Foods that enhance fertility

February 27, 2012

Infertility, Nutrition, Women

Avoid microwaving or cooking and storing in plastics, which will minimize excess estrogenic compounds that may disrupt hormone balance.

by Dr. Christina Kovalik — 

Infertility affects 10 percent of the population. Many factors may be involved in the causes of infertility, which is why it can be so challenging to properly diagnose and treat. The good news is that a variety of natural options can help address the imbalances — from nutrition, botanicals and acupuncture to homeopathy, chiropractic and energy medicine.

Nutrition is one of the most important ways to improve hormone balance and overall wellness. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet lacks vitamins, nutrients and vitality and, therefore, is not optimal for those seeking to improve fertility. Below are some dietary suggestions for enhancing fertility.

It is best to eat an array of organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, organic whole wheat) and clean meats that are free-range and grass-fed, with no hormones, additives or antibiotics. Eat more wild fish like cod, scallops and salmon, which are high in omega-3s, reduce inflammation in the body and help with hormone production. Avoid farmed-raised fish or large fish like shark, swordfish and halibut. These are higher in mercury, heavy metals or other toxins like PCBs.

Avoid microwaving or cooking and storing in plastics, which will minimize excess estrogenic compounds that may disrupt hormone balance.

Seaweeds and green foods are high in beta-carotene, vitamin A and minerals, which assist thyroid function and also build the kidney energy (Jing) in Chinese medicine.

Oysters and pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which helps improve fertility by optimizing ovarian function and sperm quality. Yams are loaded with vitamin C, folic acid and beta-carotene, and also help with progesterone production and regulation, which promotes ovulation in the second half of the cycle.

Nuts, seeds, good oils/fats, including walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, olive oil and coconut oil, are all filled with omega-3, 6 and 9, which enhance cervical mucus, hormone production and function.

Cruciferous vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage — contain di-indolmethane (DIM), which assists in balancing estrogen metabolism.

Berries — blueberries, raspberries, acai, wolfberry (goji) and pomegranate — are excellent sources of antioxidants, which reduce free radical damage and may improve egg and sperm quality.

Eating a healthy diet while incorporating exercise, meditation, affirmations and adequate sleep will help decrease stress and balance hormones naturally.

 

Dr. Christina Kovalik is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist in Scottsdale, Ariz. She is also the director of the AMCH Fertility Clinic in Phoenix and a founding member of the Blended Healthcare Consortium. www.drkovalik.com or 602-434-7922.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2010.

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