If you decided yesterday that you wanted a baby – would your body be baby ready? It’s the question we have come to ask ourselves as we move toward being more body aware, rather than leaving it to the God’s to decide. And it seems that every other person, her sister and his cousin is having fertility troubles. Why? So many reasons – I’d need a year to explain, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. Our diet and lifestyles are major contributors to our growing fertility problem. Of course, diet won’t solve 100% of the problem but it will undoubtedly benefit your body from tip to toe and assist in making you more fertile. Let me give you my top 10 tips to get you raring. But before I go on, know this. If you hear the word ‘fertility’ and back up a few steps, keep reading. Fertility doesn’t immediately equate to babies. Fertility is an extension of your health, the potential to conceive. It’s not limited to conception but extends to all reproductive health including health menstrual cycles right through to your bowel movements! Yup – told you to keep reading.
The recipe for good health and healthy fertility is really simple. It is simplicity. It is about keeping it basic. Basic works.
1. Pump up the Protein:
It’s essential for a healthy fertile you. Your hormones are made up of fats and protein and it is for this reason that we need to ensure we are getting enough animal and plant protein to support fertility. I’m talking 50% of each meal. Sounds a lot, but do the math – a serve of fish and salad or a quiche with salad. There you go. Not hard at all.
*Macca – high on my superfood list, it goes great guns on balancing hormones and enhancing libido
*Use Maqui to stabilize insulin – it’s the highest anti-‐oxidant on the planet! It’s important to balance insulin for reproductive health – especially in those with poly cystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid troubles.
*Come one step further – Gubinge. It’s native to Australia and is the zoop of superfoods.
4. Hydrate and some –
Quality water is a must. Preferably filtered – especially in areas where water is recycled and treated where it’s difficult to filter out hormones and medicines (think the pill and antibiotics). Good news is – a bench top jug does a good job of eliminating these nasties.
*Be mindful of water coolers – they are ok sporadically but many of them use copper piping which sets the hormones way out of whack and can be a sole contributing factor to infertility.
5. Sleep to fertility
Sleep between the hours 10pm – 6am will absolutely lower hormone levels via prolactin. This is good news for fertility as it basically sets about the correct chain of events surrounding ovulation.
6. Fresh is best – always in season.
Essentially, a balanced and wholesome diet is the key for great health and fertility. This includes a great range of colourful fruit and veggies. There are specific qualities that certain veggies contain, that can help to treat menstrual irregularities and hormone imbalances. By increasing your intake and variety of fresh produce, you will do your health and fertility big favors.
* Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this fact? It takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit – not just a pretty fruit, but a lovely symbol of fertility and gestation.
* Adding olives to your plate is useful to assist in maintaining a healthy reproductive environment and nourishing the reproductive organs. You’re body is super clever – stress will absolutely lower fertility, and so adding foods to help our body work well and cope better with stress is essential in our busy lives.
* Figs are also great for male fertility. They are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow – just like… you guessed it, testicles. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers too. This means this magic, luscious fruit helps to overcome male sterility. Figs are historically known as an aphrodisiac too – and feeling like lovin’ does just as much for fertility levels as all the eating well in the world!
7. Go Organic
The jury has been out for quite some time on organic produce and whether it is worth the money. Whilst it hasn’t been proven that organic is more nutritious, we know that organic is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, which are making us sick, can cause us to gain weight and again, muck up fertility as our guts can’t absorb the nutrients in their presence. Where possible, go organic. We can’t control everything in our environment, so we need to be mindful where the small changes can make a positive impact.
8. Treat yourself – have a drink
Creating a healthier version of yourself can be daunting – plus you may think your missing out on a truck load of goodies. As Sarah has demonstrated, once you’re in practice of wellness, the rest is much easier. But it is important to treat yourself. You can have wine, and you can have coffee! Just make sure it’s quality and you don’t go overboard (ground beans – say no more to the instant variety ). A quality coffee a day will not make you baron. As for alcohol, stick to low consumption.
*For women 2 glasses per week – anymore and it can affect ovulation. Men can tolerate a little more – 2 drinks every second day as a maximum. For men it can affect sperm quality and quantity. Just be mindful of how much is too much.
9. Ditch the plastics
Plastics leach chemicals that muck around with hormones as they act like estrogen – and too much isn’t a good thing. It may be ok to store your food in them but we must be mindful when re-‐heating.
10. Bye bye Soy
Soy is in everything and it is doing whacky things to our fertility. Minimise intake of processed soy products – a little is ok but it’s estrogen mimicking properties don’t do your hormones and ovulation any favors.
In a nutshell we need to maximize nutrient absorption to regulate our hormones and where possible eliminate toxins and chemicals. There are so many facets to fertility, not limited to diet, including emotional health, physical, reproductive health, environmental and lifestyle factors. Whilst we can’t always change our environment or job or sit on a beach sipping on coconut water all day, we can easily look at what we are putting into our bodies to make a huge difference. Tried all this and it’s still not working? Perhaps allow yourself a visit to your Natural Fertility Specialist for a specific treatment plan that works for you.
A little bit more about Dr Natalie Kringoudis:
Natalie’s belief in the benefits of alternative therapies saw her establish her own Women’s Health and Natural Fertility in Melbourne, The Pagoda Tree, in 2003.
The birth of Natalie’s first child – daughter Olivia – further fuelled her love for natural health and home living and revealed to her an entirely new treatment perspective – integrating the western medical approach with alternative therapies, Chinese medicine and natural fertility methods.
Natalie’s expertise is in women’s health and fertility, specifically supporting women to become mothers. Her knowledge in fertility and natural medicine has been featured in many publications, including Marie Claire, Cosmo Health, Cosmo Pregnancy and Body + Soul, and she has appeared on The Morning Show as their Natural Health expert.
With a passion for educating women on the use of alternative therapies and nutrition, Natalie provides her specialist insight on her website with up to the minute information on health and fertility, as well as recipes for healthy living and wellness.
It is with this passion that Natalie has written Fertilise Yourself, to allow her to share her knowledge with women world-wide.
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!