I want to introduce guest poster, Monica. Many of us, including myself, have dreams of having a family. However, it’s not always easy with an autoimmune disease. Monica was able to overcome this hurtle and have a child of her own. I hope these tips are helpful to you, I know they are for me looking into the future.
As you can imagine, autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes and psoriasis can have an effect on a women’s fertility.
These diseases are linked to the most common fertility issues, including PCOS, endometriosis, premature ovarian aging (POA) and unexplained infertility (1,2). When you’re dealing with autoimmunity, it’s important to rebalance peace within the body. Because let’s face it- a body attacking its self is not a hospitable environment for your baby to thrive in!
I went years without knowing I had an autoimmune issue that was not only affecting my fertility, but making me infertile. For me it was High Natural Killer Cells (over active immune system) – silent killer, as I was symptomless.
After 5 years of never getting pregnant, two failed IVFs and no other obvious signs; I finally got tested and found the root cause of my infertility. Luckily I had already changed my diet and lifestyle to Paleo. So when I found out I had an autoimmune issue, making the transition to AIP was that much easier.
My fertility journey exposed my autoimmune issue. But for those who already know about their autoimmune issue, you’ll be one step ahead in restoring the peace inside your body and achieving your dream family (along with limiting the medical support you might need). By making clean eating a lifestyle (along with movement and good mental health), you can support your body in healing it’s self & improve your fertility.
So here’s my top 5 AIP approved fertility foods:
We all know you need to get your green leafy vegetables in, so let’s skip that one!
Liver- you know you loved it. Okay, love is a strong word and I know it’s hard for most to go there, but it’s a must to improve overall health and to optimize fertility. Liver is perhaps one of the most nutrient-dense foods, as it is a rich source of folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin A.
You only need 3-4oz of liver once or twice a week, so it’s achievable! Mince it, pate it or hide it – just try your best to get it down!
2. Oily Fish
Oily fish, such as mackerel, herring, wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, mollusks, and shellfish, are one of the best sources of omega-3’s (aka healthy fat), including DHA and EPA. Plus, oily fish is loaded with selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Omega-3’s are also anti-inflammatory, therefore helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Obviously, when eating fish you need to be aware of mercury levels and try your best to get it from nature-line caught source.
3. Bone Broth or Meat Broth
Bone broth is a rich source of the amino acids proline, glycine, glutamine, and arginine. The gelatin found bone broth is a deeply nourishing and helps to heal and seal your gut and promoting healthy digestion. If bone broth doesn’t work for you, use a GAPS meat stock- you’ll get lots of the important minerals, amino acids, gelatin, etc. without the high histamine and glutamic acid found in bone broth.
4. Coconut Oil & Ghee
Between the two of these you’ll be getting K2, fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E and lauric acid, which is an antioxidant with anti-viral properties and supports our immune systems. These are also great source of saturated fat, which helps our bodies build up their own fat stores- key to maintaining consistent energy while preparing for and maintaining a health pregnancy!
High quality fats like coconut oil & ghee are also crucial for the development of your babes’ brain, so keep eating them throughout pregnancy! Both of these are great to cook with or meltdown and use in a hot drink. I keep a tub of coconut oil in the bathroom to use as lotion and makeup remover!
5. Lacto-Fermented Foods
It all starts in the gut – healthy gut dramatically improves health & fertility. Also, your growing babes’ digestive tract will be colonized by the same bacteria in your gut – How amazing is that!?! Lacto-fermented foods provide beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and lauric acid, which promote a happy digestive tract.
You can easily make them at home or if you buy them make sure you buy from a source that uses traditional fermentation techniques and are raw and unpasteurized. Make sure you keep an eye on how you feel when eating lacto-fermented foods, not everyone can tolerate them at first!
Feel free to share any fertility experiences or tips below in the comments!
Monica is a little bit obsessed with real food and can be often seen cooking with a spoon full of ghee or putting bones into the slow cooker. Her new lifestyle evolved slowly during her long journey to create a beautiful child of her own. Tired of hearing the poor nutrition advice for women and men going through infertility, Monica founded Fertility Health Coaching to promote and help others understand the importance of clean eating.
She is a qualified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, which means she’s here to help identify and eliminate the underlying causes of your fertility health issues. You can connect with Monica at www.fertilityhealthcoaching.