In my practice across a number of couples who have tried every kind of fertility treatment available yet still come up empty handed with to find the right solution in order to conceive a child. More and more couples are facing infertility issues. The stress of infertility compounds the already hectic lifestyle of most couples leading to imbalances in the body such as adrenal insufficiency or fatigue, thyroid issues, and hormonal disturbances. The Standard American Diet (SAD) increases acidity in the body exacerbating these issues.
The benefits of following Ayurvedic principles go far beyond a trouble-free pregnancy. This traditional science does not only help increase fertility with diet,lifestyle changes, and herbal supplements; it also focuses on how to create a truly healthy child.
Factors Involved in Creating a Healthy Child
According to Ayurveda, preparing for conception can be easily compared to the process of farming. Just like the health of a crop depends on the quality of soil, seed, timing of sowing, and amount of watering it gets, the health of a baby depends on the health of its parents.
According to Ayurvedic principles, in order for a pregnancy to be healthy and successful, a couple needs to take care of the following four essential factors:
- Sperm/Ovum (Seeds)
- Uterus (Soil)
- Nourishment (Water)
- Time for Conception (Timing of Sowing)
Ayurveda believes creating a healthy environment for fertility is part of a long chain of metabolic transformations. It starts with the digestion of food, then goes on to transformation of food to nutrient fluid, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow, and finally, to reproductive tissue. Healthy reproductive tissue, according to Ayurveda, depends on the health of all the other tissues in the body.
Diet to Boost Fertility
- Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains including millet and quinoa
- Fermented dairy products such as yoghurt or kefir.
- Lentils and beans
- Soaked almonds or soaked walnuts (add them to smoothies, to salad dressings, and desserts!)
- Sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, plums, and pears or, in fall/winter, squash, apples, and other seasonal fruits lightly cooked in cinnamon and ghee
- Dried fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins
- Rice pudding
- Spices such as ajwain (bishop’s weed) powder, cumin (which purifies the uterus in women and the genitourinary tract in men), turmeric (to improve the interaction between hormones and targeted tissues), and black cumin.
- Lentils cooked with equal parts of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fennel seed.
- A banana cooked in grass-fed ghee, cinnamon, and cardamom is a tasty and wholesome dessert for people with strong digestion
Note: All of these foods are wonderfully alkalizing to the body. Increasing the alkaline balance is one of the best ways to boost fertility.
What Not to Use
- Preservative and other chemicals such as artificial sweeteners, conventional cleaners, and conventional beauty and personal care items.
- Foods high in fat should also not be consumed.
- Diet soda should be avoided. It contains aspartame. It’s a neurotoxin. Not good for you. Not good for your child!
- Caffeine should also be limited, especially if you’re having trouble conceiving.
- Refined carbs, such as white bread, pasta and rice (sugar rounds out my list of “heroine foods”)
- Cutting back on meat consumption.
- Alcohol (turns straight into sugar which exacerbates adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, and a host of other issues)
The Right Lifestyle
It is very important for couples who wish to conceive a child to maintain a positive mental outlook. (Easier said than done, I know.) Avoiding stress and tension is a huge factor in boosting fertility. I advise couples to practice meditation/prayer, pranayama and yoga on a regular basis to keep minds and bodies balanced.
Lifestyle factors can greatly reduce your ability to get pregnant:
Smoking presents a major risk to not only your overall health and well-being, but also to your reproductive health. Smoking interferes with your body’s ability to absorb vitamin C and zinc.
Drugs can also affect women’s reproductive health. Both over-the-counter and illegal drugs affect the body’s natural functions as well as disturbing intestinal flora which blocks absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Exposure to Chemicals and Pesticides
Women who are trying to conceive should limit their exposure to pesticides and chemicals as they can reduce your chances of getting pregnant. There are over 551 chemicals we expose ourselves to every day in our personal care products. Many are hormone disruptors, not a good thing to have if experiencing infertility!
Stress can have a major impact on women’s fertility. The importance of a positive attitude is essential when trying to get pregnant.
Being both overweight and underweight can impair a woman’s odds of getting pregnant. If you are underweight, your reproductive system will shut down because of the body’s inability to maintain a pregnancy. Being overweight or obese reduces a woman’s chances of getting pregnant due to hypertension, insulin resistance or diabetes.
Staying physically fit is essential when you’re trying to get pregnant. However, it is important to note that excessive exercise is unhealthy and can impair your ability to get pregnant.Fertility Enhancing Herbs
Nourishing herbs for the reproductive system such as Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus), Kaunch (Mucuna Pruriens), Bhilawa (Salmalia Malabarica), and Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) along with Evening Primrose oil can help increase quality and quantity of cervical mucous, sperm count and motility, and boost ability to handle stress which makes conceiving much easier.