Nurturing Your Fertility Journey: Harnessing the Power of Nutrition
When on the path to conception, it is crucial to prioritize your mental and physical well-being. One aspect within your control is your diet, which holds immense potential to support and enhance your fertility. Antioxidants are great for improving cellular health and, therefore, highly beneficial to egg quality. It only takes one egg for conception, so at the end of the day, quality is just as important (if not slightly more) than quantity!
An easy way to remember which foods to eat is to focus on eating red and purple (or blue/black) foods. Foods like cherries, açaí, pomegranates, blueberries, black plums, purple sweet potatoes, cabbage, purple corn, purple cauliflower, radishes, black beans, and even purple sage and mint are high in anthocyanins. These compounds act as powerful antioxidants, reducing free radicals and lowering oxidative stress. Lowering oxidative stress protects our cells from damage. In addition, anthocyanins decrease systemic inflammation in the body and thereby help to control blood sugar and regulate the immune system. A healthy immune system and strong energy metabolism enhance egg quality and prevent pregnancy loss.
As Chinese medical practitioners, we believe in eating a balanced plant-based diet that includes vegetables and fruits of all colors, and we also think that food can be prescriptive. Therefore, focusing on high-quality organic foods at specific times is essential to achieve your desired health goals. Furthermore, we recommend that most foods be cooked or slow-cooked so that it is easy to digest and nutrients are made readily available to the body. In addition, slow-cooked and “wet foods” like oatmeal provide the body with hydration because the food has absorbed water during cooking.
Specifically, when you are trying to conceive, we not only want you to focus on purple/red/black/blue foods but also green leafy vegetables, tubers, legumes, nuts, seeds, high-quality oils and fats, oily fish, oysters, lean proteins and more. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein are essential in improving cellular health, reducing inflammation, regulating the immune system, improving circulation, balancing hormones, regulating blood sugar, and making our detoxification pathways more efficient. So, whether you are trying to conceive naturally or with ART, you should feel confident that you can significantly influence your health and egg quality with what you choose to consume.