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Health | Five a day to get your family planning started for summer

This IS the time of year to get out to farmers markets, to grow your own veggie gardens, and find more abundant local produce.


Summer time is here, so we must make the most of what is available to us. Fresh produce is essential when it comes to boosting fertility, as a diet that is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, gives our bodies a much better chance of getting all that it needs.


Best fresh produce for fertility:


1. Tomatoes are high in lycopene and vitamin C. Lycopene is a carotenoid antioxidant that increases in bioavailability when tomatoes are processed by breaking down the cell walls in the tissue matrix of the tomato flesh. It is one of the only foods on Earth that does this. Lycopene is fat soluble, so it is easily assimilated when combined with fats. Think of nuts and a good quality olive oil.
Once lycopene is absorbed in the stomach it is carried to the liver (essential for proper hormonal balance), the adrenal glands (also has an important role in hormonal balance and stress response), and the testes which we all know is an important aspect of creating a baby. Men who consume a diet rich in lycopene have better quality sperm morphology.
Tomatoes are also high in other antioxidants which we know work together as free radical scavengers to help protect cellular health. Our entire bodies are made up of cells, so consuming foods rich in antioxidants is vital to sustaining health. In addition, antioxidants are especially critical to egg and sperm quality.


2. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is metabolized into vitamin A during digestion. They are also high in fibre and other antioxidants. Only three per cent of beta-carotene in raw carrots is absorbed during digestion; puréeing, pulping, juicing and cooking can increase this by 39 per cent.
Vitamin A is also essential for the utilization of proteins, minerals and other vitamins, aiding the body in utilizing nutrients from other foods!


3. Celery is high in calcium. It is important to get an adequate intake of calcium rich foods while trying to conceive in order to build up your stores for pregnancy.
You will need to have enough calcium during pregnancy to keep your teeth healthy and to help the formation of your baby’s teeth and bones. Calcium is also alkalizing for the body; a more alkaline body is favourable for producing healthy cervical mucus necessary for nourishing the sperm on its way to the awaiting ova.
A more alkaline vaginal environment is also a way to help prevent yeast infection. For hundreds of years celery has been used as a blood-purifying tonic.


4. Onions are a rich source of vitamins A, B & C. Onions also contain folate, calcium, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium and iron. This pungent vegetable is anti-inflammatory and very antiseptic, helping to fight bad bacteria in the gut.
In fact it is considered a prebiotic, feeding our good gut bacteria. Its anti-inflammatory properties may be a good choice for people who suffer from painful reproductive health issues such as endometriosis. Regular consumption of onion may also be a good choice for women with PCOS.
The chromium in onion helps the body to respond properly to insulin levels, improving glucose tolerance. It is also said that onion is an aphrodisiac, aiding those with sexual debility.


5. Cucumbers are great for digestion because of their high water content. One cup of cucumber is high in vitamin A, folate, niacin, B6, vitamins E and K. They also contain a wide variety of trace minerals. This vegetable is a great way to increase your liquid intake, while cleansing the digestive tract. Proper digestion is essential to overall fertility.


6. Garlic has been found to support heart health. Proper heart health is essential when facing stressful medical procedures such as IVF, HSG, or hormone testing.
Trying to conceive for a long time with no results can be extremely stressful, raising our heart rate. The heart is also essential for healthy circulation. This bulb helps to regulate insulin levels, which is supportive for women with PCOS.
Garlic is very supportive of the immune system (high in vitamin C), which plays an intricate role in conception and pregnancy. Garlic also contains adequate amounts of B vitamins, shown to be important to the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (think progesterone production) and preventing PMS.


7. Parsley – This leafy green herb aids in digestion and is used by some herbalists to promote blood flow to the reproductive organs, aiding in bringing on menstruation, while promoting a regular menstrual cycle. Parsley is mineral and vitamin rich.
Parsley does have a slight caution: Very high consumption of parsley is not recommended during pregnancy.


If you have fertility issues and would like to test and see if you have deficiencies in the body, a personalised nutrition program could be just what you need.


To book your consultation, or discuss further please don’t hesitate to call me: 07730671436 or e-mail me:

Posted in Lifestyle.