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5 Superfoods to Improve your Fertility


You likely know that eating well during pregnancy is important for a baby’s health.  However, if you are looking to conceive, you may not realize that it is equally important to maintain a healthy diet pre-pregnancy.  Consuming certain nutrient-rich foods can improve both sperm and egg quality, making it easier to conceive and boosting the likelihood of a successful pregnancy and healthy baby.  Check out 5 superfoods that can boost your fertility below!  

 

What are Superfoods?

 

But first, what is a superfood?  Superfoods are foods that have identified to be extremely nutrient-rich, often high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  Some examples include pomegranates, avocados, and sweet potatoes.  While superfoods are recommended for all to consume, they have often been associated with fertility by traditional cultures—and many contain nutrients that are especially beneficial when preparing for pregnancy.    

 

1. Liver

 

While liver may not be the first protein you reach for at the supermarket, it is in fact extremely healthy and nutrient-rich.  A single serving of beef-liver is a significant source of vitamin A, vitamin B12 and other B-vitamins, folate and selenium.  It also contains choline, which reduces the risk of congenital disabilities, iron, which can decrease the chance of miscarriage, zinc which improves semen health, and coenzyme Q10 to boost egg quality and sperm mobility. 

 

If a lone serving of liver does not seem appetizing, try adding it to other meat-based dishes that you love such as meatloaf, shepherd’s pie, or meatballs.  Or, add a liver pâté to your next charcuterie spread! 

 

2. Eggs

 

Eggs—especially egg yolks—from pasture-raised hens are often rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.  When trying to conceive, protein-rich foods are important to assist in building tissue, and eggs are a great source of lean protein.  Further, alongside liver, eggs are one of the top sources of choline, which may reduce the risk of congenital disabilities.  Egg yolks also contain a number of other nutrients including folate, B vitamins, antioxidants, and iodine!

 

The next time you are picking out a carton of eggs, check the source and choose those pasture-raised hens.  Hens raised in pasture have a more varied diet and pass significantly higher levels of nutrients to their eggs than their commercially raised counterparts. 

 

3. Seafood & Fish

 

Fish such as salmon, trout, and sardines are excellent sources of fat-soluble vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and trace minerals such as iodine and zinc. Oysters are an extremely rich source of zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, and iron. Cod liver oil encourages blood flow to the uterus, while reducing the amount of immune cells that could interfere with egg implantation. 

 

The next time you plan a date night, convince your partner to splurge on a night of seafood and oysters.  If you can’t stomach raw oysters, serve them baked… Oysters Rockefeller are a popular preparation.  The oysters will work twofold, as not only do they help boost your fertility, but are also considered to be an aphrodisiac!

 

4. Full-Fat Dairy 

 

If you can tolerate dairy, it can be a great source of vitamins for fertility and pregnancy.  Rich in saturated fat, fat-soluble vitamins including A, E, D, K and K2, full-fat dairy is an especially healthy addition to your diet.  Reach for the full-fat products such as whole milk and cream cheese, as the full-fat content is where the majority of fat-soluble vitamins reside.  Further, full-fat dairy products can make you less susceptible to experiencing ovulation problems than consuming low-fat products such as skim milk or cottage cheese.

 

If you already consume dairy products, switch to full-fat products such as whole milk or full-fat yogurt.  The occasional serving of full-fat ice cream won’t hurt, either!  Though due to its high calorie count ice cream should be served in moderation.  If you are feeling adventurous, cultured dairy such as kefir can add beneficial bacteria to your gut that can promote balanced hormones and a healthy immune system—both beneficial to fertility and pregnancy.

 

5. Leafy Greens, Fruits and Veggies

 

Finally, don’t forget to keep plant-based foods as a significant portion of your diet!  Leafy greens and vegetables such as avocados are a rich source of Vitamin E, folate, and other antioxidants.  Vitamin E has been shown to be valuable in improving the lining of the uterus before pregnancy.  Orange veggies contain beta-carotene, while high levels of Vitamin C can be found in citrus, tomatoes, strawberries, and other fruits. 

 

Vary your diet between raw and cooked veggies when eating for fertility, as both have their advantages.  Some vitamins such as beta-carotene is enhanced by cooking, while others such as Vitamin C is best consumed raw!  When it comes to greens and veggies, a varied diet is the best kind. 

 

Healthy eating prior to conception will boost your fertility and promote a similarly healthy pregnancy and birth.  While healthy eating is beneficial, for best results it should be used as part of your fertility plan.  Consult with your Naturopath or Fertility Specialist on what is the best course for you and your individual fertility needs, and to monitor your health during a pregnancy. Dr. Cecilia Ho provides expert prenatal care and advice to the Pickering and surrounding regions, conveniently located at Active Integrative Medicine. Call 905-492-8688 to book your complimentary 15-minute session today!

 

Contact


Dr. Cecilia Ho


Address:

780 Kingston Rd
Unit B10
Pickering, ON
L1V 0C5

Phone:

905-492-8688

Email:

cecilia@ceciliaho.ca
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