We are often asked, “What is the best ‘fertility’ diet?”
In short, whether you’re asking about eating with the goal to conceive, improve your quality of sleep, or avoid headaches, although our answers will vary, they will always reflect Michael Pollan’s wise, timeless words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
In this context, “food” refers to unprocessed, or less processed, ingredients. One way to determine whether the food on your plate is unprocessed is to ask yourself, “Could I have eaten this meal 500 years ago?”
Although SFA does not subscribe to a specific ‘fertility diet’, we have identified 6 foods that are important no matter where you are on your journey to motherhood, and regardless of your age. This list comprises mostly vegan friendly foods; if you are a vegan future-mom, consider adding a B complex and a vegan omega-3 fatty acid oil to your diet.
1. Liquid chlorophyll and lemon to start the day.
Drinking liquid chlorophyll mixed with filtered water, and adding lemon juice to taste, is a great way to start your day. Liquid chlorophyll is ‘alkalizing’; a healthier system is a slightly alkaline one. This combination also helps to oxygenate and nourish the blood which is key in building healthy follicles and uterine lining.
2. Make room for dark green leafy vegetables.
It’s easy to go through the day without seeing much green, isn’t it? You grab a granola bar on the way out the door and race to work—eating on the run. A quick sandwich with a colleague at lunch pushes you through a long exhausting day at the end of which you decide to share Thai takeout with your honey. Not a leaf in sight! But fear not, small changes add up:
- At the beginning of the week: wash, prepare, and store greens for quick access.
- Cook up or order a side of spinach or kale to go with any meal.
Dark green leafy vegetables are chock-full of vitamins and minerals, especially folate—essential for a forthcoming pregnancy. Cook most of your greens in a healthy fat like coconut oil—especially if you tend toward digestive problems—as this process makes the fat-soluble nutrients more absorbable.
3. Bone broth, the ancient nutrient boost.
Do you crave a warm bowl of chicken soup when you get sick? That’s your body’s voice of wisdom. The nutrients in bone broth help strengthen your immune system which, in turn, helps all other systems run smoothly.
Furthermore, bone broth is rich in L-glutamine which helps to repair digestive tract lining, allowing your body to absorb many other vital nutrients. An added benefit is that it’s rich in collagen, the foundation of supple, glowing skin.
4. Eggs for your eggs. (Yes, with the yolk)
Eggs are rich in essential amino acids, the building blocks of your egg follicles. Not long ago eggs were touted as ‘bad fat’, incorrectly linked to ‘high cholesterol’. Eggs, along with other fats, can be your friends, and are particularly helpful in your diet when you want to conceive. No more egg-white omelets; orange-yellow is in style. Eat the yolk.
5. Sweet potatoes, strengthening the root.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, sweet potatoes strengthen the ‘root’: our reproductive system. These better potatoes are high in vitamins A and C which are immune boosting antioxidants. Additionally, if you are cutting down on processed carbohydrates (grains and flours), sweet potatoes are a great substitute to make you feel as though you’ve had a healthy, sweet, satisfying carb that won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar.
6. Wild salmon for a dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon is rich in DHA, an important omega-3 fatty acid vital for baby’s developing brain (and beneficial for your brain health, too). Humans do not produce omega-3’s and those fatty acids are hard to come by in a diet without fatty fish. To be certain you’re getting enough, add a well sourced DHA/EPA supplement.
There is really no such thing as a specific fertility diet. Incorporating the above suggestions into a whole food plan, while continuing to cut back or eliminate processed flours and sugar (that rob your body of nutrients and leave you ‘acidic’), offers the best opportunity to create a healthy environment long term. If you make the base of each meal a protein—organic if possible—pile on the veggies, enjoy a whole grain, and sprinkle on good fats, your body will respond positively.
Get a personalized plan.
Wondering about the best way to source and incorporate these foods and practices? To get a personalized plan and learn more about boosting your fertility, schedule an appointment today.