The Best Foods for Female Fertility

What to eat to enhance pregnancy 

Hey you!

Have you read Brene Brown's books yet?!  If not, walk away from this blog and watch The Power of Vulnerability. Seriously. 

What do I love so much about Brene Brown?

When we feel uncomfortable things, like embarrassed, anxious, sad, inadequate, etc. our default mode is to "fix" it. In so doing, we perpetuate this "never good enough" attitude toward ourselves. 

Brene Brown gives you permission to accept yourself exactly as you are. She inspires courage to be real. 

She speaks so powerfully about the courage it takes to be vulnerable.

Bravery doesn't mean you don't ever feel scared or don't let anyone hurt you. Just the opposite. Strength comes from diving into those scary things. It's about letting it be ok to have needs. From that authentic, open place we can connect with others in a more meaningful, life-giving way. 

Brene Brown on Vulnerability

Where am I going with this? Well, as you can guess from the title of this post, we're trying to get pregnant! 

i want to make a baby!

I am trying to get pregnant.

This is a scary thing to say! 

It's scary to admit how badly I want something and it's scary to want something that's not totally in my control. We can do our best (and have fun trying ;) but this isn't like running a marathon. I can't just work hard and be guaranteed success. 

Despite the fear & the worry, the Brene Brown voice within me pushes me to share.  

What to eat to help you get pregnant

As a 33 year old, many of my besties are a few steps ahead of me in the family-game. I have noticed that few women choose to share that they are trying to get pregnant until success is solidified at the 12-week mark. 

I totally get that decision.

It is estimated that 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. I was completely blown away that the number is this high! It saddened me to think of all the women I must know who have gone through a miscarriage all alone. 

My decision to tell you about our journey to get pregnant means that if we don't succeed (knock on wood that's not our story!), then this sharing means my pain is wide open for the world to see. 

But it also means other women might not feel so alone. It means that I get to be real with you. It means our relationship can grow deeper.

It is definitely not all about the hard stuff; sharing now also means that when I do get pregnant (knock on wood again!), then I also get to share all of my joy with you! 

I want to open-my heart to living the full width and depth of the human experience. I want to let others in so we can build authentic, energizing connections. 

So here we go! 

We're only on month two of trying and I'm not holding back my hopes that the third time's the charm (will you knock on wood for me again?)... I'll be sure to keep you posted on our progress! 


foods for fertility

As I shared in recent posts (Should You Go Gluten Free and Bye, Bye Bloated Belly) I am juggling recent diagnoses of Celiac Disease and SIBO. This means, my first step in getting pregnant is getting my GI health in tip top shape. The following foods all happen to be healing to the gut, while also fantastic fertility-boosters.

Salmon

Salmon and Omega's for pregnancy

If there is one true superfood out there, it has to be salmon. This mighty fish is packed with omega-3 fats, the ones that:

  • keep your inflammation down;
  • prevent the "foggy brain" associated with pregnancy; and
  • develop your baby-to-be's brain.

Research shows that not only do omega-3s enhance your fertility, but they also improve cognitive abilities of the baby-to-be! Shoot for 2-3 4oz servings per of salmon or other fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines or anchovies each week.

Here's to smart moms with smart babes! 

Check out this Paprika Salmon with Fennel & Asparagus salad and stay tuned for tomorrow's Lemon-Dill Salmon Cake Recipe! 


Whole Milk, Organic Yogurt

How probiotics and full fat dairy improve fertility

Above, I said that salmon is the one true superfood, but so is yogurt! Why?

The probiotics! Yogurt is one of the best food-sources of bacteria that live in your gut, boosting your immune system (and your baby's!) and converting your undigested food into essential nutrients - that means more nourishment for your baby-to-be. Check out What the Heck Are Probiotics and Why do I Need Them? 

The fat! Surprised to hear me say that? Well, we talk a lot about the benefits of healthy fats and growing a baby is one of them.

  • The fat is needed to absorb vitamins D, A, E and K. Without the fat, you miss out on much of the nourishment.
  • Studies have consistently found that women who eat full-fat dairy have an easier time getting pregnant!  (Ladies, pregnancy is the time to think of optimal health, not weight loss!)
  • The key here is "organic" or better yet, "grassfed". In dairy and meat, these terms mean the food has more of those anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. 

If you're typically a nonfat yogurt eater, give organic, full-fat a try-It's so decadent & delicious! 


Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens like Kale for Folate for Fertility & to get pregnant

If you have started to think about making a baby, then you have for sure heard about folic acid. This nutrient is so essential to fetal development and preventing neural tube defects that it is now a legal requirement in the U.S. to fortify wheat-products with folic acid. 

The catch is that folic acid in fortified grains is the synthetic form. An estimated 30% of women (myself included) have an MTHFR gene mutation. This means we are not able to convert the folic acid into its usable form, folate. (If you're trying to get pregnant, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get tested for this!)

The good news is that; a) you can get prenatals with the activated (look for "methylated") folate, and b) you can get the natural folate from delicious foods like:

Love, Zest and Babies! 

Anna

PS Anyone else trying to get pregnant and care to share? We'd love to hear your favorite fertility tips in the comments box below. 

Questions? Post below or send us a private message at joinus@eatwithzest.com