People often ask me what is the importance of nutrition for fertility and my response is always the same: nutrition is hugely important – not just when you are pregnant. You will hear people talk about ‘The first 1000 days’ – these are the days from conception until the child’s 2nd birthday and it is recognised that nutrition during this time can have a lasting effect not only on the child’s health but on the health and genetic predisposition of its children and grandchildren ….
But really, good nutrition shouldn’t start at conception. When you are trying to conceive, perhaps the saying ‘You are what you Eat’ should read ‘Your Baby Is What You Eat’. Eggs and sperm are cells like any other in the human body, and yet in recent years how they are nourished and looked after is largely ignored when considering they have the most important job of all – continuing the species. The maturing egg, sperm, endometrium and foetus depend upon nutrients for development. If the diet contains too many environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals, trans-fats, refined sugars, or excess additives, or is depleted of nutrients, then research shows it can significantly affect an individual’s fertility. Even in earliest times both the Greeks and the Romans recognised that alcohol had a damaging effect on a pregnancy. Vets and farmers are aware of the benefits of feeding their breeding animals a nutrient rich diet. In fact there has probably been more research done on bull sperm than human sperm!
However, studies are now beginning to show how the health of both the sperm and the egg before they even meet can affect the outcome of the pregnancy and the health of the baby, child and even through to adulthood. Studies now are suggesting that even grandparental nutritional status during mid childhood can be linked to the mortality risk ratio in their grandchildren two generations later. One could say that you can help to programme the future health of your children using pre-conceptual nutritional care.
Theoretically you should be able to obtain all the nutrients you need from a healthy balanced diet. However, research shows that only 15% of women and 13% of men even manage the Five a Day fruit and vegetables recommended by the Government, not to mention the two portions of fish a week, or whole grains. Our busy hectic lifestyles often mean skipping breakfast, grabbing a sandwich and eating it over the computer, keeping going on coffee and tea and sugary snacks and then getting home to pop a ready meal into the microwave.
Even if you do manage to eat healthily you may not be obtaining the RNIs (Referenced Nutrient Intakes) for some vitamins and minerals essential for fertility like folic acid and selenium. Poor soil quality due to modern farming methods, food manufacturing and processing and long storage periods are all contributing to the depletion in nutrient content of our food compared to the levels of 50 years ago. This is where carefully chosen, informed diet and supplement advice can really help.
So really it isn’t just the first 1000 days …. We should add at least another 3 months onto this… maybe not quite so catchy but there is no better investment and you can get the best nutritional packages right here. Find out which one is right for you.