Approximately 10 percent of reproductive-age couples in the United States struggle with fertility issues. About one-third of infertility cases are due to a problem with the male partner only. Another one-third of cases involve both the male and female partners. The remaining third is a problem with only the female partner. Obviously a couple planning a family needs to work together to reach optimum health for optimum fertility. Nutrition and fertility are intimately linked.
Harvard researchers have solid scientific data linking fertility to diet and lifestyle. If fact, their data show a whopping 80% decrease in infertility (due to ovulatory disorders) in women who switched to a fertility diet. Like other experts in the natural health field, these researchers found that the most potent fertility foods are whole grains, healthy fats, quality protein, and full-fat dairy. When shopping for foods, always chose carbohydrates, fats, and proteins as nature intended –that is, as close to their natural state as possible.
A fertility diet should include organic whole foods such as:
- Plenty of fresh vegetables, including dark, leafy greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens), colorful vegetables (red, green, orange), and fresh fruit (pomegranates, blueberries, strawberries, etc).
- Nutrient-dense, gluten-free whole grains (and pseudo-grains), such as amaranth, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet.
- Healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and flaxseed oil. You will get your omega-3, zinc, vitamin E, and some protein.
- Organic meat (e.g. red meat, liver, chicken, turkey) and animal fats, such as butter, cheese, and full-fat milk from pastured animals (if you tolerate dairy). Grass-fed meats will provide you with omega 3’s, iron, vitamin B12, and quality protein.
- Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir for vitamins B12 and D, and zinc
- Wild salmon and other seafood, such as oysters, shrimp, crab, etc. provide vitamins B12 and D, omega 3’s, zinc, selenium, and, CoQ10.
- Pastured eggs for vitamins D and B12, and protein. Pastured eggs yolks have a deep orange/yellow color and are well worth the extra cost. They provide more nutrients and are cleaner than the general factory farmed egg.
- Lentils and other beans for iron and folic acid.
- “Vitamin S” (sunshine)
- “Vitamin E” (exercise)
Until next time, make every bite count!