Why is nutrition important
for our fertility?
Why is nutrition important for our fertility health? The nutritional value of food is easily overlooked! Can a poor diet be a contributing cause of infertility?
It is a proven fact that poor eating habits (and lifestyle in general) can contribute towards an array of different fertility health problems for men and women!
Sure in today’s society it is very convenient to grab a snack on the run, microwave a ‘heat and eat’ meal or order fast food (takeaways) with a fizzy drink for our dinner. Everywhere you look there are chains of food companies around, advertising their most recent ‘delicious’ (but not so nutritious) addictions to their menus!
The supermarkets have endless specials on products that are full of additives and preservatives to make them look and taste good, plus to improve their shelf life. Why is nutrition important? Because the nutritional value of food is stripped with these highly refined and processed products. These tactics can trap the best of us, after all the price, convenience and appeal of the products seem just to good to resist! Food is a ‘business’ after all.
Putting all this aside, we have to remember why we actually eat (besides the obvious of course)! What is the definition of nutrition? Why is nutrition important? The answer to both those questions is - a source of materials (from food and liquids) to nourish the body and sustain life.
Why is nutrition important? If you do not get the correct balance of these essential nutrients into your diet, you become at risk of developing many common health ailments and conditions. Series diseases too, such as diabetes or cancer may result, as well as a higher risk of blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke. You can minimize health risks and even boost your well being by eating a nutritious well balanced diet.
It is not surprising how the rates of disease and obesity have risen over the years, with a majority of the population becoming ‘brainwashed’ into being told what to eat for the sake of the food manufactures making money! We need to remember why the nutritional value of food is so critical.
Thinking about trying for a baby soon? Currently trying to conceive?
Why is nutrition important more now than ever? Think about it, two people are wanting to make a brand new life! Only healthy parents can make a healthy baby.
The nutritional value of food plays a larger role than you might realize towards your fertility health. How you treat your body and what you eat can inadvertently be a major contributing cause of infertility. This can result from a lack of the specific vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are fundamental for a fully functioning reproductive system.
This is mother natures way of saying - “hold on, you are not able to provide all the necessities needed for growing a new life right now”!
Sometimes if conception does manage to take place, a miscarriage can occur. Research has proven that this event could happen because of contributing male or female factors (irregularities of either sperm cells or ovum). A woman's diet before or during pregnancy can have a big impact on the woman's ability to carry to term.
Why is nutrition important? The nutritional value of food is best not ignored because you want only the best for your future children! A lack of essential nutrients (or an excess of toxins) from either prospective ‘parent to be’ can also contribute towards birth defects, premature delivery, low birth weight, illnesses or neurological disorders of the child.
plan for at least four months is advised before you even try to conceive. Why is nutrition important? Because during this time you can detox and replenish your body with all the essential nutrients needed to produce healthy egg and sperm cells, including the DNA (genetic information) within. By following a preconception plan, you can increase your chances of conception.
Regardless, we always recommend that if you are having difficulties trying to conceive, that you have a full health evaluation done by a qualified medical expert. It certainly pays to know what you are dealing with!
Why is nutrition important for men? Poor diet can be a contributing factor towards male fertility issues such as - hormone irregularities, low sperm count, reduced motility (swimming capability) poor morphology (shape) and DNA fragmentation inside sperm cell. Low immunity can result from dietary factors, leading to illnesses or infections which can cause disturbances with sperm production for several months afterwards.
Why is nutrition important for women? A poor diet can contribute towards fertility issues such as - poor egg quality, hormone imbalances, ovulation disorders, the inability for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus, infections plus many other reproductive disorders.
There are also other common diet related health conditions which in turn can become a cause of infertility such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia or obesity.
Why is nutrition important? Because you can incorporate eating well balanced nutritious meals 'alongside' any medical treatments you may require. This can often help to alleviate any existing health or fertility conditions. This is due to the nutritional elements enabling and aiding your body back to a normal homeostatic status (proper functioning and regulation of bodily functions) which is required for good health in general.
We do however recommend that you discuss with your doctor the role that certain foods may have in relation to any particular medical problem you may be experiencing, or any medications that you may be taking. Some foods may exasperate certain health conditions so are best avoided, likewise their may be food types that can be of great benefit. We call these healing foods (ask for advise).
The essential nutrients
Why is nutrition important? Your body is dependent upon nutrients as each have very specific roles within the human body.
Every single cell in affected by nutrition (either for the good or bad). 'Metabolism' is the term used to describe the chemical processes that are constantly happening within us. Our body's are reliant on outside nutritional sources to make these reactions happen. Think of it this way - it is a little like a jigsaw puzzle, having to put all the pieces together (use your imagination)!
Within the nutritional value of food we have -
These are made up from starches, fibre and sugars. These are the major fuel (energy) source for our body including the brain and central nervous system. There are simple and complex carbs.
Simple carbs - consist of one of two sugar molecules, and due to their simple structure are easily and quickly broken down into glucose soon after being eaten and released into the bloodstream. These are often sweet tasting.
The best of these are found in fruit but can also be found in dairy and certain vegetables. Other simple carbs are found in sugars and processed foods such as jam, biscuits, tinned fruit etc, but are not so good for you as they often lack the vitamins and fibre (a quick rush or energy boost, followed by a low).
Complex carbs (starches) - these consist of many sugar molecules joined together like a chain. This more complex structure means that these sugars are not broken down and digested so quickly. The body reacts more favorably to complex sugars as the energy provided is released slowly and steadily. Energy levels are more consistent throughout the day.
These are quite filling to eat because of the higher fibre content and are generally lower in fat, plus they provide a good amount of vitamins. Vegetables and grains are the major source of complex carbs. Foods containing complex carbs include brown breads and rice, cereals, pasta, legumes, nuts, seeds and certain fruits.
Why is nutrition important? Without this energy from carbs, we would 'fade out' (run out of fuel) during the day and you would also start to lose your concentration. Many work accidents happen in the afternoon, if an employee has not had a lunch break!
Avoid eating refined carbohydrates (such as white bread/rice). They may taste good, but have had the nutrients and fibre removed. Relying on these foods stripped of nutrients will only leave you feeling fatigued as they lack the necessities. These carbs are known as 'empty calories'.
Fibre is found in fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. There are two types of fibre, ‘soluble’ and ‘insoluble’. Soluble fibre is in fruit, veges, pulses and oats - this helps to reduce blood cholesterol, and also binds with any toxins in the gut which helps to excrete them. You can find insoluble fibre in bran, nuts, brown rice and whole wheat - this provides bulk to our food thus helps our digestive system to function properly (regular elimination).
Why is nutrition important? The nutritional value we receive from fibre is so vital, because without it our digestive system can become blocked (constipated) and toxins can build up. When this happens we can not readily absorb all the vitamins and minerals we need from our intestines through into the bloodstream and deficiencies can occur. Digestive problems are very common without a sufficient supply of fibre in your diet and can lead to more serious diseases.
This is made up of 22 amino acids (the building blocks of protein) 14 of these can be manufactured by our body, but eight need to be provided through our diet.
Why is nutrition important? Other than water, protein is the second most plentiful substance in our body. Protein forms keratin, which is the basic component of our hair, skin and nails (hair is over 90% protein)! This nutrient is vital for the structure, maintenance and repair of the body’s cells. We need protein as it is essential for the proper functioning of enzymes (which accelerate chemical reactions) antibodies (infection fighting molecules) and hormones (chemical messengers).
Protein makes up haemoglobin, which transports oxygen around our body in our red blood cells and into our body tissues. This nutrient is also needed for healthy muscles, organs and glands. Proteins secondary role is to provide backup energy to carbohydrates.
There are two different types of protein. Foods that contain all eight of the amino acids that our body requires are called complete proteins which includes meat, dairy, eggs and soy beans. The other protein is from plant sources but usually does not contain all eight required amino acids. These are classed as incomplete proteins, but are still very important to incorporate into your diet. These plant proteins are also found in potatoes, legumes, rice, pasta, nuts and cereals.
We need some fat in our diet, in fact it is vital, as it helps absorb and transport the fat soluble vitamins, as well as providing the essential fatty acids that the body can not manufacture.
Fat is like a stored source of fuel (provides 60% energy while we are rest) and is used when our blood sugar supply runs out (also the most concentrated source). Unfortunately the body is able to accumulate an excess amount of fat storage, so we need to only eat the required amounts. This is due to mother natures way of storing energy in case of famine. The types of fats are differentiated by their biochemical chain length (absorption).
Did you know that the human brain is made up of around 60% fat! Why is nutrition important? Because we need fat to insulate our nerves helping with nerve impulses. Fat provides insulation under our skin to protect us from cold and heat, and provides protection around our organs and bones. All cell membranes contain fat. Fats are also needed to form hormones (our chemical messengers for body functions and processes to take place).
Saturated fat (long chemical chain) which is found mainly from animal products is solid at room temperature. Too much saturated fat is associated with a higher risk of coronary and heart disease, so needs to eaten sparingly (but also still essential to include in our diet).
Unsaturated fat (poly- and mono-unsaturated) (short chemical chains) are usually liquid at room temperature and come mostly from plant sources. These have as many high calories as saturated (so still need to be eaten in moderation) but they do have important benefits. These fats lower LDL levels (the bad cholesterol) so they help prevent fatty deposits building up in our arteries. This type of fat is beneficial for keeping our skin healthy along with a good complexion.
Monounsaturated fat is associated with a healthy cardiovascular system. In certain countries, eg Italy, where their people consume a lot of mono-fats such as olive oil, the population have a considerably lower rate of heart disease and stroke. Mono-fats are thought to raise a persons HDL (the good cholesterol). We need more of this type in our diet than the other kinds.
Polyunsaturated fat provides us with the essential fatty acids which our body can't produce. EFA's are omega-3 (found primarily in oily cold water fish) and omega-6 (present in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds). Why is nutrition important? EFA's support nervous, immune and reproductive systems and is needed for healthy blood and arteries. EFA's are also needed for normal growth. Scientists are presently doing a lot of research on these essential fatty acids, as they have numerous health benefits that are only starting to be understood.
Why is nutrition important? Because the body is known to need at least 13 different types of vitamins and all mayhem can break out without them! The B ‘group’ and C vitamins are water soluble (can not be stored in the body) so we need a regular intake of these. The fat soluble vitamins (stored in the liver and fatty tissues) are A, D, E and K. These fat soluble vitamins are essential for the body to function, but can build up to toxic levels if too much is ingested.
Vitamins are molecules found within foods, which our body needs to be able to carry out certain biological reactions (more than we can count)! They act as 'co-enzymes' assisting the 'enzymes' (which are responsible for these chemical reactions to take place). Each particular vitamin carries out very specific jobs within our body. Different vitamins are found across the various food groups.
The amount of minerals that are classed as ‘essential’ is often debated as some are required in only extremely tiny amounts (however, they are all vital). There is an estimated 17 minerals that we must have. We need two types of minerals, ‘macro’ which the body needs in larger quantities (such as calcium and potassium) and ‘trace’ (such as zinc and iron) which we only need in very small amounts.
Why is nutrition important? Because minerals help make up our bones, teeth, blood, muscle, soft tissues and nerves. They are responsible for maintaining the pH of our blood. Minerals work very closely together with vitamins as catalysts for biological reactions to occur (often one can not work properly without the other). These are found in different degrees throughout all the food groups.
The main antioxidants are vitamins A, C, E plus the minerals selenium and zinc. Why is nutrition important? Antioxidants protect our cells and DNA structure from 'free radical' damage. These free radicals are produced naturally in our body, but because of outside factors such as pollution/toxins or poor diet, the free radicals can attack our cells causing them to mutate. Cell mutation can lead to very serious disease. Antioxidants also boost our immune system helping to fight off common ailments such as coughs, colds and infections.
Why is nutrition important? Because the human body is made up of approximately 60-70 percent water! We will only survive a few days without any water! It transports nutrients around our body, moves waste, flushes out toxins, regulates our body temperature, and aids lubrication. We receive water from foods, but we must also try to drink around eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day (average estimate) more if very hot weather or exercising.
The nutritional value of food - you must be getting a good idea now regarding why we must eat sensibly! Above we have only mentioned a few of the roles of the essential nutrients, as the list is endless!
All of these nutrients are like separate pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, as each has its own individual place and role within the body. However, these essential nutrients all function and interact together to get the final picture of the jigsaw (a healthy, fully functioning body)! If pieces are ‘missing’ from this complicated puzzle, the job does not get done properly and we get run down and sick - its that simple.
Why you should eat organics
Please have a look at how certain chemicals called 'xenoestrogens' (found in certain foods) are a major threat to our fertility health. This is one of society’s newest concerns! We have details on these ‘estrogen mimics’ under our page titled
environmental health hazards.
These chemicals that disrupt sexual hormone function are found on foods that have been grown with the use of pesticides, or from animal products where the stock was brought up with the use of growth hormones!
Why is nutrition important? It is essential to eat organic foods whenever possible. This also includes hormone free meats, poultry, eggs and dairy (check all labels on packaging).
Animals may also be raised with the use of antibiotics, which inevitably end up in our system. This may be a reason why some antibiotics do not work on humans anymore, as our body's have become resistant to this medication. Wash all fruit and veges thoroughly before eating to remove any chemical residues.
There is also fierce debate regarding the safety of genetic engineering. The choice is ultimately yours as to whether you eat these foods that have had their molecule structures tampered with!
Why is nutrition important for fertility and overall health in general?
The nutritional value of food can never be over-estimated! Good food is fuel for the body, necessary for metabolism, growth, maintenance and reproduction. Incorporating a well balanced healthy diet into your life can strengthen your immune system, fight off illness, help your body to heal and give you energy.
Why is nutrition important? Eating correctly will help provide you with all the necessary nutrients needed for your sexual hormones and organs to function at their optimal level!
Meals must be eaten regularly and cut down on the highly refined, processed junk food (you are allowed to treat yourself occasionally). Become creative with your new and improved diet! Drink plenty of water, get some exercise and maintain a healthy weight. You will be amazed at the difference a healthy diet can make in the way you look, feel and think, as well as giving you a lot more energy.
Wish you the best of health!
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