Health

Eating for Fertility Part III: Superfoods for Super Baby Making

Conception!

In Part I and Part II of Eating for Fertility we discussed aphrodisiacs and fertility and incorporating whole foods for optimal preconception health. In Part III, we’re diving into SUPERFOODS! Superfoods are the most potent, super concentrated, and nutrient rich foods on the planet. They boost immunity, alkalize the body, elevate serotonin production and enhance sexuality….all super important for super baby making!!

Here’s my short list of superfoods for super fertility:

Maca – helps to increase progesterone, which is extremely important to enhance fertility and the ability to hold the pregnancy. Maca comes from peru and is a tonic for the endocrine system. You can take this product daily. It comes in liquid, capsule and powder form.

Blue Green Algae: Chlorella (fresh water green algae) Spirulina (salt water blue- green algae)– a tiny aquatic plant that has been used by humans since pre-historic times. It’s the origin of life-giving nourishment on the planet. It is packed with nutrients (protein, vitamin A, iron, phytonutrients, etc). Blue-Green Algae nourish the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems and regulate metabolism and repair tissues. The most important quality is its ability to detox the body and help to keep it alkaline (cervical mucus which transports sperm is alkaline, so it’s important to eat alkaline foods).

Flax Seeds – Flax seeds contain B vitamins, maganese and magnesium. They are high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which your body needs to balance hormones. They also contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) knowns as lignans, which block harmful xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals in the environment which have estrogenic properties) in the body. Try to get about 2-3 tablespoons of flax seeds each day; grind them up for optimal absorption and benefits. You can add them to smoothies, oatmeals or sprinkle them over a salad or oatmeal.

Acai Berry – boosts energy levels, improves digestive function, improves mental clarity/focus, promotes sound sleep, provides all vital vitamins, contains several important minerals, and is an extremely powerful free radical fighter. Acai also has very high levels of fibers, cleanses and detoxifies the body of infectious toxins, strengthens the immune system, enhances sexual desire and performance, fights cancerous cells, slows down the aging process, promotes healthier and younger-looking skin, alleviates diabetes, normalizes and regulates cholesterol levels, helps maintain healthy heart function, minimizes inflammation & improves circulation.

Bee Pollen – Bee pollen contains all the essential components of life. The percentage of rejuvenating elements in bee pollen remarkably exceeds those present in brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. Bee pollencorrects the deficient or unbalanced nutrition, common in the customs of our present-day civilization of consuming incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to various physiological problems.

Royal Jelly – This rich concentrated food contains remarkable amounts of proteins, lipids, glucides, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, mineral substances, and specific vital factors that act as biocatalysts in cell regeneration processes within the human body. Although some of the elements found in royal jelly are in microgram quantities, they still can act supremely with co-enzymes as catalysts or can act synergistically. (Meaning, the elements’ action combined is greater than the sum of their actions taken separately.) Royal jelly is rich in protein, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, C, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol and folic acid.

Goji Berries – these tart little berries improve fertility and help to treat sexual dysfunction. They are particularly useful for those suffering from endometriosis and PCOS or anyone trying to balance hormones. They are believed to increase sexual fluids and enhance fertility.

So now that you know what superfoods are great for fertility and preconception health, how do you incorporate them into your diet? Smoothies are a great way to put a new twist on something old. Also, try my Banana Berry Fertility Bread!

Recipes:

Super Food Smoothie

▪ 2 Scoops Protein Powder (non-hormone/ no artificial sweeteners or additives)
▪ ½ Banana (frozen or fresh)
▪ 2 Tsp. Organic Spirulina Powder
▪ 1 Tsp. Maca
▪ 2 Tsp. Organic Royal Jelly/ Bee Pollen/ Propolis Plus
▪ ½ Cup Frozen Sambazon Pure Acai
▪ 1 Cup Raw Organic Milk or Unsweetened Almond Milk
▪ 3 Pieces of Ice (optional)

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Banana Berry Fertility Bread

▪ 1 Cup Gluten-Free Flour
▪ 1 Cup Non-Hormone Protein Powder
▪ 1 Tsp. Baking Soda (aluminum free)
▪ 1 Tsp. Baking Powder (aluminum free)
▪ 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
▪ ½ Tbsp Xanthan Gum
▪ ¼ Tsp. Sea Salt
▪ 3/4 Cup Overripe bananas (about 3 mashed)
▪ ¼ Cup Fresh Organic Berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
▪ ¼ Cup Raw Organic Coconut Oil (or use grapeseed oil if you don’t like the coconut)
▪ ½ Cup Unsweetened Organic Coconut (shredded)
▪ 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
▪ 1/3 Cup Raw Organic Agave
▪ ¼ Cup Raw Chopped Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.)
▪ 2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat Oven to 350*F. Lightly oil a loaf pan with olive oil.

In a medium bowl whisk the baking flour with the baking soda, baking powder, coconut, cinnamon, xanthan gum, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the bananas with the oil, agave nectar, unsweetened almond milk, and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in the berries and chopped raw nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the banana bread cool on a rack for 20 minutes before turning it out. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Food, Health

All I want is Food and Creative Love

 Eating for Fertility Part I

in celebration of National Pregnancy Month!

Pardon the Rusted Root reference (all I want is food and creative love) but considering food and love have been bedfellows for centuries, I thought it was appropriate. Food and love, sounds like a fresh new relationship, doesn’t it? You know, the blissful ones, sharing chocolate cake, gazing at each other with honeymoon eyes.

So, say you’re past the honeymoon eyes phase and onto the seed germination phase….conception…baby making. Does one have to do with the other? Does it even matter what passes your lips? You betcha it does!!

What you eat BEFORE you get pregnant is important!

Hundreds of years ago, before people really knew what vitamins, minerals and nutrients were all about, people attributed qualities such as shape (ie: foods in the shape of sexual organs such as oysters and figs) or the food’s ability to make your temperature rise (e.g. chili peppers or curry) to increased potency or fertility.(P.S. That’s a picture of a fresh fig, one of my favorite fruits!) Aphrodisiacs aside, diet really can affect your ability to conceive. Positively and negatively. And believe it or not, there’s actually a bit more to aphrodisiacs than the shape and temperature of the food!!

Overly strict dieting and excessive exercise that results in extreme weight loss may result in loss of ovulation. On the other spectrum, too much eating resulting in obesity may also inhibit fertility. The diet of both men and women trying to conceive should be well balanced, consisting of whole foods rich in folic acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Zinc. There are simple changes you can make to your diet to boost your fertility and bring your body into optimum baby making shape.The fun part is the food and creative love….aphrodisiacs!After conducting a little research on traditional aphrodisiacs and their nutritional content I found the correlation between tradition aphrodisiacs and preconception health to be uncanny! The ancient ones who ate whole foods rather than processed, chemicalized foods always got it right. Just check out a of the aphrodisiacs on the list below:Avacado: The Aztecs called the avocado tree “ahuacuatl,” which means “testicle tree” (avacados hang in pairs on the tree). Avacados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid, all of which are essential for preconception health!

Banana Flower

Bananas: Do I really have to articulate why a banana is an aphrodisiac? Besides the banana flower’s amazing phallic shape, bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, necessities for sex hormone production. Bananas also provide 452 milligrams of potassium, 33 milligrams of magnesium, and just over 2 grams of fiber. They are high in potassium and a respectable amount of magnesium as well.

Chocolate: See, there really IS a God and the Aztec’s called chocolate the “nourishment of the Gods.” Not only is chocolate a superfood, it contains more antioxidants than red wine! So if you really want more bang for your buck, try sharing a glass of Cabernet with a small piece of dark chocolate.

Oysters: have been linked with love and sexuality for hundreds of years. The ancient law of similarities reasons that their similarity to female genitalia dictates they may in fact possess sexual powers!! Similarities aside, oysters are full of vitamins and minerals like A, B1, B2 ,C and D, calcium, iodine, iron, potassium, copper, sodium, zinc, phosphorous, manganese and sulphur and the all-important omega-3 fatty acids.

Pineapple: has been traditionally used as a homeopathic treatment for impotence. It’s an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B1, copper, dietary fiber and vitamin B6.

Other aphrodisiacs include almond, arugula, asparagus, basil, broccoli rabe, carrots, fennel, figs, garlic, ginger, honey, licorice, mustard, nutmeg, pine nuts, raspberries, strawberries, truffles, vanilla, and wine.

In Part II of Food and Creative Love: Eating for Fertility and I will provide a few recipes to boost your fertility while tickling your taste buds! When I first researched and wrote this blog entry, I had so fun doing the research and learning about it that I turned it into a workshop.  One of the most awesome things ever, is that a 41 year old woman that attended this workshop (last fall) is now pregnant and due in October!

Food, Health

Getting Your Body Ready

Last week I told you guys the month of May is National Pregnancy Awareness Month. Since I am fully aware that I am NOT in fact pregnant. I thought I would dust off some Sprouting Wellness tips and talk about getting pregnant.  It’s funny, as women we tend to spend the majority of our early adult lives trying our hardest not to get pregnant, then somewhere around our late 20s to early, mid or late 30s we realize we do in fact want to get pregnant.  We try like hell and realize, it’s not so friggin easy!

While each path to conception may be different one thing everyone can do is take proactive steps to get their body ready for conception. Many parent’s to be think caring for baby begins at conception; once you see the little blue line, or the pink plus on the stick, it’s time to quit smoking, stop drinking and start buying organic. The truth is, prenatal health begins with preconception and fertility health.

Another important (often unrealized) fact to remember: it takes two to tango.  Even in the world of artificial insemination, it still takes two to tango.  And what I mean by this is, the health responsibility doesn’t solely fall on us women folk! Our men need to get healthy too. You don’t want their little swimmers crapping out before they reach the finish line, right?!

The ability to get pregnant, carry a child, fetal development, give birth naturally and breastfeed are all intertwined. Each is dependent upon lifestyle choices, diet, stress and yes, our environment. As many as one in six couples will experience fertility problems within the first year to trying to conceive, however, you can increase your odds of conception by making a few nutritional and lifestyle changes.

Fertility and preconception health awareness should begin with both parents, ideally six months to one year prior to conception. This starts with two basic tenants; the removal of toxins and the infusion of nutrients. Both male and female reproductive organs are highly susceptible to free radical or oxidative damage from environmental toxins. Environmental toxins include additives and preservatives in our food, toxics in household cleaning products as well as the products we use to clean our bodies and guilty pleasures such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

Simple changes in our diet will boost your fertility and bring your body into top baby making shape. The diet of both men and women trying to conceive should be high in folic acid, vitamin D, Vitamin E and Zinc. It’s imperative that both parents eat clean, organic foods free from pesticides, fungicides, additives and preservatives.

Men and women eating for fertility should incorporate the following foods into their diet:

Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal are good for insulin function. Refined grains (bleached flour, rice and pasta) should be omitted as they cause insulin spikes.

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard and conifers such as broccoli, cauliflower and rabe are high in folate, which is important for conception and fetal development.

Protein. Vegetarian protein from sources like beans, peas, legumes and nuts are high in iron and preferred to animal proteins. You don’t need to become a vegetarian, but meat should be limited to small occasional portions.

The right fats. Omit trans fats and saturated fats from your diet, but include monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. These will reduce inflammation and any insulin sensitivity. The can be found in avocados, nuts, chia seeds and salmon.

Fresh organic fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that will promote general, and fertility health. Many fruits such as citrus, oranges, strawberries (and green leafy vegetables) are high in folate.

Taking a conscious approach to fertility simply by adjusting your diet and lifestyle will increase your chances of conception. Removing environmental toxins and making positive, organic food choices has been shown to increase the chances of having a healthy, happy and comfortable pregnancy, a positive, safe birth with little or no intervention, a shorter postpartum recovery period and a baby who is healthy and present.