For many, making a baby is a no-brainer. We’ve all heard stories of our friend’s sister who got pregnant on the first try, or your cousin who had an “oopsie.” But for many, 1 in 6 couples specifically (here in Canada), getting pregnant can be a long, hard and complicated process. And for many, finding answers as to why, is a big part of that process.
And it was for me.
As a nutritionist with “unexplained infertility,” I was determined to figure out the cause of my issues and what I could do to fix the problem (ironic as no one could tell me what was wrong).
So early on in my journey I compiled an extensive list of must-have foods I would aim to consume during the week. This, along with other researched-based lifestyle changes gave me some semblance of control in what felt like a very uncontrollable situation.
Below, I have included 5 of these fertility-friendly foods and a recipe to go with each. To sign up to receive the full recipes listed below, please fill out the form below. Enjoy!
1. Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin Seeds
These babies are loaded with zinc. Why should you care? Well, zinc among MANY other things helps to balance hormones (playing a role in important hormonal shifts like menstruation and ovulation), supports the immune system and plays a vital role in sperm health. Adequate zinc content of sperm is needed for function and fertilization – so make sure your partner is loading on these on the daily!
Recipe I love: Pumpkin Pie Cauliflower Porridge
These creamy creations are loaded with heart healthy, blood sugar balancing omegas – which by the way is an essential building block of hormones. I use this in excess on salads, in smoothies and topped with sea salt on a rice cake as a quick snack. Other awesome sources of omega include raw nuts and seeds, olive oil and coconut oil.
Recipe I love: High Fat Green Smoothie
Not a common part of North American diets, but I’d argue one of the most potent antioxidant and anti inflammatory foods out there. For anyone struggling with any type of inflammatory disorder such as endometriosis, turmeric is a PERFECT introductory food to experiment with.
“In vitro testing has found that this compound scavenges free radicals and protects DNA from oxidative damage. Interestingly, not only does curcumin have its own antioxidant properties, it also appears to enhance the strength of other antioxidants,” shares Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, for Global Healing Center.
Recipe I love: Turmeric Hummus
Chockfull of folate, this leafy green as an easy addition to most meals. Add to smoothies, salads or an omelet and you will hardly know it’s there. In the world of fertility, folate has been shown to help prevent pregnancy complications such a neural tube defects – an unfortunate problem with a baby’s spinal cord.
Recipe I love: Herbed Chickpeas with Avocado
I’m loving broccoli as it serves multiple purposes. 1. It’s high in fiber, which not only keeps our pipes working properly and feeling good, but the scrubbing action that fiber provides to the intestinal system keeps digestion and inflammation in check. Fiber also helps to remove excess estrogen from the system. 2. Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are high in indole-3-carbinol (I3C). This compound helps with estrogen metabolism-a hormone when in excess can cause fat gain, irregular periods and decreased sex drive.
Recipe I love: Creamy Broccoli Soup
So let’s be real. No amount of broccoli is going to magically get you pregnant – wouldn’t that be nice. So, I encourage you to look at each individual thing you do/think/eat/drink as one step closer to supporting your body to become pregnant. Before eating anything, ask yourself, “is this helping or hindering?” This is the mantra I followed during my 2 year journey.
Now, a few years later (with a daughter and a bun in the oven) I have teamed up with a fellow infertility- warrior and fitness expert, to support others struggling with infertility. We’ve created doctor-recommended and researched-based programs to help those who need it get the answers they need and nutrition, fitness and mental well-being program programs to support their fertility journey and treatments. Drop us a line if you have any questions or use this code: fruitfulfertility20 to get started today!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist