Zita West & Dr Frederica Amati IGTC | Nutrition & Fertility
In a recent IG Live, fertility expert Zita West and Medical Scientist & Public Health Nutritionist Dr Frederica Amati delved into the intricate relationship between nutrition and fertility. Here are the main talking points and advice:
Research on intermittent fasting mainly focuses on weight loss, with little evidence suggesting a direct link to fertility. Dr Amati advises caution, highlighting that fasting may affect menstrual cycles and egg quality.
Both experts agree that alcohol should be avoided when trying to conceive and during pregnancy due to its neurotoxic effects. Men should also note that alcohol can impair sperm quality.
Sugar and Cravings
While sugar, especially added sugars, is generally not beneficial for health, the discussion did not dwell much on its impact on fertility or pregnancy.
Men's lifestyle choices also play a significant role in fertility. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles can affect sperm quality. Preparing 90 days in advance before conception is advisable for both genders.
The "thousand days" from conception to a child's second birthday are crucial. Nutritional reserves, rather than daily intake, are what sustain a pregnancy and a child's early life.
Veganism and Keto Diets
Vegan diets require careful planning to ensure essential nutrients are obtained. The keto diet, on the other hand, is not recommended for its lack of sustainability and health benefits.
MTHFR Gene Mutation and Folate
Those with the MTHFR gene mutation should consider taking methylfolate instead of folic acid, as it is easier to metabolise.
Gut and Vaginal Microbiome
An unhealthy gut can negatively impact the vaginal microbiome, affecting fertility. Stress and lifestyle choices like extreme fasting can exacerbate these effects.
Mindset and Prioritisation
Individual well-being on multiple levels—physical, mental, and emotional—is essential for successful conception and healthy pregnancy. Taking time for self-care is key.
The overarching message is that prioritising your well-being and being mindful of your nutritional intake can have a transformative impact on your fertility journey.
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