The benefits of the top 10 fertility boosting superfoods explained.
While eating a healthy, balanced diet, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes is the best way to get your body in shape for a baby there are certain foods which are said to boost (or at least optimise) your fertility. By including the following foods in your own and your partners diet you can help to ensure that you are getting all the important nutrients you need to make a baby.
Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa are complex carbohydrates and so not only give you lots of energy for baby-making by releasing sugar into your blood slowly and evenly, but also contain an abundance of B and E vitamins that are essential for cellular reproduction, hormonal balance and the production of healthy ova and sperm.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are the best source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-3 and omega-6 which play an important role in regulating reproductive functioning, improving blood flow and enhancing sperm quality and mobility. Flaxseed oil is a good EFA alternative for those who don't eat fish.
Full fat dairy
Research has found that women who eat at least one portion of full fat dairy a day are significantly less likely to suffer from fertility problems that those who consistently go for low fat or non dairy options. Dairy products are also a great source of calcium which is important in the development and maintenance of the nervous system, bones and blood.
Although not typically known as a food for romance, garlic contains an abundance of fertility boosting nutrients and can easily be neutralised with parsley. It's a great source of the mineral selenium which is thought to enhance male fertility and help prevent the chromosome breakage that may play a role in early miscarriage. Garlic also contains vitamin B6 which helps to regulate hormones and strengthens the immune system.
Lean red meat
Lean red meat is a great source of iron which helps to prevent anaemia, decreases the risk of ovulatory infertility and plays a role in the production and function of red blood cells. Red meat is also a good source of vitamin B12 which is essential in the maintenance and development of the nervous system.
Honey has been used to enhance fertility throughout history as it is incredibly rich in the minerals and amino acids that nourish the reproductive system and stimulate ovarian function. It's considered by many to be a fertility boosting super food.
Spinach and other leafy greens are an excellent source of folic acid which is important in optimising sperm production, facilitating regular, healthy ova production and helping to prevent neural tube defects during early pregnancy. It is also a great source of iron and vitamin C which helps to enhance sperm quality by protecting the DNA stored within it from damage.
It is the abundance of zinc found in this seafood delicacy that gives it its fertility boosting qualities. Zinc is often considered to be the most important fertility nutrient as it has been shown to help with both healthy sperm and egg production. If oysters aren't your thing, zinc can also be found in baked beans, eggs, nuts, whole grains and pumpkin seeds.
These certainly 'spice' things up in the fertility department by increasing the flow of blood around the body, ensuring that the reproductive system gets a healthy supply. Chillies also stimulate endorphin production which means more fertility boosting, stress releasing, happy hormones circulate around your body and are also an excellent source of vitamin C which helps with iron absorption.
Avocado provides a rich source of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant and an essential fertility nutrient for both men and women as it improves the viability of sperm and helps to regulate both ovulation and the production of cervical mucus. It is also an excellent source of unsaturated fats which are essential for healthy hormone functioning, olive oil is another good vegetable source.
In general when trying for a baby it pays to go for good quality, unprocessed foods as these are likely to be much richer in vitamins, minerals and nutrients and also freer from pesticides and added oestrogens that may disrupt reproductive functioning in both men and women. By supplementing a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle with the foods listed above you will help to ensure you have all the nutrients you need to ensure your reproductive system is in optimum condition.
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