The Fertility Diet + Cycle Syncing
Imagine meeting your best gal pal for lunch and she shares with you this new diet she’s on that is giving her more energy, better sleep, reducing belly bloat, and inflammation.
You would probably want to know what the heck she’s doing so that you could do it too.
And then she tells you it’s a fertility diet she’s on and you simply can’t believe it.
But it’s true.
I am the gal pal sharing with you that my fertility diet has given me more energy, better sleep, eliminated my belly bloat, and drastically reduced inflammation. I’ve even lost weight which was not at all my goal.
So what is the fertility diet?
It’s a high protein/high fat diet - notice I didn’t just say a low carb diet which can absolutely be helpful especially for those with PCOS. But this fertility diet still consists of carbs, they just aren’t refined carbs.
The ideal fertility diet consists of at least 25% protein, no more than 40% carbs, and the rest in healthy fats.
Why is this diet good for fertility and especially preconception?
If our ultimate goal is to conceive a child, we should consider the role nutrition plays in conception and pregnancy.
A baby is made of three things -
Protein, Fat, and water.
In order to give our bodies what it needs to grow a baby we need to make sure we are getting enough Protein. Healthy Fats. and Water.
A study done by Dr. Jeffery Russell analyzed the diets of 120 women who were undergoing the IVF process in his clinic. All of his clients had the same general BMI, what he found was that his patients who had a diet that was over 25% protein - had two times the number of embryos available for transfer and four times the pregnancy rates.
Dr.Russell did further research and found that the optimum diet for increasing fertility rates (which consists of egg quality, embryo quality, pregnancy rates, and birth rates) was a diet of 30% protein and less than 40% carbs.
With these findings Dr. Russell expanded the study to 350 women and found the same results - protein plays a significant factor in fertility.
To hear a wonderful podcast and listen to Dr. Russell explains his research and the fertility diet click here.
Even though this research was found using women who were going through IVF the goal is still the same -
Healthy eggs and embryo, full term pregnancy, and birth.
My Fertility Diet.
I have been on the full fertility diet for a full 28 day cycle and already feel absolutely amazing.
One of the major changes I have made is incorporating more animal protein into my diet, even red meat.
Before giving up red meat was trendy, I had already done it. I just didn’t like the way it made me feel at the time, and I couldn’t get over the chewing. After seeing an acupuncturist and truly listening to the needs of my body and not what the latest trend is telling me to do, I can honestly say I do feel much better now that I have incorporated some red meat into my diet. I firmly believe in bio-individuality and I don’t believe every single person is meant to be a vegan or a vegetarian. Each persons body require’s different things and it can be extremely harmful to promote a one-size-fits-all diet.
I now have red meat 2-3x/week especially during the luteal and menstrual phases to help build and nourish my blood. Any meat I do purchase comes from my local farmers market and is pasture raised, grass fed, and contains no antibiotics or hormones.
My diet consist of:
25-30% Protein, 30% Fat, and no more than 40% carbs.
I eat a diet rich in these foods. I do count calories but that is because I tend to not eat enough. After starting this diet I have been logging what I eat until I get in the hang of how much protein I need each day. What I found was that I simply don’t eat enough and this is an instance where counting calories was actually helpful. Overall I don’t recommend it though, especially in regards to a fertility diet. Think nutrient dense diet rather than caloric restriction.
I also cycle sync my food, this means that I eat according to where I am in my menstrual cycle. My plate will typically consist of three different kinds of vegetables, protein, and fat. Vegetables are the main entree, and the meat is a “side”. I eat one whole avocado each day with lots of walnuts and almonds.
To be able to get enough protein each day I use collagen peptides, eat eggs each morning for breakfast, and eat lots of nuts for the protein and fat. oh and and lots of avocado for healthy fats too.
Isn’t this a paleo or keto diet?
The Keto diet focuses on keeping your carb intake to less than 20 grams/day to achieve ketosis. That is not the goal, the goal is to eat more protein and fat than carbs. So I personally still eat sweet potatoes, and sprouted brown rice, but I make sure that my protein intake is around 30% of my diet each day. Carbs are absolutely necessary for brain function and hormonal health, especially in the long run. We just know they should be the right kind of carbs.
If you are trying to lose weight or you have PCOS you may consider lowering your carb intake even further than the 40% but this will be very personal as insulin sensitivity is highly individual.
The Paleo Diet eliminates grains completely, and again that is not my personal goal.
How do you Cycle Sync & Seed Cycle?
Cycle syncing your fertility diet is a way to support your body’s natural rhythm with food. You eat according to where you are in your cycle, and after awhile it’s really quite easy to get the hang of. Cycle syncing also saves time when it comes to meal planning. Each week you will know exactly what to put on your list to support your cycle.
Menstrual Phase - Iron rich and Vitamin C foods to restore depleted stores.
Food: Red meat, bone broth, soups, stews, asparagus, chard, spinach, thyme, turmeric, broccoli, cauliflower. Salmon, sardines, seaweed
Seeds cycling: 1 tbsp flax & 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Follicular & Ovulation- Vitamin E, Zinc, & B Vitamins
Food: Avocado, wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, coconut oil. Yogurt, tahini, hummus, seeds, almonds, figs, broccoli, parsley, watercress
Seeds cycling: 1 tbsp flax &1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Luteal- Vitamins B6, Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamin C, Veggie Rich
Food:Dark Leafy greens, orange veggies (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin), fresh pineapple. Towards the end of your luteal phase eat warm foods, seaweeds, and avoid cold foods.
Seeds cycling: 1 tbsp sunflower seeds 1tbsp. sesame seeds