My partner and I have been trying for a baby for nearly a year with no success. What can we do to improve our chances of conceiving?
Mary Lou Harris answers:
Fertility and miscarriage issues are on the rise, and a source of great distress for couples who dearly want children. Stress levels are a key factor in fertility problems, but managing blood sugar levels can help. This is achieved by swapping white refined carbohydrates with unrefined vegetables and low sugar fruits, replacing sugary and canned drinks with low sugar fresh juice and water and changing from caffeinated drinks and alcohol to herbal teas and sparkling water. Stopping smoking is also vital. Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in lowered fertility, so get at least 20 minutes of sun exposure a day where possible (even on overcast days) and take a good vitamin D3 supplement in winter. The antioxidant vitamins C and E, minerals zinc and selenium and other antioxidants are vital for male and female fertility. Nuts (not peanuts or soy) and seeds; fresh organic vegetables of varying colours, like red, yellow and orange peppers; kale; spinach; organic eggs and oily fish are all fabulous fertility foods. Omega-3-rich oily fish are outstanding for improving fertility in both men and women. Try to eat at least four portions of smaller oily fish (e.g. wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, kippers and herring) a week.
Your situation is not a hopeless case and is more within your control than you may have realised. Good luck.
Mary-Lou Harris (FdSc, Dip ION, ITEC) is the head nutritionist with New You Boot Camp.