“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Food is the foundation of a healthy body and healthy reproduction. There is a ton of information out there – it’s hard to know what to eat or where to start – especially when it comes to fertility.
The good news is that eating for optimal fertility isn’t that complicated. All you need to do is focus on eating whole foods (real food doesn’t come in boxes!) and include a variety of colours. That’s really all it takes to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to become pregnant and grow a healthy baby!
To help you get started, here is a list of nutrient-dense foods that have minerals and vitamins that are required for a healthy reproductive system and enhanced fertility:
Cruciferous vegetables: These are known as hormone cleansers, as they have a compound called indole-3-carbinol, or I3C, that helps the body eliminate excess estrogen. Some examples are broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, bok choy, turnips, and kale. For best results, try consuming these veggies raw or lightly steamed.
Berries: Berries are packed with antioxidants that protect our cells from damage. This is very important for fertility because antioxidants will protect the eggs and sperm from DNA damage while keeping the reproductive tissues healthy. Use berries in smoothies, on top of salads or as a quick snack.
Pumpkin seeds: These seeds are high in zinc, iron and omega-3. Zinc is used to create the DNA found in both the egg and the sperm. It is important for sperm health, testosterone levels, the immune system and healthy DNA.
Walnuts: Only ¼ cup of raw walnuts contains 2,270mg of omega-3 fatty acids! Omega 3’sare needed for healthy hormone production, as well as healthy brain development for your growing baby.
Chard: Iron deficiency is very common in females of reproductive age and has been associated with anovulation (when your ovaries don’t release an oocyte or egg). Only 1 cup of steamed chard contains 4 grams of iron and is also packed with vitamin C to help with iron absorption.
Lentils: Lentils are rich in folic acid which is essential for all women trying to conceive. One cup of lentils provides 90% of your daily folate requirements.
Spinach: Spinach is loaded with folic acid, iron, zinc and antioxidants. You can steam it or enjoy it raw. Add it to smoothies to increase your daily greens consumption.
Pomegranate and Acai: These fruits are known for being rich in antioxidants to help protect the egg and sperm from free radical damage. You can enjoy the pomegranate seeds whole or drink 100% pomegranate or acai juice.
Flaxseeds: Flax is high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. It also has compounds called lignans which may help regulate estrogen levels. Make sure to ground flax each time you use it as the fatty acids oxidize quickly. Add it to your smoothies, on your salads, or just mix it in water and gulp it down!
Eating healthy food is a great way to boost your fertility health. However, keep in mind that everyone is different, and one diet does not fit all – depending on your unique requirements, your body may need higher doses of specific nutrients. That’s why it’s always best to work with a naturopathic doctor who can give you an individualized treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.
To learn more about how you can support your fertility, or to book an appointment with Dr. Storoschuk ND, contact us today.