There is a lot you can do with your diet to improve the health of both your eggs and your partner's sperm. By avoiding a few simple things, increasing your antioxidants, and implementing some healthy lifestyle habits, you can increase your chances of a successful, healthy pregnancy.
When thinking about improving the health of eggs or sperm, we first need to understand how all cells of the body become damaged. Remember your eggs are the largest cell in your body!
In order to do so, we need to take a trip back to the nitty gritty of basic chemistry.
The tiniest part of a cell is an atom. Atoms are surrounded by shells with a certain number of electrons. Atoms with a full outer shell of electrons are considered stable.
Think of an atom as a happy single gal.
When this happy single gal met her partner, she became a molecule.
A molecule is two or more atoms bonded together.
Her and her partner weren't just any molecule, but a molecule that contained oxygen. Then one sad day, she split from her partner became unstable because she no longer had a full outer shell of electrons. She sought to bond with another atom to complete her outer shell and in this process she was a FREE RADICAL.
FREE RADICALS are oxygen containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons
You don't need someone else to make you complete and falling in and out of love/partnerships is often a natural process of life. Just as oxygen molecules dividing is a natural process of cellular metabolism called oxidation.
Oxidation is a natural process of cellular metabolism and certain levels of oxidative stress is normal in our cells in order to maintain proper functioning.
This gal lived in a town where there were a lot of couples splitting up and becoming free radicals. Unfortunately, there were not enough counselors, to help them all. Overtime this town became too stressed!!
Oxidative stress is when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. This is when cell damage occurs
Luckily, the body produces natural antioxidants (counselors) to help balance free radicals. Yay! However, a constant supply of antioxidants is needed as part of one’s daily diet in order to reduce oxidative stress.
Ok, back to how this effects your fertility………
According to the center for Advanced research in Reproduction, “Oxidative stress has been shown to affect both standard semen parameters and fertilising capacity. There is extensive literature on OS and its role in male infertility and sperm DNA damage and its effects on assisted reproductive techniques”
In terms of female reproduction, there is more research accumulating on the role of ROS in female reproduction. “Particularly in oocyte (egg) development, maturation, follicular atresia, corpus luteum function and luteolysis. OS influences the oocyte and embryo quality and thus the fertilization rates ”
What to Avoid:
When improving your overall health and optimizing fertility, the external factors that cause free radicals should be avoided as much as possible. Here are the externally generated free radicals
What to Do:
INCREASE YOUR ANTIOXIDANTS!
Above all, the best antioxidant is living a balanced lifestyle where you are:
Center for Advanced Research in Human Reproduction, Infertility and Sexual Function, Glickman Urological Institute , Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
About the Author: Marie Gonzer, LAc.DiplOM
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