Nutrition and Fertility

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In Honor of National Infertility Awareness Week , here is a re-post of an article I wrote on nutrition and fertility. Enjoy!

Adapted from The Fertility Diet (McGraw-Hill) by Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett

If you are currently having trouble getting pregnant, have you taken a close look at your diet lately? Recently, an article was released called the “Harvard Fertility Diet,” based on information taken from the Nurses’ Health Study. This was an 8 year study that looked at 10,000 women and determined that there was in fact a correlation between diet and fertility. Now, this diet does not act like a fertility goddess! Meaning, you won’t get pregnant overnight and there are no guarantees, but hey, what have you got to lose? There are no side effects to eating this way, it sets the stage for a healthy pregnancy, and promotes an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s also a way for you to feel as though you are taking an active role in your own health, while undergoing any treatment with your fertility specialist.

Avoid Trans Fats: Start looking at labels and avoid anything that says “Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil.” Believe it or not, most margarine has trans fats! You’re better off using real butter, but in moderation.

Eat more unsaturated fats vs saturated fats: Unsaturated fats are healthy fats found in plant foods such as nuts, olive oil, and avocados. Fish is also a good source of unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are unhealthy fats found in animal products such as beef, butter, and lard.

Make one meal per day vegetarian: You don’t have to become a full time vegetarian, just replace the meat you’re currently eating at one meal with plant proteins such as beans, nuts, organic tofu or organic soybeans.

Choose complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber: Meaning eat brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. Avoid refined sugars such as white bread, cookies, white rice and processed foods.

Drink whole milk: Yes, I know this goes against what I said in #2 about avoiding saturated fats, but according to the study, “skim milk appears to promote infertility.” It is recommend that you consume a glass of milk, a small bowl of ice cream or a full fat yogurt once a day. Enjoy!

Make sure you get enough folic acid (400 micrograms a day): Eat your leafy greens, beans, oranges, and fortified cereals to get your daily fix. Or, take a whole food supplement like Juice Plus! Guaranteed to get nutrition from 20+ fruits and vegetables everyday! (For more information on Juice Plus and pregnancy, click here)

Load up on plant sources of Iron: Try to get spinach, leafy greens, nuts, dried fruit, or beans into your daily diet.

Stay hydrated: Make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Coffee and tea every once in awhile is ok, but avoid sugary sodas – per the study these, “seem to promote infertility.”

Maintain a healthy body weight: Being over or underweight can be a problem. The recommendations are to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 20 – 24.

Be active: Some physical activity can be good for you, especially if you are trying to lose weight. But be careful, as too much physical activity can promote too much lean body mass and interfere with normal hormone production and ovulation.

Always talk to your doctor before starting any new diet and exercise program. If you feel you need help with making diet changes, talk to a registered dietitian who can help you come up with an eating plan that is right for you.

What Can We

I love easy recipes that are nutritious and taste good! And I love being able to support local charities. I get really excited when I can do both, which is why I was thrilled to purchase the Kitchen Rescue Cookbook! Proceeds from this cookbook go toward supporting What Can We. photo (2)

 

 

WhatCanWe.org™ started in 2012 to raise awareness and funds for licensed, nonprofit animal rescues in order to help offset the financial hardships most currently endure due to overwhelming veterinary expenses.

Today, every 1.5 seconds a homeless animal’s life is terminated in a shelter.  That’s 40 animals every minute and nearly 2,400 animals each hour.  Fortunately, there is an army of benevolent rescue organizations that are on the front lines battling every day in an effort to positively change these numbers.

This is a beautiful book that not only contains tons of yummy recipes, but adorable pictures of owners and their pets as well! If you have an animal lover in your life, this would be the perfect gift!

 

photo 2 (1)This is a delicious and easy crock pot Chicken Tortilla Soup! You can make a big batch, and then freeze it in individual portions.

Ingredients:

3 cans chicken broth

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 red onion cut up

2 -3 carrots

2 zucchini

1 stalk celery (optional)

Cilantro – fresh (small handful) (optional)

Small can diced green chilies

1 jar Salsa (mild or medium)

1 – 14 oz. can Mexican tomatoes

Jack Cheese and tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:

Cut up vegetables, dice chicken an put into crock pot (uncooked) with all ingredients (minus chips and cheese)

Cook on low all day (approx 8 hours)

Top with tortilla chips and cheese if want

 

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Got Greens?

Acai Cherry Smoothie

Kids are smart. You can’t fool them. Although the idea of sneaking greens into a smoothie sounds good in theory, if it looks green the little ones get suspicious! Try this Acai Berry – Cherry recipe. It comes out looking more redish purple than green and it tastes delicious! Plus, Acai berries are high in anti-oxidants, so your family is getting extra nutrition!

This recipe makes about two servings:
First, add a handful of greens (I usually pick a few leaves of kale, a few leaves of spinach and a few leaves of chard off of my Tower Garden, but any leafy green will do!)

1 Sambazon Acai Berry Smoothie Packet (rinse under warm water for a few seconds to thaw before putting in blender)

1 cup organic frozen cherries

8 ounces of 100% pure Orange Juice and 8 ounces of cold filtered water (I like the tang of the Orange Juice, but dilute it with water to cut down on the sugar)

2 scoops Vanilla protein powder (I love the Juice Plus Complete because it’s made from whole foods without any artificial ingredients)

Blend in the blender or Vitamix until smooth

Enjoy!!!

How did you like it? Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe you’d like to share? Post it below! Did you like this post? Share it with your friends!!