Are you trying to get pregnant? If so, did you know that the foods you eat today impact the health of your eggs and sperm 90 days from now? Include these five foods daily to boost your egg and sperm quality:
- Green leafy vegetables – Such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, watercress, rocket, spinach & chard are packed with essential nutrients including the vitamins A, C, E & K and antioxidants. Importantly for conception they are a rich source of the vital B vitamin Folate, which is crucial for DNA duplication in the egg and sperm. Also Folate helps prevent certain birth defects. The dark green leafy veg are also a fantastic source of the important mineral Magnesium, a deficiency of which has been linked to female infertility.
- Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards are rich sources of the omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFA’S), which are vital for male and female fertility. The Omega 3, DHA has been shown to integral to the development of sperm and is very important for your baby’s brain development during pregnancy. If you are vegetarian then the best source of DHA & EPA is marine algae, which you can obtain in supplement form. To ensure the correct supplemental ratios and dosages it is important to consult with a fully qualified and registered Nutritional Therapist.
- Zinc rich foods – Shell fish, organic grass fed beef & lamb, pumpkin Seeds (other seeds rich in zinc include: sesame, chia, sunflower & flaxseeds), cashew nuts (other nuts rich in zinc include: pecans, almonds, walnuts & pine nuts), beans & lentils, mushrooms, low sugar releasing grains including oats & Quinoa. Zinc is crucial for cell division and therefore a fundamental nutrient for sperm and egg development and conception
- Swap white Carbs for Complex carbs – e.g. have wholegrain bread, pasta, rice, sweet potatoes instead of white…don’t always have wheat based carbs, try non-gluten grains such as quinoa and buckwheat. The reason is two-fold, white (refined) carbs have a high Glycaemic Index (GI) and load (GL) and disrupt blood sugar balance, which in turn disrupts your reproductive hormone balance. The complex carbs don’t have the same disrupting effect on blood sugar and hormones. Secondly, by removing the husk (white/refined products) the essential nutrients such as B6 are also removed. The complex carbs still have their husks intact and so too their nutrient content. Good sources of B6 include: wholegrains, avocado, spinach, banana, wild caught fish, grass fed meats, eggs, legumes
- Have good quality protein with every meal – such as organic grass fed meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes – Protein provides the building blocks for male and female reproductive hormones and balances blood sugar levels. It also provides the building blocks for your baby’s developing body….bones, hair, teeth, brain, neurotransmitters etc…
- Last but not least, don’t forget to cut out the fertility blockers – alcohol, too much caffeine, sugary foods and reduce your exposure to toxins (e.g. chemicals in personal care products, home cleaning products, pollution etc.), go organic where possible and super importantly manage your stress levels through exercise and mindfulness