How can you increase your odds of getting pregnant? Give your fertility a nudge with these 5 reasons written by www.mother.ly on why you should start taking cod liver oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to good health. That’s especially true for women who are trying to conceive, currently pregnant, breastfeeding or just trying to get their hormones back on track. But while essential fatty acids are essential, we cannot produce them on our own, so we must consume them through diet and supplementation.
Research shows that the best source of omega-3 fats is fatty fish, followed by walnuts, eggs, pumpkin seeds and freshly ground flax seeds. Yet eating a serving of each of these foods per day may not give us all the amount that our bodies need. And while fish oil is a great way to supplement, cod liver oil may be the healthier choice for couples who’ve decided to start a family.
Here are 5 reasons you should start taking cod liver oil before getting pregnant.
- It can boost fertility. Omega-3 fatty acids — DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) — are known to provide a wide range of
health benefits — from a lower risk of heart disease to improvement in
cholesterol. They can also reduce inflammation, balance your hormones,
increase blood flow to the uterus, up the production of egg white cervical
mucus, improve sex drive and even support proper sperm production. Cod
liver oil thus fosters a vaginal environment that is favorable to conception
and provides you with all the ingredients you need to potentially get
- It’s lower in mercury and other heavy metals. Mercury is an element that
collects in oceans, lakes and streams; and in high quantity, it can be
detrimental to the nervous system. You want to avoid fish that is at risk of
high mercury content. Cod, especially Atlantic cod (Gadus Morhua), is a
deep-water fish that tends to have much lower mercury levels , making it
safer for women who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant. It’s also
important to choose brands that adhere to strict extraction and distillation
processes so that their oil remains clean and toxin free.
- It’s rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A boosts the immune system and promotes
good skin, bone and vision health. But it doesn’t stop there: it’s also
essential for reproductive health. Vitamin A helps follicles mature properly
and promotes cervical fluid that is more abundant and more nourishing to
the sperm. It also helps regulate hormones.
- It’s a great source of vitamin D. The human body produces vitamin D in
response to skin being exposed to sunlight. You can otherwise get this
«sunshine vitamin» through food and supplements. But according to
a Harvard study, 1 billion people are low in vitamin D, which can cause
short- and long-term health effects — one of them being the imbalance of
sex hormones. Vitamin D can help women who suffer from PCOS and can
boost progesterone and estrogen production, both of which are responsible
for regulating menstrual cycles, therefore upping your chance of successful
- It’s also good for the baby. During pregnancy, essential fatty acids are
important to your baby’s brain, nervous system, eye and heart
development. Studies also show that babies of women who consumed cod
liver oil are at lower risk for juvenile type 1 diabetes. What’s more, having a sufficient level of DHA and EPA acids can help prevent complications like
preeclampsia, premature birth and miscarriage. Finally, if you plan on
breastfeeding your child, taking cod liver oil can continue to contribute to
your baby’s brain development. And since cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D
and A, it can boost immunity and keep baby’s bones strong.
The Norwegian health authorities recommend eating fish 2-3 times a week. Taking cod liver oil / or an omega 3 product as a dietary supplement might be a good alternative to secure a daily sufficient intake of fatty acids.