9 Fertility Wonder Foods Separating Myth from Fact

Health wonder food stores

Beans are fundamental nourishment for growing great follicle quality for ripeness. Beans are high in fiber, low in fat, a good source of protein, and also rich in folate, iron, and many other vitamins and minerals. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at nearly 19,000 female nurses and found that infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein. Wonder Foods

Eat one serving each day of beans, legumes, lentils, or nuts for fertility enhancing plant-based protein.  If you aren’t sure how to cook them just add any kind of beans to your salads, chili, and soups.  But be careful with soybean-based products like Tofu and Edamame, as soy contains isoflavones, compounds that act like estrogen in the body and some (but not all) experts believe it can negatively impact conception. (Read more about Soy in Foods to Avoid section.)

Eating berries helps your eggs and his sperm! Blueberries and raspberries, in particular, are packed with antioxidants, which help prevent damage and aging to your body’s cells including your eggs. The phytonutrients and natural chemicals found in blueberries were shown in studies to have hormone-balancing properties that impact ovulation.

 In addition, anthocyanins in blueberries help to maintain the lining of your uterus, which positively influences the ability of a fertilized embryo to implant into the uterine wall.  Studies have also shown that berries can keep sperm strong and healthy, too. Though not all produce needs to be “organic” do make sure your berries are always organic as they have thin skins that absorb more pesticides than thicker-skinned produce.  Also, skip fruit juices, smoothies, and jams, which can be too high in sugar and lack the fiber of eating the whole fruit.  

Goji Berries (Wolfberries) Small red Goji berries are packed full of antioxidants. On the internet, you will read that “studies” have shown that they can increase sperm count and promote follicle growth in women.  We have not been able to find a reputable source in a medical journal to confirm this, however.  However, a report in the winter, 2004 issue of The Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association concluded that wolfberry juice has “high levels of antioxidants” and showed “beneficial immunomodulatory [immune-boosting] effects in mice.”  These berries are especially rich in carotenoids including beta-carotene and lycopene. You can get them dried, to eat like raisins, at health food stores.  Note that goji juice is expensive and you can get the same nutrients from much less expensive berries, tomatoes, and dark, leafy greens.  Sources: Medscape, WebMD, Dr. Weil

Wonder Foods Cinnamon

Cinnamon can improve insulin resistance, a condition in which the body resists the efforts of insulin to regulate blood sugar and help with proper ovarian function.  

Cinnamon likewise moderates processing, which would direct a fast ascent in glucose in the wake of eating. Sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon on your breakfast every day, try it on your whole-wheat toast, oatmeal, or some people like it in their coffee instead of sweetener.  Caution: some alternative health care websites talk about capsules of mega doses of cinnamon, these have not been clinically proven and could be a toxic burden on your organs, so don’t overdo it.  Sources: Boston.com, Fertility Facts, Wonder Foods

Green Tea

Green tea has been rumored to help conception by virtue of its antioxidants that help prevent cellular damage to reproductive organs and may make eggs more viable.

While there is some research linking green tea to increased fertility, there is not a lot of data.  A Kaiser Permanente study showed that women who drank at least ½ cup of tea every day were twice as likely to conceive as women who never drank tea. Scientists believe the hypoxanthine in tea might be necessary for the follicular fluid that helps eggs mature and get ready for fertilization. In addition, the powerful antioxidant polyphenols in tea might help prevent the chromosomal abnormalities that can cause an embryo to miscarry or fail to implant.

Green tea has less caffeine than black tea or coffee, making it a better choice, but still limit your intake to one cup per day, or drink decaffeinated tea. In addition to wanting to limit your caffeine intake, too much green tea seems to decrease the effectiveness of folic acid that is vital to fetal development.

Iron

Research shows that low iron levels play a role in infertility. Women who take iron supplements have, on average, 40 percent less risk of ovulatory infertility than those who don’t take iron supplements. In the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, women who got most of their iron from but it’s the iron from plants, called nonheme iron, that women who want to be pregnant need most. The women who got most of their iron from meat did not improve their fertility, and possibly even increased their chances of developing infertility. So be sure to include good plant sources of iron in your diet, such as spinach, red beans, and grain products (preferably whole grain, like brown rice or enriched cereals and bread). To help your body better absorb iron from the plant sources, have a vitamin C-rich food at the same meal.  Source: Fertility Facts

Foods rich in non-heme iron: Wonder Foods

  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Raisins
  • Figs
  • Peanut butter
  • Beans (black, kidney, lima, pinto)
  • Tofu
  • Hummus
  • Leafy green vegetables: kale, broccoli, and spinach
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Enriched bread, pasta, and cereals Wonder Foods

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