Here are some tips on foods to enhance your fertility during your menstrual cycle.
Why is this so important and what purpose does this serve? Nutrition is essential for enhancing general wellbeing and it's no different when wanting to maximise your health when trying to conceive.
Below is a list of foods beneficial for the follicular phase(Day 1 to ovulation) and the luteal phase (post ovulation).
Follicular phase (Days 1 - Ovulation)
During your menses, the lining of your uterus is shed to generate new lining in the event conception occurs. So foods that are beneficial to build up the lining are foods that generate blood and yin (a chinese medicine term that represents various aspects of your health but for the purpose of fertility its representative of the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle). Additionally, in the Follicular Phase the follicles grow and allow for the maturation of eggs to occur in preparation for the arrival of sperm in the fallopian tubes around ovulation.
Foods to Improve Blood (from days 1 – ovulation)
- Whole Foods
- Stock/soups made from bones (provide bone marrow and calcium from the bones)
- Small tip: add a small amount of vinegar to assist with the release of marrow and calcium from the bones
- Marinated meat
- Stewed casseroles (long duration cooking)
- Egg yolk, legumes, grains, green leafy vegetable, beetroots, red wine (best consumed during food – assists in promoting circulatory actions of wine)
- Post Menstrual Soup – Boil whole chicken, add vegetables & herbs – slow, long cooking preferred
- Ie: carrots, mushrooms, shallots, sweet potatoes
- Ie : yam, lyceum berries, longan fruit, fresh ginger
- Drink stock with the meat
- nutrient rich foods
- Ie: Fruits/ vegetables, protein (tofu, fish, soy milk, soy products)
- barley, millet, string beans, asparagus, dark – coloured beans
- blueberries, mulberries
- seaweed, fish eggs, dairy products
- duck, pork
- keep well hydrated
- Minimum 2 liters of water a day (preferably warm), may need to exceed quantity if involved in physical activity which promotes sweating
- Chronic dieting
- Stimulants – coffee, spicy – rich foods
- Use of recreational drugs
Luteal Phase (Post Ovulation)
Once ovulation has occured the fertilised egg remains in the fallopian tubes until 5 days after fertilisation. During this time the cells keep dividing until there are so many cells you can't count them.
At 5 days, the embryo is called a blastocyst and it makes its way into the uterus to implant. At this time, the progesterone levels increase and so does your basal body temperature.
The reason for this is to provide a warm environment for the embryo to implant as well as enhancing the communication between the embryo and the endometrium (uterine lining).
Based on this reason, foods consumed should be warm without being too hot or spicy and also avoiding cold foods.
Below is a list of such foods that are benefical for warming the uterus to assist implantation.
Foods to improve Yang(for post ovulation)
- Baking foods for a long duration, such as a roast chicken turn the heat down a little and bake for longer. This puts more warmth into the food especially if its marinated with great herbs and spices
- Garlic, onions, chicken, lamb, trout, salmon, lobster, prawns, mussels
- Black Beans
- Walnuts, chestnuts, pistachio nuts
- Add ginger, shallots, cinnamon to food
- Stewed fruit is also a great snack idea
- Avoid : Eating excess spicy foods – in moderation Cold food, ice cold drinks, coffee – and other caffeine type beverages
It also great to enhance the health of your digestion as a poor digestion means poor absorption of nutrients. If you have leaky gut syndrome, it is ideal to avoid foods your body is allergic or intolerant to and minimise the processed, sugary foods as this will impact your digestive health.
Other tips include:
- Varied fresh food
- Eat while relaxed – avoid eating when in a hurry (affects digestion)
- In the beginning of your day have warm water with a squeeze of lemon
- Lightly cooked meals
- Try and have a mixture of sweet, bitter, pungent flavours in cooking
- Sweet Flavours – root vegetables, grains (not in excess)
- Bitter Flavours – rocket, watercress (assists in digestion)
- Pungent Flavours – onions, coriander, chives (assists in digestion & moves Qi)
- Sip green tea and/or peppermint tea during food to enhance digestion, or perhaps small amounts of red wine, as this too can assist in digestion
If you are needing assistance with your health or wish to discuss your and/or your partner's fertility you can call the clinic and make a time to discuss this on 03 9888 4129.
If you reside outside of Victoria, Skype consults are available on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. You can book a time via this link http://www.ireneprantalos.com/skype-consultations-with-dr-irene/