Can You Fuel Your Fertility with What You Eat? Absolutely!
I remember when I was trying to get pregnant. I was all about eating healthy and doing all the right things. After all, when trying to conceive (TTC) you could be pregnant and not even know it! I’ve found that most women are motivated to do what they can to help the baby-making process along. So, I’ve made it easy for you by creating a list of foods (actually categories of types of foods) that would be good to add to your diet right now, while you are TTC. (This comes from my book Eating Expectantly.)
Dad’s not off the hook–he should be eating these foods too, with emphasis on fruits and veggies, as well as foods rich in selenium and folic acid. Did you know that Dad’s diet can ultimately affect the DNA in his sperm and thus also affect the health of your future children? If that doesn’t inspire that dad-to-be in your life, I don’t know what will!
Below are foods recommended for the Eating Expectantly Before Baby Diet–and the nutrients that make them excellent choices while you are TTC.
Remember– variety and moderation are key.
Buckwheat: D-Chiro Inositol, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium. Buckwheat farinetta is especially rich in D-Chiro inositol. According to Angela Grassi RDN, both Myo and D-Chiro inositol help with PCOS and fertility by decreasing androgens, improving egg quality and ovarian function. Buy it straight from the grower here.
Crab and shrimp: Zinc, selenium, iodine. To fuel your fertility, make sure to eat these foods grilled or boiled, not fried! Commercially fried foods often contain trans fats.
Blueberries, cranberries, artichokes, Plum Smart juice, pomegranate juice, red / purple grape juice, dark chocolate, natural cocoa: Polyphenolic antioxidants, which fuel your fertility by protecting the cell membranes of sperm and eggs from oxidative stress.
Eggs, cod, lean beef, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower: Choline, which fuels your fertility by decreasing homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels are linked with increased risk of birth defects, which can lead to miscarriage.
Pork Tenderloin: Selenium, niacin, thiamin. Selenium deficiency has been linked to female and male fertility, and miscarriage.
Guava, watermelon, grapefruit, kiwifruit, papaya, cantaloupe, apricots, orange, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, lemons: Vitamin C and other antioxidants like lycopene, which protect reproductive organs and cells from oxidative stress.
Quinoa, chick peas, lentils and other legumes, and lean beef: Iron, zinc, B vitamins including folate. Low levels of iron in the body are linked with infertility. Sperm motility is dependent on zinc. Folate metabolism affects ovarian function, implantation and the entire process of pregnancy.
Milk and yogurt: Calcium, vitamin D, iodine, zinc. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, which are risk factors for ovulatory infertility. Women with the highest serum levels of vitamin D were more likely to become pregnant after IVF-ET.
Potato (white and sweet): Iodine, vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant which affects semen quality. Iodine is critical for the production of thyroid hormones, which are vital to reproduction.
Spinach, asparagus, kale, arugula (rocket), avocado, broccoli, tomatoes: Folate, beta carotene and other antioxidants like lycopene.
Almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts: Omega-3 fat (alpha linoleic acid), antioxidants, zinc, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese and copper. Healthy men who ate 2 1/2 ounces of walnuts daily for 12 weeks had sperm with better motility and vitality than men who didn’t eat nuts.
Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds: Vitamin E, thiamin, manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6 and folate. Vitamin E is a “super nutrient” for male fertility as it’s a strong antioxidant.
Super Spices: Black Pepper, Chili Powder, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Ginger, Oregano, Red Pepper, Rosemary, Thyme, and Turmeric: Antioxidants
Wheat germ and oatmeal: Zinc, iron, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, folate.
A Few References:
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