The healthier your body is before pregnancy will most likely prove to be a better environment for you baby, once pregnant. Health and nutrition should be a key focus for anyone trying to conceive (and I am not just talking to women!)
A fertility smoothie is a helpful (and delicious) tool that you can harness to ensure you are getting nutrient dense super-foods that may aid fertility as well as extra servings of leafy greens.
‘Natural Fertility Info’ founder Hethir Rodriguez says “Superfoods should be a part of every couple’s fertility diet to help bridge the gap for proper nutrition, nourish the egg and the sperm, and help to balance hormones. An easy way to get fertility superfoods into your diet daily is to drink fertility smoothies.” After scouring the internet for recipes and inspiration, I have collated my suggestions here that may influence your own fertility smoothie.
From screeds and screeds of lists and ‘top tips’ here are some easy to swallow things to focus on for your diet pre-conception: Have variety in your diet, less caffeine & alcohol, more whole foods, cut down on sugar your intake, consume more ingredients known to increase fertility, have adequate protein daily, eat complex carbohydrates, avoid trans-fats & start eating healthier unsaturated fats, don’t have too much soy and of course, lots of fruit and vegetables!
There are differing opinions when it comes to dairy intake pre-conception some people recommending having only high fat dairy while others saying to avoid dairy at all costs – Your fertility journey is your own, so the choice is entirely yours! The majority of your smoothie should come from whole fruits and vegetables, add super-foods known to support fertility, some protein, healthy fats, top it off with a liquid to help blend and voila you have a nutrient dense, well rounded, meal (or snack). A resource to assist you pre-conception.
Let’s start with our Fruit & Vege base:
Essential for health and vitality, fruit and vegetables are dense with fibre, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Beneficial for your body and for healthy fertility, therefore it creates a great base for your fertility smoothie.
A generous serving of a leafy green such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, bok choy or celery make a great start. Leafy greens are usually rich in iron which may help with egg quality and ovulation. They may also have calcium, folate and vitamin C content.
Popular fruit options are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, mangoes, bananas, apples, avocados, pears, kiwifruit
Berries such as raspberries & blueberries are high in natural antioxidants & anti-inflammatory phytonutrients; this may help boost female and male fertility. Along with kiwifruit, they can be high in folate and vitamin C. Folate (folic acid) is also found in bananas, avocado and strawberries, which are also thought to libido. When trying to conceive and improve diet and nutrition, many women look to reduce sugar intake so be weary you are not loading your smoothie with fruit that have a high sugar content such as bananas.
Add your all-important Fertility Super-food:
I recommend adding Royal Jelly; rich in amino acids, iron, vitamins, protein, fatty acids, lipids, calcium and the unique compound 10-HAD. In Randine Lewis’ book ‘The Infertility Cure’ Dr Lewis states, referencing Royal Jelly, “This nutritive tonic might be considered the bee equivalent of fertility drugs”. Because of its nutritional content it has been used by people all over the world as a supplement that may balance hormones and improve egg & sperm health.
Other ingredients that are considered fertility super-foods are wheatgrass and maca. Wheatgrass may aid in purifying blood, detoxifying the body. It is also known for hormone balancing lowering levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). While maca may improve energy levels, libido as well as hormone balancing.
Time to add your Protein:
Adding protein to any smoothie is a great way to feel fuller for longer, sustaining energy levels and ensuring you are consuming your recommended daily intake of protein. It is important that men and women wanting to conceive are ingesting enough protein daily. It is widely recommended that men consume 56g protein daily and women 46g.
Some people take protein powders that are whey based, steering clear of powders with too many additives or soy. Protein powder can be good to aid muscle recovery and development.
If you would rather a more natural source; some great ingredients to use could be nut butters (such as peanut butter, almond, cashew etc) and nuts like walnuts, almonds or cashews. Another source of protein that you may want to add to your smoothie is oats or even spirulina.
Some Healthy Fat:
Omege-3s and ‘healthy fat’ are important for your body, they assist in the creation and regulation of hormones. ‘Good’ fats support healthy immune system functioning and a better inflammation response. Omega-3 may also promote ovulation, increase circulation to your reproductive organs and increase cervical mucous.To add some healthy fat & Omega-3 into your smoothie, add a dash of coconut oil or coconut milk, seeds such as flaxseeds, hemp or chia may work well. Ingredients mentioned previously such as avocado, almonds, walnuts and cashews are also great as your ‘fat’ component. Other nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts or macadamia.
And Lastly, Add Your Liquid:
This is mainly to improve the texture and consistency of your smoothie, but you can use this opportunity to find something that will benefit your fertility.
Popular liquids are plain water, coconut water, coconut milk, freshly squeezed juice (apple, pineapple or orange) or a nut milk (unsweetened) such as oat, almond or cashew. Some women may choose to add a dash of milk.
There you have it! Add one, or more, of each of these components to your blender or bullet, blitz it and you should have a nutrient-dense punch that may aid your fertility. Predominantly, these recommendations apply to both women and men. It takes three months for men to create new sperm and the same amount of time for an egg to undergo maturation, so I would recommend both partners start looking into improving their nutrition for at least this long pre-conception.
Everyone’s fertility journey can be completely different, infertility occurs due to an array of reasons. There are also many differing opinions on all areas of fertility including what is recommended to consume in your pre-conception diet and what to avoid. These suggestions are not to replace any advice given from your healthcare professional.
References & Further Research: