn.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to stop comforting eating

Whether we’re stressed, sad or stroppy, we often find comfort in eating, feeding our feelings instead of filling our tummies. But why do we have this urge and how can we stop using food as an emotional comfort blanket? Many of us will be able to relate to the fictional character Bridget Jones, as we wallow in self-pity, wrapped up in a duvet, spoon in a tub of ice-cream, forming a relationship simultaneously with two men – Ben and Jerry.

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Juliana Kassianos
Follow these fertility food rules

Why follow these rules? Improve your digestion and absorb more nutrients from the food you eat, keep your blood sugar balanced and prevent insulin resistance, which can affect hormone levels, prevent inflammation, which can be a huge source of chemical stress in the body, reduce your consumption of toxins, maintain energy levels throughout the day, protect the quality of your eggs or sperm and create a nourishing environment for a baby to grow.

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Juliana Kassianos