When it comes to fertility, everyone seems to be an expert. They offer their opinions, whether they are wanted or not. Sifting through the tips like “My sister in law took castor oil shots and was pregnant in a month” can be confusing and extremely overwhelming. As it is the holiday season, we tend to be more indulgent in food and drink, regardless of what stage we are in life. Don’t feel guilty when Susan questions your choice of champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve if you’re in baby-making mode. CELEBRATE and enjoy yourself. One glass won’t leave you baren! It’s all about choices and control. This month we’re breaking down the foods that can help to naturally boost fertility and those that will put a damper on it.
1. Leafy Greens are not just used to make beautiful wreaths.
Spinach, romaine, arugula, broccoli, and other dark leafy greens are high in folate and Vitamin B, which has been found to help with ovulation. You don’t make friends with salad...but you do make babies! Share your next big bowl of greens with your man! Men who get higher doses of folate make healthier sperm.
When life hands you lemons… turn it into Lemonade, the Beyonce female power album...not the sugary drink.
Channel your inner Queen Bey and instead of serving fierceness towards your man, serve him some citrus. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits etc. They are loaded with Vitamin C, which improves your man's swimmer quality, avoiding lazy clumps from the get go..no one wants to start off with the lazy gene right?
Vampires are so 10 years ago.
While Bella picked Edward, we would have picked Jacob because of 6 hard packed items (and no we’re not talking about those abs). We’re talking about GARLIC. Garlic is packed with Vitamin C and B6, which regulate hormone levels and boost your immune system. Garlic is also loaded with allicin which increases blood flow to reproductive organs ;). The most impressive thing about this super herb is that it also has extremely high amounts of selenium, an antioxidant that can prevent chromosome breakage (which can be linked to miscarriages and birth defects). So... take a second helping of that baked garlic at the Christmas party!
Walnuts? Roasting on an Open Fire
It’s time to update the lyrics to “The Christmas Song” for those #Fertilifybabes in babymaking mode. Skip the chestnuts and go straight for the Walnuts. Walnuts are high in fibre and the only vegetarian food to contain Omega 3’s, which helps to produce progesterone, the hormone that promotes a healthy uterine lining ready to welcome the fertilized egg. Walnuts also have Magnesium, which can help naturally ease morning sickness. They are high in calories so portion control is important. Two tablespoons are plenty!
The Staple of Holiday Party Hors d'oeuvres - Smoked Salmon with Avocado.
Great news, every holiday party will be passing these out and they should be high on your list of items to indulge in. Salmon is one of the BEST sources of Omega 3’s and DHA, which help with healthy brain, eye and fetal development. Women with BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 or higher are particularly low on DHA so go ahead, take seconds. Avocados are not only a gift sent from the heavens, BUT they contain Vitamin K, which helps to absorb nutrients while keeping your hormonal balance. Avocados are also loaded with potassium which regulates blood pressure. You shouldn’t eat more than one a day as they are high in fat (the good kind...yes there is a good kind of fat) but the amount used on the Hors d'oeuvres is minimal so seconds and thirds are welcomed.
Choose McSnugz instead of McNuggz
We’ve all been there... sometimes a late night/early morning McDonald's run is necessary to bounce back from that late night Holiday Party, but fried and processed foods are EXTREMELY high in Trans fats. They should be avoided as they decrease your ability to react to insulin, which in turn makes you prone to irregular ovulation.
I’ll get a Non-Fat Skinny Mocha Latte with Extra Foam
While we appreciate caffeine and what it does to make the human race more tolerable in the morning. Caffeine should be limited to one 8 oz cup per day for those trying to conceive. Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic which increase blood pressure, heart rate and urine output. So you’ll need two glasses of water to make up for that morning cup of coffee. While we on the topic, studies have found that full-fat milk is actually better to consume that skim or low fat. Removing the “fat qualities” from milk changes it balance of sex hormones which hurts ovulation. The Nurses' Health Study found that one or two daily servings of whole milk or whole milk products protect against ovulatory infertility.
Sugar, oh honey honey. You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you.
What is a white powdered substance, that is highly addictive, produces the chemicals dopamine and serotonin and brings an instant boost in energy? If you said cocaine, you would be right….but the answer we are looking for is SUGAR. Yes it has the same chemical effect on your body as cocaine, scary right? The list of problems sugar can cause are never-ending, but insulin resistance, weight gain, yeast infections, lowered hormone distribution are at the top of the list. All of the above-mentioned issues all interfere with fertility, and in an actual fact sugar in some cases can cause infertility altogether. While going sugar-free is REALLY hard, it can be done, but in the holiday season, this feat seems near impossible. Look for items with natural sugars like honey, maple syrup or fruit over refined sugars like candy canes, icing and milk chocolate.
Diet...a four letter word that is not your friend
Aspartame. JUST SAY NO! Aspartame is made up of three elements: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. Even its ingredients do not sound appetizing. It not only affects fertility in women but men as well. Aspartame has been linked to damaging cell DNA, which is passed on to your future offspring by both sperm and egg. Aspartame affects the release of prolactin and growth hormone, which regulate your sex drive and functions….and NOBODY wants that.
If you can’t read it, or say it...DO NOT EAT IT. Words that are long and complicated like phenylketonurics, phenylalanine, maltodextrin etc. are not your friend. Although the front of the package says “All Natural. Low Fat. Gluten Free” does not mean it will be helpful. Flip it over, read the label….if the first 5 ingredients on the label are not REAL food like Barley, Oatmeal, Rice, Milk etc...just put it down and back away.
Remember it is all about quality and quantity. Will a 2-3 chocolate covered almonds and glass of champagne going to make it so that you’ll never have a baby...probably not, but there are so many delicious alternatives you can have that taste amazing AND will help the baby makers out in the process, really it’s a win-win! Excuse us while we grab another round of avocado and roasted garlic.