4 Fertility Food Essentials that You NeedJun 30, 2021
If we haven’t met yet, my name is Sacha and I’m a Certified Health Coach specializing in fertility, pregnancy and postpartum health. I help many couples get pregnant, many women have healthy low-risk pregnancies and many mamas feel like themselves again after birth.
But today, we are going to talk about 4 fertility boosting food essentials that you need to increase your odds of conceiving naturally. Let’s get right into it.
Our bodies need to feel safe in order to get pregnant. What makes it feel safe? A well- protected, low inflammatory environment. This is exactly what antioxidants do.
Antioxidants kill free radicals. When free radicals form, they can start to oxidize the egg and sperm. We do not want this to happen. Oxidation can be very damaging to our eggs and sperm.
Free radicals result from several factors including pesticides, smoking, alcohol, skincare products, pollution and so much more. So basically, it’s everywhere we go and in almost anything we eat, drink or use to some degree. It’s not possible to live the cleanest life at all times, but we can work with our body to help fight those bad guys as much as possible!
For foods that are rich in antioxidants, think dark and colourful -- kale, spinach, beets, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, dark chocolate. You get the picture.
Fighting free radicals, however, takes more than just eating antioxidant-rich foods. It also takes daily sweat, daily bowel movements, hydration and sometimes supplements if needed.
- Fats and Fish Oil
Before I dig deep into the benefits of fish oil, I want to start with fats in general. For fertility, a diet rich in healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats as well as the fatty acids) are shown to improve blood flow to reproductive organs, delay ovarian aging, promote ovulation, regulate hormones and increase cervical mucus. A variety of healthy fat-rich foods is essential on a daily basis. Foods rich in the good fats are: nuts, nut butters, avocado, oils (coconut, olive, avocado), seeds, oily fish, eggs.
Now, let’s get into fish oil specifically.
Fish oil is quite literally the oil that is extracted from the fish. Have you ever baked fish and noticed little fat bubbles surface when cooked? That’s the good stuff. Don’t scrape it, eat it!
Now, why do we need it?
Fish oil fat is very anti-inflammatory, which I already discussed the benefits of above. Fish oils are most known for their omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, which both provide an array of health benefits. For fertility, DHA is a building block for our hormonal systems, making it very important for those that are trying to conceive.
If you don’t eat fish regularly, approx. 1-2 portions per week, then it is good to consider a fish oil supplement.
Other good sources of omega 3 fatty acids are:
Animal: salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines.
Plant: flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts.
Protein is important for every cell in our body. That’s right, every single cell. From our tissues to enzymes, hormones to skin, muscles to blood. It benefits our entire bodily function. So needless to say, it sure is a helpful food for fertility!
Protein is also helpful for controlling our blood sugar levels. When paired with a healthy fat and a fibre (carb), protein can contribute to reduced hunger and cravings. When our blood sugar levels are balanced, our hormones are very happy; and happy hormones provides a much easier fertility journey.
Excellent sources of protein include:
Animal: eggs, poultry, lean beef, wild-caught fish, dairy
Plant: nuts, seeds, legumes, beans
Including folate-rich foods in your diet regularly can help improve egg quality and ovarian function; therefore, increasing your odds of pregnancy viability.
One study showed that women undergoing assisted reproduction (e.g. IVF) had more live birth and higher rates of implantation and live births, when increasing their intake of folate.
Folate also plays a large role in stress and inflammation in our body. When we are under a lot of stress, our bodies require more folate in general. This basically means that folate can help counteract the effects of stress.
Foods rich in folate include:
Avocado, citrus fruits, lentils, green peas, broccoli, spinach and kale.
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