COVID-19 has resulted in people putting so many aspects of their lives on hold from weddings, vacations, to buying a new home. Managing infertility has also become challenging. A healthy lifestyle amidst COVID-19 can help you take control of an uncertain time. Many women can benefit from a diet and lifestyle reset. Eating fertility-boosting foods and managing stress can help get you in the best shape possible for your next cycle and help you regain some control in a time that feels out of control.
Junk food and carb-heavy “comfort foods” might feel good in the short term, but in the long run you’ll want to focus on foods that support your fertility. Here are some tips:
- Eat fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. I tell my clients to eat a rainbow of colors to get a wide range of nutrients. Organic matters, because women with the highest pesticide intake had a 26% lower chance of having a live birth according to a recently published study. If you’re having a hard time finding fresh produce in the grocery store or you’re limiting trips to the market, organic frozen vegetables and fruits are a great option. And keep in mind types of produce that have a longer shelf life: sweet potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, apples, and root vegetables like carrots and beets. Worried about spending a lot of money on organic? The dirty dozen and clean 15 lists help you decide what produce is okay to buy conventionally grown, and what to buy organic.
- Eat more plant-based protein (instead of meat). Good sources of plant-based protein include spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, lentils, beans and nuts. It’s easier on your wallet and has been shown to reduce the risk of infertility, including ovulatory infertility.
- Stay hydrated. Aim for drinking half your body weight in ounces of water (if you weigh 140 lbs. that is 70 oz. of water), enjoy herbal teas, and think about eating juicy or wet foods, like citrus fruits and soups and broths. Water is important for cellular heath, the health of your organs and it helps the body detoxify.
You also want to make sure you’re moving every day in a way that supports your body. The following are general guidelines; make sure to talk with your doctor before beginning a new workout routine.
- It is generally recommended to do exercise that are expansive and opening and put less stress on your body when you’re trying to conceive. Yoga is an excellent choice. The Yoga with Adriene channel on YouTube has hundreds of free yoga workouts from 10 to 60 minutes, beginner to advanced.
- Women who are underweight are advised to cut back on the intensity and frequency of exercise. That might mean swapping out your weekly distance runs, to shorter, slower jogs, or switching to walking.
- Women who are overweight are advised to gradually boost the intensity and frequency of cardio and strength training to help lose weight and build muscle.