Preparing for fertility is a multi-faceted journey, filled with ups, downs, and a ton of information you’ve never thought about before. Today on the blog, we are just focusing on the food facts! Supporting women and families through nutrition is at our core. So it felt fitting to dive into the specific food groups and nutrients recommended by fertility specialists to include in your diet while navigating your individual journey.
To keep it simple, here are the top six fertility boosting food groups to focus on. These foods are listed in no particular order, all are equally as nourishing.
Yes, we’re starting off strong and giving you the go ahead to eat a plate full of cheese for dinner (we’ve all been there). In all seriousness, any kind of full-fat dairy has been shown to boost ovulatory function and fertility. You want to look for ingredients that say ‘whole milk’. This can be found in products such as grass fed butter, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese (think cheddar, mozzarella). You want to avoid anything that is labelled ‘low-fat’ as it has been linked to anovulatory infertility.
Yes, this means we encourage having a side of colourful veggies alongside that plate of full-fat cheese! Eating a variety of colourful veggies has been connected to improved gut health and microbiome diversity, as well as, an increase of antioxidants, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals in the diet. When your gut is receiving all the essential phytonutrients, it's more likely to maintain a proper balance of good and bad bacteria, which allows your body to reduce inflammation and metabolize hormones more efficiently. When selecting your veggies, keep a picture of the rainbow in mind to help you get in this variety!
Menu items you’re looking for: any of our salads or grain bowls!
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are seeds and are nutrient powerhouses, so naturally, you will find them used in a lot of our menu items. They’ve got it all - fibre, protein, healthy fats and minerals. Specific stand out nutrients are omega 3’s, zinc, vitamin E, and calcium. Omega 3’s are higher in flax, hemp, and chia seeds. Zinc is highest in pumpkin and sesame seeds. Vitamin E is highest in almonds and sunflower seeds. Calcium is highest in sesame seeds, chia seeds and almonds.
Beans & Legumes
We love all beans and legumes, there’s no picking favourites here. Both are known for their fibre and protein content and we love them for that but we also want to point out their vitamin B content and blood sugar balancing properties. To reduce your BPA exposure (that impacts your estrogen levels), when cooking with beans you want to be soaking your beans first and then cooking them from scratch. This is how we prepare our beans and legumes in the kitchen.
First things first, what does whole grain mean? You probably know it as a term that’s used to encourage your purchase of a certain kind of bread at the grocery store. Traditionally, the whole grain term means that a grain hasn’t been processed - it includes the bran, germ and endosperm, meaning that the protein, minerals, and fibre is still intact. Those three components contain all the good stuff you want when choosing grains to keep blood sugar balanced and reduce inflammation. The more you can keep your blood sugar levels stable, the less cortisol spikes you’ll have, and the lower your inflammation will be.
Yes, there’s veggies on this list twice… but for good reason. Dark green veggies are rich in all the vitamins and minerals that are essential for everyone, not just those who are looking to conceive. High in folate, calcium, iron and chlorophyll - these mighty greens are a superfood for skin, gut, liver, and heart health!
Something important to keep in mind while trying to conceive - no two journeys are the same, even from child to child. If you are finding it difficult to manage through diet and lifestyle, or simply want to have all the facts, we encourage you to reach out to your healthcare provider or check out the services offered at Twig Fertility and by Emily at Day1.
If you’re interested in ordering meals for yourself or a loved one and have any questions about dietary needs while starting the fertility journey, send us an email at email@example.com and our in-house nutritionist Julia will reach out!