Afraid that whatever you eat may be sabotaging your chances of getting pregnant? Don’t despair … let’s try and make sense of it all and discover the best fertility foods for women.
Healthy Fertility Foods For Women
I am often asked: “What is the single most important diet change a woman can make to improve her chances of conceiving?” I have to reply: “There isn’t one!”
In general, foods low in fat but high in fiber should be high on your list. Aim for a diet that helps you achieve a hormonal balance. Achieving this can have a huge impact on your fertility. Try eating foods from each of the following food groups:
- Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrate – fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grain bread or pasta
- Essential Fat – omega-3, walnuts, sesame seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, flaxseed oil
- Lean Protein – yogurt, low-fat cheese, protein powder, fish (with caution), turkey, egg whites, chicken, tofu
Let’s take a closer look at some of these foods.
Colorful, Nutrient-Packed Fruit and Vegetables
Put color in your diet! The more vivid the hue, the more nutrient-packed the produce. And I’m not talking factory packaging here …
Buy brightly colored fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, red peppers, and kale. Why? Because they have the following:
Folic acid is an essential ingredient for healthy sperm and ovaries and for preventing neural tube defects during the early stages of pregnancy. It also has iron and vitamin C, two items that enhance the quality of sperm. Vitamin B6 is also important for female hormone production.
Good sources of folic acid and vitamin B are dark leafy veggies and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. Fruits, especially citrus, also have vitamin C which helps boost the immune system – another aid to a healthy conception.
Be like Popeye – eat your spinach! Like other leafy vegetables, spinach provides your body with folic acid. Watercress, peppers and asparagus are all good sources of vitamin B6.
Eat This Fertility Fungus!
Ever heard of Shiitake mushrooms …? If not, look out for them on your next shopping trip. Why should you add them to your shopping cart?
Well … seminal oxidative stress is very damaging and can lead to male infertility. Shiitake mushrooms have up to forty times more of the powerful antioxidant L-ergothionein than wheat germ. Indeed, Shiitake mushrooms have a higher quantity of this antioxidant than is found in any other food.
For this reason Shiitake mushrooms are very effective in neutralizing oxidation and increasing sperm quantity and quality.
But they are also a good to the female diet if you are trying to conceive because they are high in selenium content. Selenium is another antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals. Selenium can defend you against chromosome damage which is a primary cause for miscarriages and birth defects.
Not convinced about Shiitake mushrooms? Try this recipe as a substitute for meat. Sauté them with other vegetables and a little garlic and then serve over brown rice.
And Another Thing about Fruit and Veg …
Fruits and vegetables not only deliver a wealth of vitamins and minerals, they are also packed with free-radical-busting micronutrients. Marauding free radicals are harmful molecules that sneak into the body on the heels of everything from sunlight to car exhaust and can damage the ova, sperm, and reproductive organs.
And do you know about the value of eating pineapple? It can help your embryo implant in your uterus.
That’s because pineapple has a high bromelain content – a proteolytic enzyme which can reduce inflammation and break up certain proteins that can negatively impact implantation of your embryo.
Interestingly, the flesh of the pineapple rather than the core is the best part to eat in terms of the concentration of bromelain most conducive to pregnancy.
So try to include pineapple in your diet starting on the day of ovulation onwards.
However, do NOT eat too much pineapple at the beginning of your cycle before you ovulate. This can cause your cervical mucus to become too acidic which isn’t the best environment in which to receive your partner’s sperm.
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