Benefits of Eating Organic When Trying to Get Pregnant
You may have heard about the benefits of eating organic when trying to get pregnant. But what exactly does organic mean?
What does it mean for food to be organic?
Produce can be labeled organic if it’s grown on soil that has had no prohibited substances – such as pesticides and synthetic fertilizers – applied to it for three years before the fruits or vegetables are harvested, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Benefits of Organic Food Choices When Trying to Conceive
When you choose organic produce, you are limiting your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals found in pesticides. One study showed that women with the highest pesticide intake had a 26% lower chance of having a live birth.
Some small studies have shown that organic produce has more nutrients and is higher in antioxidants.
How is Meat Considered Organic?
For meat to be certified organic, animals must be raised in healthy living conditions with access to outdoor grazing for a required minimum amount of time, fed a 100% organic diet and not administered antibiotics or hormones.
Organic, pasture raised meat and dairy have a healthier balance of fats, higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and won’t expose you to added hormones and antibiotics.
How Healthy Are Organic Packaged Foods?
Packaged foods are labeled in a few different ways. If a label says, “made with organic ingredients,” at least 70% of the ingredients are organically produced. A product can be labeled “organic” only if all the ingredients are organic, with very few exceptions. Organic foods cannot contain artificial preservatives, colors or flavors or be genetically modified (GMO).
By choosing organic you are reducing your exposure to chemicals. Approximately 2,000 synthetic chemicals are allowed to be used in conventional packaged foods, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Some of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with hormones or imitate hormones produced by the endocrine system
How to Start Eating Organic
That’s a lot of information, and the goal isn’t to stress you out, but to help you make healthier choices when you’re trying to get pregnant. If you’re going to make the switch to organic, check out the EWG’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. These lists let you know which fruits and veggies have the highest levels of pesticides (don’t buy, or buy organic) and which have the lowest levels of pesticides. (okay to buy conventional, not organic).
And consider a diet that is higher in plant-based rather than animal protein, and higher in whole foods rather than packaged, processed foods. This way of eating is shown to optimize your fertility when trying to conceive.
The benefits of eating organic when trying to get pregnant have shown beneficial including boosting your overall health. We thank Jennifer Redmond, a certified integrative nutrition health coach, for writing this blog to help patients have more resources on nutrition. If you have more questions, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.
*Your consultation is FREE if you don’t have infertility insurance coverage.
Jennifer Redmond is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who has worked in the infertility field for more than 15 years. In her Empowered Fertility program, Jennifer takes a 360-degree view of her clients’ wellness and helps them implement dietary and lifestyle changes to boost fertility and feel deeply supported in the process.
Download her free guide, 3 Dietary Changes to Boost Fertility.