What we eat matters, we all know that.
Preparing your body for fertility treatment and pregnancy includes focusing on food that is dense in nutrients. This is not about calorie counting, but rather nutrient counting. Can you flip your brain to this way of thinking? Can you look at your food choices in terms of how nourishing they are, rather than how many calories they might contain?
It changes things a bit doesn’t it?
Figuring out which foods are nutrient dense and also suitable for your unique situation can be enough to melt your head. If PCOS, Endometriosis or Auto-Immune issues are a factor for you, your food choices may differ somewhat from the woman for whom age is the only factor. So what the heck do you do? Every time you raise your head, you hear a different (and probably conflicting) message about food. My advice is to go back to basics. As food journalist Michael Pollan writes in his book ‘Food Rules’;
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
…and those truly are wise words. Certainly eating plenty of plant based foods is beneficial for most of us, regardless of the fertility issue we are working with. From my work with clients over the years, my research and study, a broad nutrient dense diet is the most nourishing. The most important “rule” is to minimize processed foods, alcohol and stimulants.
There are 3 nutrient dense foods that appear in my meals several times a week and are suitable for almost everyone.
Nourishing Food #1
My all time favourite are avocados. These beauties are rich in nutrients that bust stress, balance hormones and fill us up. They also help to enhance our mood! Use them in salads, bake eggs in them, add them to sandwiches. You can even make an incredibly decadent chocolate mousse with half an avocado. The options are endless!
Nourishing Food #2
When did eggs become the bad guys? Every year it seems there is new research telling us on the one hand that eggs are the best thing since sliced bread or alternatively, that they’re going to kill is. You’d be forgiven for feeling confused. The best research tells us that eggs are power-houses of nutrition and do not cause high cholesterol. Wonderfully rich in easily digestible protein, eggs also contain substantial amounts of B12, much needed if you’re vegetarian. Also rich in minerals and vitamins that are incredibly important for healthy reproductive function.
Nourishing Food #3
Seeds that come ‘pre-packed’ with essential fats, fibre and antioxidants are a dream come true for anyone who wants to eat healthily. Linseeds (also called flax) and chia are my favourites. They are super sources of omega 3 fats, essential for healthy cell membranes (think sperm & egg cells!) The fibre is essential for healthy gut function and antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by stress, pollution and eh…life! Fling them into muesli, oatmeal or smoothies. To get the most from your seeds either soak overnight in filtered water or blitz them quickly in a coffee grinder – high nutrient value with minimal effort. These are just 3 of my favourite foods for boosting fertility and helping us to thrive daily.