What to eat during each trimester of pregnancy

This week I want to go through each phase of pregnancy and the foods and supplements that you should take during each trimester.

In an ideal world, if you’re eating a very balanced diet you should be absolutely fine. But so often in pregnancy, women are very depleted of key nutrients, especially in the first trimester, and they need a supplement to build up their diets.

I have a range of pregnancy products that cover each trimester of pregnancy so here is what I recommend for you during each trimester.

All of our products are available in our shop.

First Trimester – Vital Essence One is our supplement to aid the first trimester. In this phase of pregnancy you’re laying down the foundations of all of your baby’s organs, and there are key nutrients that are needed during this time. One very important nutrient is folate, and we have folate, not folic acid, in all of our products.

Folate’s really important for nerve development, but also for neural tube defect, so many women are encouraged to take folic acid or folate before pregnancy and during pregnancy. Folate is rich in foods such as; broccoli, parsley, cabbage and spinach. I also can’t stress the importance of Omega 3 in this phase because so many women are low in Omega 3 before they get pregnant, so building up your stores in pregnancy will ensure you’ve got plenty of Omega 3 in your system for your developing baby’s brain. Our supplement Vital DHA is great to top-up your Omega 3.

Second Trimester – What you need to focus on during this phase is looking at bone development. So, calcium, which is rich in yoghurt and seeds, vitamin D from oily fish, magnesium which is rich in green leafy vegetables and nuts and seeds. To aid the second trimester we recommend Vital Essence Two.

Third Trimester – In this phase your baby is rapidly developing. Your baby’s brain, between 28 and 40 weeks goes through a growth period of rapid development, and it needs fats, so it’s great to eat oily fish and salmon, which is rich in Omega 3, but you’re not getting enough through diet alone, so you do need to supplement. Our supplement to support the third trimester is Vital Essence 3 along with Vital DHA.

Fourth Trimester – The postnatal period is what I call the fourth trimester. You’ve had your baby, you’ve got through your labour, but now your body really needs some key nutrients. What you eat and drink at this stage determines the content of your milk, if you’re breastfeeding, so you need good nutritious foods for the baby to be able to absorb.

Vital DHA or Omega 3 is really important after birth as your baby needs Omega 3 for his own brain development. It’s also rich in oily fish, but it’s very hard to get that amount from your diet, so taking a supplement is key. Also, there have been some studies that show, if your levels of Omega 3 are good postpartum, you’re likely to get less postpartum depression.

All of our products are available in our shop.

 

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

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Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

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What to eat for female fertility and preconception

Us women know everything about diets but we rarely know very little about good nutrition to help with fertility. Women really need to be eating a broad range of multi-coloured foods which contain a range of multi-vitamins.

This week in the Fertility Show, I am sharing with you the foods and supplements I recommend for women who are trying to conceive – also known as the preconception phase, which is the time before you get pregnant or leading up to pregnancy.

And as always, you’ll find your cheatsheet below

 

Your female fertility checklist

 

Include in your diet

Vitamin D – One of the key nutrients that a woman needs is vitamin D which you get from sunshine but also from oily fish and salmon.

Iodine –  Foods such as samphire are a really good source of iodine which is vital for the thyroid and ovaries.

Omega-3 – Omega-3 is found in oily fish and salmon but also in nuts and seeds and avocados. Omega-3 is really important for the immune system but also for cell membranes of the eggs and of the sperm.

Choline – The best source of choline is eggs, especially, egg yolk. Many women can be deficient in choline so it’s necessary to include it in your diet as it’s needed for early foetal development.

Additionally, you need to make sure that your diet includes plenty of antioxidant rich foods such as vitamin C from berries, pomegranates, vitamin E from avocados and nuts and seeds and also beta-carotene foods such as carrots and peppers.

When it comes to diets, despite our best intentions,  the body can be depleted of key nutrients and that’s where supplements come in and can top up what you’re not getting from your diet.

 

SUPPLEMENTS

What I advise to take alongside the above (click on the product link to buy in our shop)

 

Vitafem – Vitafem is a simple, effective way for women to support their fertility and ensure they are getting the essential nutrients they need while preparing for pregnancy. We advise our clients to take is Vitafem as it contains a broad range multivitamin and mineral such as; vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E and B vitamins.

Vital DHA – Another product we recommend that men take alongside the multi-vitamin and mineral is VitalDHA. Vital DHA contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids, plus a small amount of Zinc. It has been designed to help protect both partners’ DNA from oxidative damage during preconception as well as to support normal fertility and healthy sperm production. Omega 3 is rich in oily fish, but women are discouraged from eating fish too often in a week, therefore taking this supplement helps build up your stores of omega-3 prior to getting pregnant.

Vitamin D spray – Many of the women that we see are deficient in vitamin D so we encourage them to test their vitamin D levels and then use a supplement spray, depending on what results comes back.  Vitamin D plays a critical role in reproductive health. It is important for both women and men who are trying to conceive and for women when they are pregnant.

Vitafem boost – Finally, for women struggling to conceive, we recommend Vitafem boost. This is an enhanced version of Vitafem that contains vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, resveratrol, which are some of the extra antioxidants that can be found in berries, pomegranates and avocados.

To sum up, I always recommend that you lead with your diet a whole range of colourful foods, plenty of protein to build healthy eggs, take supplements to boost your intake of multivitamins and minerals, and if you’re really struggling, then I recommend Vitafem and Vitafem boost.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

Book now

Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

 

Quick & easy Beet Burst Smoothie for sperm health

Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing some of my favourite recipes from my book, The IVF Diet Book. This week I‘m sharing with you my quick and easy Beets Burst Juice which helps energise your body during your IVF and today we are adding in Vitamen Burst 2.

This is a new, premium quality, antioxidant “booster” formulation, specially designed for use as a combination product alongside Vitamen or any other good quality mutivitamin and mineral supplement.

Beetroots are a fantastic source of the antioxidant resveratrol, which is thought to help combat against age-related infertility. They also supply nitrates known to improve blood flow to the sexual organs, making them useful for male fertility and for supporting a healthy uterus during embryo implantation.

This recipe is so simple and only takes 5 minutes to prepare!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large raw beetroot
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stick
  • 120g fresh pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cucumber
  • Small piece of fresh ginger (optional)

Simply place all the ingredients in a juicer and whizz up. Divide between two glasses and mix well before serving.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

Book now

Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us: Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

 

The foods and supplements that enhance male fertility

 

In this week’s episode of The Fertility Show, I am sharing with you the foods and supplements I recommend for male fertility during the preconception phase, which is the time before your partner gets pregnant.  

I’m a big believer that key nutrients can really help with sperm health and as men are producing sperm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,  there is a lot that men can do with their diet to improve their sperm.

And as always, here’s your cheatsheet!

The foods I recommend for sperm health

Protein – Sperm needs  plenty of protein and amino acids as building blocks to build healthy sperm, so protein found in meat such as chicken is great.

Fats & Omega-3 –  Sperm also needs fats and omega-3, so rich in oily fish and nuts and seeds are good for this.

Berries – Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are very rich in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin A. Pomegranates also are a rich form of anti-oxidants.

Beetroot – Beetroot is rich is in Resveratrol, which again is a very good antioxidant for the sperm.

Orange and yellow foods – Orange and yellow foods such as carrots and peppers contain beta carotene which is great for men. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene which again is very good for sperm health.

Green leafy vegetables – Men need folic acid as much as women. It’s very good for cell division of the sperm. Folate is easily assimilated in the body and you can get it from green leafy vegetables such as;  broccoli, spinach, cabbage, parsley. Lots of green leafy vegetables will provide a good amount of folate.

The supplements I recommend for sperm health

Vitamen – We advise our male clients to take is Vitamen as it contains a broad range multivitamin and mineral that men need and possibly lack through their diet. Vitamen is specially formulated to help support male fertility and to help prepare the body for conception.

Vitamen Boost – We also have a Vitamen Boost, which is an enhanced product with lots of vitamin C, vitamin E, resveratrol and lycopene.  Vitamen Boost is a premium quality, antioxidant “booster” formulation, specially designed for use as a combination product alongside Vitamen or any other good quality mutivitamin and mineral supplement.

Vital DHA – Another product we recommend that men take alongside the multi-vitamin and mineral is Vital DHA. Vital DHA contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids, plus a small amount of Zinc. It has been designed to help protect both partners’ DNA from oxidative damage during preconception as well as to support normal fertility and healthy sperm production.

Vitamen Boost 2 – For men with a lot of sperm issues, we use Vitamen Boost 2, which is a unique combination of zinc, selenium, carnitine, arginine and lycopene developed in order to provide key nutrients that support sperm count, motility and morphology

All of our products are available in our shop.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

Book now

Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

Should you take supplements for pregnancy and fertility?

This week I want to share a little of my personal experience with you about what led me to start my own pregnancy supplement range.

My real interest in nutrition started after the birth of my son nearly 30 years ago. At that time there was very little information out there for me. There was no internet  so I had to do a lot of reading as to why I was feeling like I was, why was I feeling so low and why couldn’t I get myself out of it?

I started to read about diet and nutrition and was amazed to discover how certain nutrients could help with mood. That’s when I became interested in starting my own range of products.

I now have a range of supplements for fertility and I also have a range for pregnancy & beyond. Everything in my  range is geared towards getting key nutrients at key times for fertility and also for pregnancy and the developing baby.

I’m often asked do you need supplements if you eat a balanced diet?

Here’s my answer: Yes.

In an ideal world if everybody had a balanced diet it would be wonderful and we might not need supplements, but we all know that’s not the case. 30% of women don’t eat five portions of fruit and vegetable a day and the way that we lead our lives in the 21st century doesn’t help. When you’re very stressed, eating processed food, drinking alcohol, etc. you’re depleting your body of vital nutrients that are needed for fertility and also for pregnancy.

That’s what I’m talking about in this week’s episode of The Fertility Show…

And you can find our full range of supplements in our shop.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

Book now

Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com

 

 

The top 10 foods to boost fertility

One of the things that I’m always asked is: What can I eat to get pregnant? So this week I’m going to tell you about the specific foods that I recommend you should be eating to boost your chances of fertility.

It’s really important is building up nutritious, nutrient-dense food prior to getting pregnant, because what you need to do is to be able to build healthy eggs and healthy sperm. You should eat a whole range of foods, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but here are a few key foods which I think are important for fertility.

And as always, your cheat sheet is below!

 

My top 10 foods for fertility are…..

 

  1. Folate –  It’s a B vitamin which is key for the developing baby. Folate is found in green, leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, parsley, and cabbage.
  2. Orange and red foods – Beta carotene foods such as tomatoes, carrots and red and orange peppers all contain beta carotene and lycopene, which is especially good for sperm health.
  3. Eggs – Eggs are a very nutritious food and are very rich in choline, especially the egg yolk. Choline is needed for the developing baby for the brain and the nervous system.
  4. Beetroots – Beetroots are rich in antioxidants, especially resveratrol, so they protect the body from free radicals and they’re also good for blood flow.
  5. Nuts and seeds – Many nuts and seeds contain an array of vitamins and minerals and are very good for you in moderation. Brazil nuts contain selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant needed for male and female fertility.
  6. Good fats – When I talk about good fats, I mean things like avocados and virgin olive oil which are really rich in essential fats.
  7. Red and blue berries – Berries are very rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is important to absorb iron and it is also an antioxidant.
  8. Fish – Fish is rich in protein, but also it’s a good source of omega-3 and vitamin D.
  9. Samphire – This is a good source of iodine which is essential because many women are deficient in iodine.
  10. Yoghurt – Yoghurt is a rich source of calcium, potassium, and B vitamins, so very good for fertility.

For weekly tips, advice and wisdom on natural fertility and IVF, subscribe to our Fertility Show on YouTube.

Book now

Consultations are available at our clinic in London or via video conferencing from the comfort of your own home.

Connect with us

Call us on 0808 196 4060 or email us at clinics@zitawest.com