by Dr. Kristen Brown ND (awesome mama and caring naturopath)
Had any kiwi or sunflower seeds lately?
Although we tend to hear about the importance of folic acid during the pre-conception period, there are many other scrumptious foods to choose from that will not only nourish the body but also promotes healthy fertility in both women and men.
At Crossroads Naturopathic, we will work with you to create an optimal fertility diet. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
4 Key Nutrients to Boost Your Fertility
Zinc – found in rich amounts in oysters, cashews, wheat germ, beef, pumpkin seeds and cocoa powder – yes, I mean chocolate! This gem of a mineral plays an essential role in the healthy development of sperm cells and in fact a deficiency has been linked to early miscarriage and poor sperm quality.
Vitamin D – living here in the northwest can take a toll on healthy vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a critical component in the creation of healthy levels of sex hormones. These hormones directly affect ovulation and the ability to conceive. This important nutrient can be synthesized by getting some sun on our skin each week but is also found in these yummy foods: wild salmon, eggs, mushrooms, milk and fermented soy (tempeh)
Vitamin C – This powerful nutrient has protects us from free radicals which are damaging to cells and can impact fertility. The powerful antioxidant benefits of vitamin C can be found in these deletable munchies: red and yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, guava (try it if you haven’t before!), broccoli, strawberries, kiwi and cooked tomatoes (think yummy homemade pasta sauce or stew)
Vitamin E – this free radical quenching nutrient is a diet essential for fertility and is often deficient in our Canadian diet. Vitamin E, like Vitamin C, has been shown to improve sperm quality and motility in studies and is often termed a supreme anti-aging nutrient. Rich sources include: sunflower seeds, almonds, Swiss chard, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes and olive oil to name a few.
Check out the below recipe for an easy summer treat, packed with Vitamin E and C:
“Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers”
Serve with your favourite condiments, sliced avocado, fresh lettuce, sliced tomato.
Add some veggies or homemade sweet potato fries. Yum Yum!
Makes 6-8 Burgers
1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
2 cups water
A pinch of sea salt
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp. each of dried thyme, oregano, ground cumin
1 small carrot coursely chopped
1 small handful of fresh parsley (if desired)
Extra virgin olive oil for cooking
Put rice into a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Add water, sea salt, cover and bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low for a slow simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes.
In a food processor, place sunflower seeds, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and cumin and a pinch of salt and process until fully ground. Add chopped carrots and parsley and pulse a few times. Add rice and pulse a few times more being careful not to process too much as it will become gooey.
Form mixture into patties. Uncooked patties can be stored in a glass container in between pieces of parchment or wax paper in the fridge for up to a week.
For cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add burger patty and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
Recipe from “The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook” by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre
Did you know zinc could improve your fertility?…Please leave a comment below.
Do you know someone who could use a fertility boost?…Share with any fertile women and men you know.