Updated: Mar 8, 2020
If you follow me over @findingfertility you know my go-to breakfast is vegetables - #gratedvegbrekkie for that matter! One of the big things you can do to improve your fertility health and get pregnant naturally was to start eating vegetables for breakfast, along with some protein, healthy fats & probiotics!
But I know sometimes you just need a quick, easy, healthy on-the-go option for breakfast and a fertility smoothie is one of the best things to make & take.
There are about a million different ways to make a fertility smoothie, but like everything else in life, there are some important do's and don'ts when it comes to optimising your fertility smoothie.
And if you've hung around here long enough, you now know that's what it's all about optimising your fertility and improving your egg and sperm health, through your gut!
I have 5 GOLDEN RULES to follow when making a fertility smoothie.
ONE: Get your greens in & cook them before you blend!
Rubbish right. You thought you'd get away from the stove and not had one pan to clean, but if you truly want to optimise your fertility health, you need to take care of your gut. Do your stomach a favour and help the process of digestion by lightly steaming cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, arugula, cauliflower, turnip, collard greens, bok choy, brussels sprouts, watercress, radishes and rutabaga.
Next on the list is kale, spinach, chard, parsley, chives, purslane, and beet greens, which are high in gut-irritating oxalic acid. SAY WHAT? I hear you saying. These vegetables have a naturally oxalic acid in them to protect it from animals, insects, and fungi. Oxalic acid is a toxin made from a mixture of fungus and yeast, and can cause lots of problems for people dealing with immune and gut issues.
I feel ya rolling your eyes, and I'm right there with ya girl. But listen.
If you're dealing with unexplained infertility, an autoimmune issue, yeast infections, gut problems or thyroid issues, you need to do your best to get ride of oxalic acids. If you don't want to light steam in the morning, you can use organic romaine or butter lettuce or you can mix calcium and magnesium into your fertility smoothies. These minerals bind to the oxalic acid so you don’t absorb as much of it.
Final Note: Make sure to add two big handfuls and mix them up, don't have the same vegetables day in, day out. You wouldn't do this with an other meal, so don't get hooked on one so called Fertility Boosting Smoothie. Also, if you're not having a daily fertility smoothie and just keeping them to once or twice a week, you can be a little more relaxed with this first golden rule.
TWO: Beware of sugar. Even too much natural sugar is bad for your health.
I'm going to keep this short & sweet ;) You can read all about my 12 NOT-SO-SWEET FACTS ABOUT SUGAR if you want the load down about all things sugar. Here I'll just highlight the importance of keeping your fruit intake low. Even though fruits are full of goodness including Copper, Biotin, Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin B6 & C, Manganese, many of us don’t realise how much sugar is actually in our fruit and remember sugar is sugar. Obviously, the primary sugar which you’ll find in fruit is fructose, "the sugar that’s most damaging to our health.” (The Better Baby Book).
Choose fruits for your fertility smoothie with low overall sugar and a high-antioxidant or fiber content, such as apples, pears, and berries. During this time, leave out banana, pineapples, mangos & papaya, they just pack too much sugar in one punch. Remember you want to control your blood sugar levels more closely, especially if you have PCOS. Here's a great website to check out the sugar levels in all different types of fruits. Also when your adding your liquid make sure you're not adding extra sugar! Use unsweetened coconut milk or keep it simple and add filtered water.
THREE: Get your protein on.
You've got two options: protein powder or whole foods. Protein is key to optimising your fertility health, improving eggs quality, getting pregnant, and sustaining a healthy pregnancy. A study led by Jeffrey B. Russell, MD at the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine analysed the diets of 120 women going through IVF at the same clinic.
The interesting part of this study was that, patients who had a daily diet that included protein at over 25% of total intake had two times the number of embryos available for transfer and four times the pregnancy rates. On top of that they discovered that the optimum diet for increasing egg quality, embryo quality, pregnancy rates & birth rates was 30% protein and less than 40% carbohydrates. (Fertstert)
It can be VERY overwhelming when trying to chose a protein powder, there's so many to choose from. So I'm going to keep it simple: I use Further Food Collagen Peptides Protein Powder. If you'd like to know more about all the many different types of protein powders out there, have a read of the Daily Burn. Remember, it's all about finding what works best for you.
You can also drop a Raw Egg (organic & free-range) if you'd like to get your protein from whole foods!
FOUR: Fat is your friend.
That's right. Fat is your friend. Health fats like Omega 3, 6 & 9 will NOT make you fat and are actually one of the best things for your fertility health and eventually your growing baby. Adding in a little fat into your fertility smoothie, you can help lower inflammation in the body and increase blood flow to your reproductive organs. Many vitamins and nutrients can’t be absorbed without enough fat, so make sure to be adding in some fatty friends. I make it easy and add MCT Oil, but here's a list of other great healthy fats:
Fish Oils (I take my Fish Oil raw)
FIVE: Don't overthink it or over drink it.
I feel like that's the number one thing we do - OVERTHINK. Especially when it comes to our diet. When we start overthinking, we get overwhelmed and then we just give up. Sound familiar? Make it simple at first & then if you want to play around with flavours, you have a bunch to play with. Also, you have to remember if you're optimising your fertility smoothie it's not going to taste like your believed smoothies of the past. Hope you can chug fast, because until you get used to the green goddess, it's going to taste awful!
And lastly, if you want to get your smoothie on, I would suggest trying to keep it to no more than 3 a week. We totally underestimate the importance of chewing our food. Remember we're focusing on gut health and chewing our food is the first step to healthy digestion. Saliva contains digestive enzymes and the more time these enzymes have to start breaking down your food, making digestion easier on your stomach and small intestine. I know with a smoothie it's blended down nicely, but don't underestimate how much work your stomach still has to do to get all the benefits of that smoothie out to your lady bits - we need all the help aka saliva we can possibly get!
My easy recipe to get you started:
2 big handfuls of lightly steamed organic kale or spinach
1 big handful of organic berries
Tablespoon of MCT Oil and/or 1/2 Avocado
A cup+ of filtered water.
Remember to change up your veg in your smoothie, just like you would lunch and dinner!!
So there are your 5 Golden Rules for the perfect Fertility Boosting Smoothie. What do you think? BS or food for thought? Let me know your thoughts and what you're using in your fertility smoothie below.....
Positive Thoughts, Positive Me
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Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me, may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.