Taking care of your fertility health starts with what foods and ingredients you use to nourish your body. Everything we consume has an impact on our overall health and wellbeing, which is especially important when we’re thinking about conceiving.
When it comes to superfoods, these nutrient dense foods offer a range of benefits for women’s fertility health. From helping to regulate our hormones to supporting healthy neural development, adding these ingredients to your diet can boost your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading to discover which superfoods have the biggest impact on our fertility health, and your ultimate checklist of superfoods to add to your fridge today.
What are superfoods?
Superfoods have been a buzzword in the health industry for years. But, what does it actually mean for an ingredient to be called a ‘superfood’?
While there isn’t one definition of what makes a superfood, there are some key criteria to measure ingredients up against. Foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids and fibre (compared to their calorie count) are seen to be nutrient dense and particularly beneficial to our overall health.
Plus, foods that have 25% more of the recommended daily intake of multiple nutrients are seen to have added benefits for our health. And any foods that have large quantities of health promoting nutrients are also seen to have ‘superfood’ status.
By adding more nutrient dense wholefoods into our diet, you’re naturally boosting your intake of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. And antioxidants are incredibly important as they work to protect the body against harmful free radicals that can impact our health and wellbeing.
How does nutrition impact our fertility?
It’s no secret that eating a balanced diet is important for our overall well being. But, how does nutrition specifically impact our reproductive and fertility health?
Recent research by the Harvard Medical School has revealed there are a handful of key ingredients that are particularly beneficial for women trying to conceive naturally, including:
Folate: essential for helping our body produce healthy red blood cells and to prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy.
Vitamin B12: important for red blood cell formation, supporting healthy bones and for healthy neural development during pregnancy.
Omega-3 fatty acids: reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease, blot clots and helpful for reducing inflammation.
Plus, many nutritionists recommend making adjustments to your diet at least 6 months prior to trying to conceive to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits of these ingredients. Our bodies need to time absorb and reap the benefits of these nutrients, so giving your body plenty of time to adjust is essential.
Plus, the nutritional status of your body at the time of conception is a key factor that determines the health and growth of a potential pregnancy. With that in mind, it’s a wise move to be proactive about eating a balanced, wholefoods diet even before you’re reading to conceive to give yourself the best chance of a successful pregnancy.
The top fertility-boosting superfoods to add to your plate
Now, let’s chat about what ingredients to add to your plate. Here are some of the most helpful superfoods to add to your diet to boost your fertility health (whether you’re ready to conceive now or not):
- Salmon: as an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, salmon is a powerful fertility superfood that can help boost our reproductive health. Some of the key benefits of salmon for our health include it may improve brain function and it can help to regulate our menstrual cycle.
- If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly option, some great plant-based sources of Omega 3 include flax seeds and walnuts.
- Quinoa: as a naturally gluten-free grain, quinoa is an important superfood that is high in both fibre and protein. This low GI carb has the ability to stabilise our blood sugar levels, prevent insulin spikes and keep our hormone levels balanced.
- Organic, whole fat Greek yogurt: full fat dairy products (such as Greek yoghurt) are helpful superfoods that are filled with protein, calcium and Vitamin D. These nutrients work together to help regulate our menstrual cycle and improve our fertility health by balancing our hormone levels.
- Spinach: dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale) are a great source of iron and folate. These nutrients are particularly important during menstruation and help to support ovulation and healthy egg development. Folate is essential during the first few weeks before and during pregnancy as it supports healthy brain, heart and neural tube development and can reduce the likelihood of development complications.
- Lentils: this humble superfood is an excellent plant-based source of protein. Plus, lentils are very high in fibre and Vitamin B plus offer a good source of iron and folate, which all work together to support optimal fertility health.
- Avocados: last but not least, we have the superfood avocados which are a great dose of folate. This ingredient also contains Vitamin K, which helps our bodies absorb nutrients and maintain hormonal balance as well as containing a helpful dose of healthy fats.
When it comes to taking care of our fertility health, nutrition is a practical way to boost our reproductive wellness naturally. By identifying which superfoods contain the highest quantity of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals, we can make sure to add more of these powerful ingredients to our diet. And the sooner we switch to a balanced, wholefoods diet, the sooner your body will reap the benefits (whether you’re ready to conceive now or not).