Fertility and mental health foods to include in your diet
We all know it’s important to eat well when you’re trying for a baby, but what about nutrition for your mental health too? Trying to get pregnant can be a bit of a rollercoaster, so it’s a good idea to plan your meals with your mental as well as physical health in mind. This is easy enough though, as many fertility-friendly foods are also great mood foods. Here are some tips to help nourish both your body and mind in the same bite!
Low vitamin D and iron can reduce fertility and impact mental health
Feeling low, flat or depressed can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency. Low levels of iron, vitamin D and other nutrients can make you feel run down or negative. If you’re trying for a baby and your mental health and energy levels feel off, it’s a very good idea to speak to your doctor about it, and get some tests to check that your iron and other nutrient levels are healthy.
Balancing blood sugar is good for fertility and mental health
Keeping your blood sugar stable can help you to avoid the energy crashes and slumps that can trigger negative thoughts and feelings. Sugary food and drinks and refined carbs can give you a short burst of energy, but it can quickly wear off and leave you feeling drained. Fortunately, complex carbs tend to be better for fertility as well as for managing your energy levels. Oatmeal is a fertility-positive food that’s also good for your energy levels, as it keeps you feeling full for longer. As well as being full of nutrients and an energy-level stabiliser, high-fibre, low-glycemic carbs such as oats are associated with improved outcomes in fertility, according to an American study.
Gut bacteria affects mental health, fertility and more!
We all know that whole foods tend to be better in all ways than heavily processed foods – but scientists now believe that our gut bacteria may have a huge effect on both our moods and fertility. Keeping your internal bacteria happy with fruit, veg, healthy fats and whole grains looks to be even more important than we thought. Probiotic foods such as kimchi can help to rebalance your internal bacteria, and there are even special healthy bacteria supplements for fertility.
Nuts and seeds benefit fertility and mental health
Nuts and seeds are foods with many proven benefits to both fertility and feelings! All edible seeds and nuts can help to support fertility, but pumpkin and squash seeds are rich in a nutrient called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps create serotonin – the chemical responsible for happy and positive feelings in the brain.
Mental health and fertility benefit from DHA Omega-3
While most people know about the Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood, fish can contain high levels of mercury. Chia seeds, walnuts and DHA-rich algae oil capsules can all help to up your intake. Omega-3 fats are important in brain health and may also be involved in the functioning of serotonin, a neurotransmitter important in the regulation of mood. This vital nutrient is also hugely important for egg health and pregnancy.
Vitamin D is vital for fertility and robust mental health
Vitamin D deficiency can lower your mood as well as your fertility. While you can get vitamin D just from being outdoors, it is difficult for many of us to maintain a decent level without exposing our skin to the sun too much. Skin with more melanin requires more sunshine, so it’s difficult to know if you’re getting enough. A supplement is the best way to quickly top your levels, but certain mushrooms can also help you take in more of the “sunshine vitamin”.