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All About Insulin Resistance And Infertility: Can Veganism Help?

by | July 4, 2019

Author Lauren Myrtle Laporte explains everything about insulin resistance and infertility while elaborating on the important role a vegan diet can play in combating it.

Your body is an intricate system made of many different processes that are in constant communication. If there’s a glitch in one, chances are that you’ll get some signals crossed in other systems, too. The same applies to your hormone structure. With approximately 50 different hormones circulating your body and communicating all kinds of messages to the rest of your metabolism, even a single one out of balance can tip the scales in the favor of health troubles. Enter: your insulin levels, insulin resistance, the many underlying culprits that may be causing it, and the role of your healthy diet.

All About Insulin Resistance And Infertility: Can Veganism Help?
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All About Insulin Resistance And Infertility: Can Veganism Help?

For women who want to become moms, trying to get pregnant can be a challenge when there’s an issue with insulin. Specifically, resistance to this hormone can pose an obstacle to pregnancy and thus become a potential cause of infertility. Let’s learn more about different causes of insulin resistance, how you and your partner can treat and prevent it, and how you can enhance your fertility with a healthy vegan diet that curbs insulin resistance.

All About Insulin Resistance And Infertility: Can Veganism Help?

Find the culprit

There are many different ways to treat insulin resistance in order to improve your chances to get pregnant. However, if you don’t know the initial cause, you may only lead to temporary health improvement, hence the need to find out which underlying issue is wreaking havoc on your wellbeing. Some of the most common causes include polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS for short), being overweight or obese, and type 2 diabetes. All of these conditions can lead to hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance, which can, in turn, affect your ability to conceive.

Women dealing with insulin resistance are at risk of not ovulating at all, or rarely, which of course prevents you from conceiving. As your insulin levels are out of control, your entire endocrine system reacts and other hormones will also be out of balance. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself needing to restore your entire endocrine system’s health, and not just your insulin levels.

PCOS and your plant-based diet

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All About Insulin Resistance And Infertility: Can Veganism Help?

Since PCOS is one of the most common causes of insulin resistance that leads to infertility, let’s address that culprit first. If you have been diagnosed with this particular condition, you’ll learn that there are various treatment options depending on the severity of the situation, but adjusting your diet is a helpful way to improve your chances to conceive.

In addition to medication, a vegan diet heavily based on low-GI foods can help you control your insulin levels since their slow digestion will slowly release glucose into your bloodstream, preventing massive surges of insulin. Additionally, since PCOS affects the frequency of ovulation due to the imbalances of other hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, eating vegan can help here, too. Consuming plant-based foods rich in iron helps regulate ovulation, which in turn improves your chances of conception.

Vegan nutrition in the service of fertility

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In most situations, your diet plays a key role in handling and diminishing insulin resistance even without PCOS in the picture. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet, one that is focused on healthy food sources such as fruits and vegetables instead of junk food and sugary beverages increases your chances of fertility and reduces the time it takes to conceive.

So, as you ditch the fast food and other unhealthy items from your menu, you should follow the guidelines for nutrient intake during pregnancy and make sure you always have access to protein, iron, and calcium for the duration of your pregnancy. Balancing your micro and macronutrient intake by switching to plant-based foods can help you speed up conception and stave off insulin resistance in one fell swoop.

Enhancing your partner’s fertility

Alas, it’s not just up to you to make sure you can get pregnant. The dad also needs to make sure he’s not resistant to insulin and that he is healthy enough so that his fertility is not compromised. Among many useful pregnancy tips for men that focus on nutrition and other healthy habits, it’s wise to pay attention to the many ways that reduce insulin resistance, as well. As an example, men with risk of obesity and who indulge in too much red meat and processed, sugary foods have a higher risk of reducing their fertility.

As a general rule, it’s best that the future dad also pays more attention to his diet and switches to plant-based nutrition in order to consume lean protein, healthy fats, plenty of fiber, and ample vitamins and minerals. All of those little changes can lead to reducing insulin resistance, a higher sperm count, healthy sperm in general, and a greater chance to conceive!

Ensuring a safe vegan pregnancy

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All About Insulin Resistance And Infertility: Can Veganism Help?

As healthy as veganism is for our wellbeing and the welfare of our planet, you need to take special precautions when you’re trying to conceive on a vegan diet. This is especially relevant for people who are only now transitioning to this new lifestyle in order to treat insulin resistance and other health issues that can lead to infertility. To make sure you and your baby are both healthy and nourished, and to prepare your body for the long journey of pregnancy, make sure your nutrition is well-balanced.

Talk to your doctor on how you can create a meal plan that provides all the right nutrients for you and your baby, while it reduces insulin resistance and heals your body. High-quality sources of protein are a must while supplementing with B12 (good both for men and women when trying to have a baby), and omega-3 fatty acids are a great way to enhance your nutrient balance.

It takes two to create a new life, so while you’re doing your best to switch to a new, healthy lifestyle, make sure your spouse is right there beside you. Use these tips, and hopefully, you’ll give your body everything it needs to heal and you’ll be able to conceive with ease.

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Lauren Myrtle Laporte

Lauren Laporte is a Sydney-based health writer in love with nature and its immense healing powers. She loves giving natural solutions to health consequences of urban life when they can be applied, but never in a way that discredits the achievements and necessities of modern medicine. Nature is a dare, and she believes that getting completely and terribly lost in the wilderness carries far lesser dangers than the ever-imposing fact of slowly losing all the wilderness we can get lost in.



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