The standard American diet is characterized by fast food that’s ultra-convenient, but nutrient poor. Unless someone makes a conscious effort, they are likely eating a diet that is not beneficial for health because it contains too much sugar, hydrogenated oils, too few vegetables and overly processed flour-based foods. These food choices cause unnecessary weight gain while leaving your body starving for nutrients. Nutrient deficiency is a common issue, not only in third world countries, right here in the US.
Until I became pregnant with my first son I never really gave thought to how “wholesome” my diet was and I was more concerned with it being low-fat than anything else. I was never exposed to the idea that we should question our current food supply or the governments dietary recommendations. With the explosion of the internet and easy access to information I slowly started to question what I believed. What were the chemicals that were placed in foods to make them last longer, be low-fat and sugar-free? What was I trading in health for these labels? I didn’t have any health issues at this time, I was just curious. This curiosity continued as I chose what to feed my growing son and how labels on boxed foods contained so many ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce let alone understand.
Several months after having my first son we decided to try for another child, now I was suddenly infertile and there were no explanations as to why (see my story here). This is when I dove in deep to uncover my root cause to infertility. I overhauled my diet taking gluten out completely and introduced many more vegetables. Salads every day are a far cry from having adequate vegetable intake, lol. Pasture raised chickens, beef and wild caught fish were also now a necessity, not just an occasional indulgence. Also eliminating inflammatory foods like dairy and soy were part of my protocol.
What happened next was amazing, about 16 months after implementing the dietary changes I was able to conceive! How could these simple changes have such profound results? Each person is unique in their needs. For some it may be as simple as eating more nutrient dense foods. For others a complete overhaul and strict adherence may be necessary. There’s testing to help determine one’s needs along with a good history and intake to understand the challenges at hand. Food can’t cure everything and lead to a successful pregnancy all the time, but if you haven’t tried a healing diet to improve your chances of conception now is the time to start!
Another great example of this is in women who have the MTHFR mutation. Often times these women are susceptible to having miscarriages, difficulty conceiving and/or children with neural tube defects. Guess what corrects this issue? Folate, a simple compound found naturally in nutrient dense green veggies like kale, collards, avocado and broccoli among others. Behold the healing power of food, just another fine example. Our bodies are beautifully and wonderfully made to be able to convert this natural folate to a useable form whereas MTHFR carriers may not properly convert folic acid, Vit B9, found in many supplements and fortified (aka processed foods). The time is here to start questioning how you eat and how you can improve your nutrition to reap the benefits in health, conception and pregnancy. We must do so we can teach and continue to promote health.