Montgomery Fertility Center
3202 Tower Oaks Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20852
Lifestyle Factors Affecting Fertility – Part 2
What Is Good For the Brain Is Good For the Gametes
Last month’s article discussed the importance of exercise and proper sleep in lowering inflammation in the body, which will in turn enhance fertility.
In addition to exercise and sleep, nutrition is another big issue for a lot of patients. We hand out a fertility diet brochure to patients and since reading Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s latest book, Keep Sharp, I found out it closely mirrors his diet recommendation for a healthy brain.
In his book he recommends a guide using the S.H.A.R.P. acronym.
- S: Slash the Sugar. Sugar increases inflammation. People with high blood sugar have a higher, faster rate of cognitive decline. As a matter of fact, Dr. Gupta terms Alzheimer’s as type 3 diabetes. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. A list of foods to consume regularly include: Fresh vegetables, whole berries, fish and seafood (avoid high mercury), Healthy fats-extra virgin olive oil, avocados, whole eggs, Nuts and seeds. Beans and legumes are a good source of proteins, fiber and healthy carbohydrates.
- H: Hydrate regularly. Thirst can sometimes be perceived as hunger leading to overeating. If you feel any thirst, you have waited too long.
- A: Add more Omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources, seafood (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), nuts, oils (Olive, Canola, flaxseed, soybean oil), and seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds). Reduce omega-6 fats found in processed foods and baked foods. Omega-6 is found in corn and vegetable oils and the ideal balance should be a 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 in your diet. The average American diet has a disproportionate amount of 12:1 to 25:1 omega-6 to Omega-3.
- R: Reduce Portions. I always recommend to my patient to use a smaller plate and not a platter.
- P: Plan Ahead. It is better to plan ahead. If that is not possible, make a habit of having a fruit bowl around. When hunger pangs hit, grabbing a pear or orange is healthier than grabbing a candy bar.
Dr. Gupta’s book is a very pleasant and an enjoyable book to read. In addition, it is a book that will help you enhance your fertility potential as well as help you increase your brain health.
Again, what is good for the brain is good for your gametes (eggs and sperm).