Egg health is an extremely important factor when it comes to female fertility. Traditionally, it was believed that egg quality was only affected by one determining factor: age.
While age is usually the most critical factor for egg quality and the overall health of the ovarian reserve, it is not the only influence that can have an impact on egg health.
What other factors can influence egg quality?
As previously mentioned, age is the biggest determining factor when it comes to egg quality. With age, your ovarian reserve will become smaller. As the number of total eggs decreases, so too does the number of quality eggs remaining in the reserve.
However, it takes around 90 days for an egg to fully mature, before it is released for ovulation. During this time frame, there is window of opportunity when you can influence the health of your eggs based on your lifestyle choices.
One of the most important aspects of your lifestyle to promote healthy egg development is your diet.
How Diet Can Affect Egg Quality
During that critical 90-day period while an egg is developing, it is crucial to make the environment as conducive as possible to cultivating a high-quality egg.
One factor that can influence the nurturing capability of this environment is diet.
The type of fuel you put into your body during this stretch can have either a positive or negative impact. Eggs need to receive a certain level of nutrients to develop effectively. Obviously, a nutrient rich diet will help to create the most hospitable environment.
Some foods to target are:
- Foods high in Omega 3s
- Seafood – salmon, mackerel, halibut, tuna, oysters, shellfish
- Greens – broccoli, kale, spinach
- Foods high in protein
- 100% organic chicken, turkey, or beef (in moderation)
- Foods high in antioxidants
- Dark chocolate
- Kidney beans
- Healthy fats and oils
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Low-sugar organic fruits
- Berries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, cantaloupe, nectarines
- Organic vegetables
- Greens, turnip, cauliflower, watercress
Some foods (and life habits) to avoid are:
- Foods high in sugar
- Trans fats
- Processed meats, and other processed foods
- Trans fats – cakes, pies, donuts, etc.
- Sugary drinks – like soda and energy drinks
- Excess meat and dairy
While you certainly want to avoid the wrong types of foods that are high in sugar and fat, you also want to make sure you are getting enough healthy fats to provide the nutrients that aid healthy egg development.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet for Egg Quality
Some of the ways a well-balanced diet can help improve egg quality are by providing:
- Increased circulation
- Protection from free radicals
A diet high in healthy proteins provides the necessary energy to establish the fundamental components for healthy egg development.
A highly nutritious diet containing the right balance of healthy fats, omega 3s, proteins, low-sugar fruits, and vegetables will help supply the required nutrients and energy for quality eggs.
Good, stable circulation is important to make sure enough blood flow is reaching the ovaries. The better the circulation, the more nutrients get through to boost egg quality.
Some foods that can help increase blood flow are oranges, dark chocolate, ginseng, and garlic.
Protection from Free Radicals
Free radicals attack healthy cells and speed up the aging process. By eating an antioxidant rich diet, you can help neutralize these harmful free radicals. Food that are high in Antioxidants include: Organic berries (blue berries, raspberries, acai berries) Wheat Grass, Dark leafy greens.
If you need help with ensuring your diet is optimal to fertility. Please book a consultation with our Naturopathic Doctor to explore options you can change in your diet.