Resolving Infertility Naturally
RESOLVING INFERTILITY NATURALLY
This year alone, more than 9 million Americans will experience infertility. Infertility is big business – it’s a 3 Billion dollar a year industry that includes synthetic hormones, harmful interventions, and often extended emotional timeframes for families. The expense and stress of infertility along with side-effects of treatments are driving health trends to discover natural alternatives.
Using functional integrative medicine, I always start with assessing the root cause of chronic conditions. I work with my patients to screen for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions as well as hormonal imbalance and micronutrient deficiencies. I immediately remove the primary inflammatory foods from the diet including gluten, soy, refined sugar, corn, and emphasize a diet that is low-glycemic focused whole single-ingredient foods. I also emphasize organically sourced ingredients as the role of glyphosate residue from pesticides and chemical fertilizers has a strong correlation to infertility.
A ketogenic diet can be incredibly supportive of optimizing fertility, check out more on the mechanisms of why here in my recent article! Keto can have beneficial influence on hormones, blood sugar and body composition and can be very anti-inflammatory if done with a food as medicine approach like in My Virtual Food As Medicine Ketosis Program.
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE FERTILITY:
- Being over or underweight, especially when combined with Insulin Resistance
- Exposure to toxins, which can be helped by a medically-supported detox program like my 10 Day Real Food Detox
- Stress, including elevated levels of androgens and cortisol
- Hormonal Imbalance – PCOS, Endometriosis, low progesterone, estrogen dominance
- Micronutrient deficiency – leading to insufficient hormonal response, cellular development, and DNA expression
- Dysbiosis or imbalanced gut bacteria, this can often be seen by bloating, IBS, recurring UTIs, yeast infections
FOOD AS MEDICINE TO BOOST YOUR FERTILITY!
Folate: Avocado, leafy greens, asparagus, organ meat, sunflower seeds
This essential B vitamin plays a role in DNA and RNA production while supporting healthy fetal brain development, preventing neural tube defect, and preventing miscarriage. Focus on getting 2-3 cups of leafy greens per day in a salad, shake or as a base of any dish for a punch of bioavailable folate and ensure that your prenatal contains a minimum of 800 mcg methylated folate like our MultiAvail Mama!
B-vitamins: liver, pasture-raised and wild caught animal proteins, nuts and seeds
Birth control and synthetic estrogen deplete B vitamins as does a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar! Getting foods rich in B-vitamins can support healthy estrogen metabolism, cellular health and energy production, as well as supporting a healthy weight and optimal response with insulin levels. Read our Liver Pills blog for an easy recipe!
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Egg yolks from pasture-raised eggs, wild-caught fish, quality fish oil, flax seeds, walnuts
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation making the uterus a more welcoming environment while aiding in hormonal expression. Ensure quality sourcing on fish and aim for consuming seafood 2-3 times per week. Stick to smaller fish for less concern of mercury and use tuna, swordfish and larger fish sparingly. Sardines and anchovies can be great nutrient-dense sources with very low toxicity, check out this recipe for Thai Sardine Cakes for a sneaky way to incorporate them! talFlax seeds also can help to detoxify excess estrogen through their lignans, which can aid in removal of excess estrogen, allowing healthy hormonal balance.
Zinc: red meat, pumpkin seeds, cacao, oysters
This mineral plays a role in PCOS-driving elevated insulin, and imbalanced testosterone expression. It also plays a role with fat metabolism and ultimately vitamin A status, which can drive low antioxidant status leading to inflammation and unsuccessful fertilization or birth defects.
Stress supporters: Maca root
Maca stimulates the pituitary gland which stimulates human growth hormone, oxytocin, and progesterone production. Progesterone aids in healthy implantation of the fertilized egg and provides support for healthy placental production to prevent miscarriage. Maca also aids in healthy libido which can make the fertility process a lot more fun and remove the forced mechanical role that can often dampen the process! Aim for 1 tsp daily added to a smoothie or shake like the recipe below. Maca can also be incorporated into coffee or tea and pairs especially well with dark chocolate like in this Maca Cacao Avocado Mousse!
High-Quality Prenatal such as MultiAvail Mama
A sound multivitamin is an important foundation to optimizing fertility and supporting healthy fetal development. Look for a product that is free of dyes, fillers, and is 3rd party assessed for purity. I also recommend ensuring your multivitamin has methylated B-vitamins this is important as about 40% of the population have a genetic mutation where they are not able to use synthetic folate. A good quality methylated form will be listed as 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (also known as Nature Folate) and B-12 will be listed as methylcobalamin. Choline is another nutrient to look for in a quality multivitamin that aids with fetal brain development and fertility.
Quality Fish Oil such as EPA DHA Extra
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy fetal brain development and to maintain an anti-inflammatory state in the body allowing successful fertility and implantation. Look for a product that is 3rd party assessed for PCBs, mercury, toxins, and purity. Aim for at least 1 gram of EPA/DHA, some patients with high inflammatory markers may require a higher dosage. Note: fish oil is a natural blood thinner and if taking a therapeutic dosage of 2g or higher, this will need to be reduced about 10 days prior to giving birth to avoid hemorrhage.
Probiotic with at least 15 Billion Live Active Cultures such as Restore Baseline Probiotic
The addition of a probiotic ensures during this immune-compromised time, mama’s body is loaded with good bacteria to defend against pathogens and foodborne illness as well as cold, virus, and illness while providing a nice boost in the microbiome to support healthy inoculation for baby!
The Mama-To-Be Bundle contains these 3 supplements and is a great starting point 1 year prior to starting to try for baby!
Maca: this Peruvian root has long been acknowledged for its role in boosting libido and fertility in both women and men. It tonifys the pituitary gland in the brain which is often imbalanced from stress response leading to decreased progesterone hormone production.
Bioidentical progesterone: is often needed with infertility. This needs to be prescribed via consultation following hormonal assessment, consider the NeuroHormone Complete Plus if you suspect a hormonal issue is at the root of your fertility struggles!
CHOCOLATE BOOST SMOOTHIE RECIPE
8oz filtered water or almond milk
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maca
½ cup crushed ice
½ avocado (about ¼ cup)
2 Tbsp raw cacao
1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
1 scoop grass-fed whey protein
Blend water or almond milk with almond butter, maca, and crushed ice for 30 seconds until smooth. Then add dates, avocado, cacao, and flax seeds. Once mixed, whip in grass-fed whey protein for about 5 seconds just to incorporate, but not froth!
Not sure what an ingredient is or which brand to choose? Check out the Ali Miller RD Amazon Store for pantry staples, favorite snacks and more!