The autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet aims to reduce inflammation and relieve other symptoms of autoimmune disorders, which can be impacting your fertility and actually be the root cause of your infertility.
The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol is a diet that was developed by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, to help people with autoimmune disease. AIP focuses on eating nutrient-dense "real" foods, avoiding grains and legumes, and eliminating certain gut irritants, toxins, inflammatory foods, foods to which you are intolerant or sensitive. Many women have found this approach very effective for helping them improve their fertility when dealing with Unexplained Infertility (about 30%).
The Autoimmune Paleo Diet has been shown to help improve conditions such as hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, grave's disease, autoimmune thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes and more.
These diseases are linked to the most common fertility issues, including PCOS, endometriosis, premature ovarian ageing (POA) and unexplained infertility (1,2). When you’re dealing with autoimmunity, it’s important to rebalance peace within the body. Because let’s face it- a body attacking its self is not a hospitable environment for your baby to thrive in!
My Journey with AIP & Unexplained Infertility:
I went years without knowing I had an autoimmune issue that was not only affecting my fertility but making me infertile. For me, it was High Natural Killer Cells (overactive immune system) – silent killer, as I was symptomless.
After 5 years of never getting pregnant, two failed IVF's and no other obvious signs; I finally got tested and found the root cause of my infertility. Luckily I had already changed my diet and lifestyle to Paleo. So when I found out I had an autoimmune issue, making the transition to AIP was that much easier.
My fertility journey exposed my autoimmune issue. But for those who already know about their autoimmune issue, you’ll be one step ahead in restoring the peace inside your body and achieving your dream family (along with limiting the medical support you might need). By making clean eating a lifestyle (along with movement and good mental health), you can support your body in healing it’s self & improve your fertility.
The Autoimmune Paleo Diet can be beneficial for women struggling with unexplained infertility and/or autoimmune conditions such as PCOS, Insulin Resistance or POTS and Endometriosis. To discover more about using AIP to support your fertility explore these blog posts:
Here is a short version of what's on the table off the table for the AIP Diet & get your own copy of The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body over on amazon.
Below you'll find my top 5 AIP approved fertility foods:
We all know you need to get your green leafy vegetables in, so let’s skip that one!
Liver- you know you loved it. Okay, love is a strong word and I know it’s hard for most to go there, but it’s a must to improve overall health and to optimize fertility. Liver is perhaps one of the most nutrient-dense foods, as it is a rich source of folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin A.
You only need 3-4oz of liver once or twice a week, so it’s achievable! Mince it, pate it or hide it – just try your best to get it down!
Oily fish, such as mackerel, herring, wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, mollusks, and shellfish, is one of the best sources of omega-3’s (aka healthy fat), including DHA and EPA. Plus, oily fish is loaded with selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Omega-3’s are also anti-inflammatory, therefore helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Obviously, when eating fish you need to be aware of mercury levels and try your best to get it from a nature-line caught source.
3.Bone Broth or Meat Broth
Bone broth is a rich source of the amino acids proline, glycine, glutamine, and arginine. The gelatin found bone broth is deeply nourishing and helps to heal and seal your gut and promote healthy digestion. If bone broth doesn’t work for you, use a GAPS meat stock- you’ll get lots of the important minerals, amino acids, gelatin, etc. without the high histamine and glutamic acid found in bone broth.
4. Coconut Oil & Ghee
Between the two of these, you’ll be getting K2, fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E and lauric acid, which is an antioxidant with anti-viral properties and supports our immune systems. These are also a great source of saturated fat, which helps our bodies build up their own fat stores- key to maintaining consistent energy while preparing for and maintaining a healthy pregnancy!
High-quality fats like coconut oil & ghee are also crucial for the development of your babes’ brain, so keep eating them throughout pregnancy! Both of these are great to cook with or meltdown and use in a hot drink. I keep a tub of coconut oil in the bathroom to use as lotion and makeup remover!
5. Lacto-Fermented Foods
It all starts in the gut – a healthy gut dramatically improves health & fertility. Also, your growing babes’ digestive tract will be colonized by the same bacteria in your gut – How amazing is that!?! Lacto-fermented foods provide beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and lauric acid, which promote a happy digestive tract.
You can easily make them at home or if you buy them make sure you buy from a source that uses traditional fermentation techniques and is raw and unpasteurized. Make sure you keep an eye on how you feel when eating lacto-fermented foods, not everyone can tolerate them at first!
Let's Do This Together 💚
Connect with Monica over on:
🎙 Subscribe on your favourite podcast platform:
🍍Support Finding Fertility & shop for your favourite fertility-friendly products over on:
Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.
🦩 Improve your egg quality
🦩 Reduce your chance of a miscarriage
🦩 Increase your chances of getting pregnant without drugs or expensive treatments