What You Need to Know About IVF Nutrition for Implantation:
Changes You Should Start Making Now!
IVF Nutrition is more than just making the change from McDonalds to kale chips! It’s not as intimidating (and boring!) as you might think. In fact, it can be fun and exciting. There is a possibility you will look forward to your next meal once you know what foods to eat before embryo transfer.
What this article will address and expand on
|1. Understand the importance of proper nutrition for IVF, especially nutrients like folate and Omega-3.||1. Don't underestimate the importance of nutrition in IVF. It's not just about avoiding fast foods but also about consuming nutrient-rich foods.|
|2. Include foods rich in folic acid (like eggs) and Omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon and tuna) in your diet.||2. Don't avoid proteins in your diet. They are essential for growth.|
|3. Follow a Mediterranean diet or similar healthy eating plan. This includes a good proportion of meat, vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils like olive and avocado oil.||3. Don't revert back to unhealthy eating habits post-embryo transfer. Consistency is key.|
|4. Prioritize the consumption of whole foods that reduce inflammation and promote overall health.||4. Don't rely solely on convenient and fast food options. Plan and shop for healthy foods.|
|5. Ensure you're getting enough iron, which can be found in foods like carrots, beetroots, and spinach.||5. Don't neglect the importance of professional help in crafting your diet. Consider getting a support team or a nutritionist to guide you.|
|6. Don't neglect protein sources, such as red meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.|
|7. Maintain your diet even after embryo transfer, focusing on foods rich in nitric oxide like beetroots and pomegranate for improved blood vessel function.|
|8. Consider supplementation if you are not getting all the necessary nutrients from food.|
|9. Seek help from professionals, like a dietitian, to tailor a nutrition plan for you.|
Why Should You Change Your Diet Anyway?
If I have a penny every time someone says “change your diet” every time I look for answers for certain health problems, I’d probably be rich by now. But while it seems like such a generic and overused tip, it’s actually the most important. You are what you eat, they say, and this is also true when it comes to fertility challenges.
An unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits can prevent your body from conceiving naturally. That is because certain nutrients play a key role when it comes to promoting fertility. One good example is Folate.
Vitamin B9, better known as Folate
Folate actually has an indispensable role when it comes to DNA repair. It helps the body in making these important things we call red blood cells. You might know that red blood cells carry oxygen and distribute them to the different parts of the body. When there aren’t enough red blood cells in the system, the organs can’t function optimally.
Once you conceive, folic acid has an even bigger role. It is essential for the healthy development of the spinal cord and the brain of the tiny human you are carrying in your body. There are also studies that back up the effects of folate when it comes to lowering the rates of miscarriage. Basically, this important nutrient prepares your body for pregnancy.
Unfortunately, many women have folic acid deficiency without realizing it.
Many people also don’t realize the importance of omega-3 fatty acids. You might have seen commercials about it and know that it’s good for the heart. But it’s also helpful in aiding fertility. It’s considered a good fat, it is unsaturated fat. Aside from supporting brain health, it’s also important to promote a healthy cellular structure. It corrects hormonal balance as well, which is why it’s very helpful for women of all ages.
Much has been said about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids as well when it comes to slowing down the aging process of the ovaries and ensuring that your ovaries produce healthy eggs. During pregnancy, having a healthy supply of this fatty acid prevents premature birth.
What are the Foods to Eat Before Embryo Transfer?
One factor that can influence the success of IVF treatment is your nutrition. Give yourself a fighting chance by changing your diet. You can start by getting rid of unhealthy foods such as processed foods, foods loaded in sugar, and fast foods. Aim to eat healthy, fresh and wholesome food.
Many people swear by the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for fertility because it provides the nutrients that are mentioned above and more. The Mediterranean diet promotes eating deep-sea fishes such as tuna and salmon, which are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These are readily absorbed by the body since they contain fatty acids DHA and EPA.
The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet for fertility also recommends a good proportion of meat and vegetables. For every meal, you should have a protein source and then a hefty serving of green leafy vegetables. The use of plant-based oils such as avocado oil and olive oil can make the meals even healthier.
When eating red meat, go for something more substantial like beef. It contains more essential nutrients compared to pork or chicken. You can also have eggs, which is a good source of folic acid.
Whole foods help in reducing inflammation as well. The Mediterranean diet, when done properly, can minimize many other health risks such as cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.
Iron deficiency is very common in women that suffer from fertility issues. When getting embryo transfer, it’s best to prepare your body by correcting iron deficiency. You need to make sure that your body can generate enough hemoglobin for better oxygenation of the body. You can get this nutrient from plant sources like carrots, beetroots, and spinach.
Don’t shy away from proteins as well. Many people think they should cut back on their meat consumption to become healthy but you still need proteins for growth. Aside from red meat, fish and eggs, you can get proteins from plant sources such as nuts and beans.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should always have a part in your diet. Make sure you load up on broccoli because it contains iron and has plenty of fibers for better digestion. It is also a rich source of antioxidants that can fight oxidative stress.
Get those pineapples in the fruit aisle; they contain a lot of manganese, a nutrient that you need for reproductive hormone growth.
Foods to Avoid After Embryo Transfer
Once you have had your embryo transfer, you should keep up with your Mediterranean or anti-inflammatory diet. Avoid switching back to processed food. Minimize your sugar intake. Just because you finished the transfer doesn’t mean you can revert to your old habits of fast food and sugary drinks.
Be consistent in following a healthy diet. Try to shop for healthy foods and plan your meals so you aren’t tempted to go the convenient route and get your food from a drive-through.
It’s best to increase your intake of foods rich in nitric oxide because they can help in promoting better blood vessel function. It allows blood to flow freely in your reproductive organs. Beetroots and pomegranate, particularly, are helpful post-IVF. There are studies that prove its efficacy when it comes to improving the implantation results for those who have undergone IVF cycles.
Not getting all the nutrients you need from food? Supplementation might be needed. Start looking for the right supplements to ensure that you are still getting everything you need.
How Can Holness Nutrition Help You?
How should you start changing your nutrition in preparation for IVF? Having a good support system can make it easier for you. Make sure you have a Fertility Support Team to ensure that you are on the right track.
Nicole Holness is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with more than a decade of experience working for hospitals in NYC including NYU Lagone, who can help tailor-fit a nutrition plan so your body can be in its best shape before, during and after your IVF treatment.
Nicole has worked with women who suffered from endometriosis, PCOS, hormonal imbalance, and autoimmune challenges, finding the best diet, food and nutritional plans that can benefit them without sacrificing their enjoyment of food and quality of life.
Nicole’s culinary degree ensures that the customized meal plans will not make you feel like you are restricting yourself. Through her “Fuel Your Fertility and IVF Success” program, countless women have already overcome the many obstacles of conceiving. Be a part of this successful program and start healing your body with proper nutrition and the right food.