There is a popular saying that your food should be your medicine. It is a strong pointer to the role that our diet plays in our general well-being. When it comes to fertility issues, diet takes on a whole new meaning. It could mean a longer or shorter stay in the waiting room.
Thankfully, quite a lot of women have come to realise the importance of a proper diet, when they are TTC. I was chatting with a TTC mom several months back, about this very issue. She had been experiencing all sorts of weird symptoms, and we had been trying to decipher what could be the reason for the different signs. We were also doing this because it wasn’t up to one year yet that she had been trying, and her doctor had simply told her to eat healthy and let nature takes it course. It wasn’t exactly a comforting piece of advice but it was all she had.
So, as advised by her doctor, she went through her diet and even she realised that she was eating a lot more healthily now that she was a married woman, thanks to her husband, who is a picky eater and is also health conscious. With her diet sorted, we turned the spotlight on other areas of her lifestyle, but still no answers, and that in itself is worrying. She is still TTC, and hopefully, sometime next year, she will finally be able to get the attention of her gynaecologist, or a miracle happens, rendering that option invalid. I pray for the latter option.
As highlighted above, the diet of a TTC woman, and even that of a man, matters a lot and there are some anti-inflammatory foods that can help to keep the body’s balance. These foods will be the focus of this article.
However, let’s highlight some of the chronic inflammation in women that can be set off as a result of the foods consumed. These female reproductive issues include endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, asherman’s syndrome, PID and ovarian cysts.
Other diseases known to contribute to infertility that are linked to inflammation response are immunologically induced recurrent miscarriage, antisperm antibodies and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
With more women leaving the processed, refined foods out and joining the fitfam team, here are specific foods that naturally inhibit inflammation:
Fat is what makes up the body’s inflammation-regulating compounds, called prostaglandins. While some fat reduce inflammation, others act as fuel for inflaming the body.
To increase levels of inflammation-fighting prostaglandins in the body, you should consider eating more omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA—for which salmon and other fatty fish are famous
Garlic, Ginger, & Turmeric
Lavishly add these three to all your dishes! Garlic, ginger and turmeric are deeply immune boosting herbs. They have also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body by shutting down inflammatory pathways.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.
Freshly grated or sliced ginger is warming and healing. Ginger lowers inflammation. If you don’t like ginger on its own, you can try ginger tea. It is wonderful for after, or in-between, meals. It also supports healthy digestion, one of the first steps to healing inflammatory disease.
Turmeric is a spice used extensively in other cultures, and for good reason. It contains curcumin, a substance that actively reduces inflammation, as a research from the University of Texas shows that turmeric suppress NF-kappa B, an immune-regulating protein that triggers inflammation.
Add the dried powder to stir fry, curry dishes, brown rice dishes, stews and soups for a different taste.
Dark leafy green vegetables
The rich supply of vitamin E in dark leafy greens is believed to protect against inflammatory molecules such as cytokines. Additionally, they are rich in various other vitamins and nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties.
Dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, cauliflower, and broccoli and spinach are high in vitamin E, fiber and phytonutrients shown to prevent diseases. Vitamin E in particular protects the body from proinflammatory molecules known as cytokines. Be sure to lightly steam them, as this improves the body’s ability to digest them as well as the amount of nutrients that can be gotten from them
Dark, leafy green vegetables are a fantastic source of many of the crucial vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
For most members of our community, pineapple core is one of the implantation boosting tips that we often share and it is not for nothing that we do that.
It is all because of bromelain, a protease plant enzyme, found in the core of the pineapple fruit.
Bromelain is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to increase cervical mucous and possibly the chance of implantation in early pregnancy.
Consume pineapple 3-5 times weekly, with some of the core still intact. Pineapple is excellent in smoothies, and here’s one option for you. You can make smoothies with blueberries, mint and a little fresh ginger root. However, make sure the pineapple is fresh or frozen, never canned, as this contains too much sugar and nearly none of the core is intact. Freshly juicing it is another delectable option.
In one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate whole grains (think: oatmeal, brown rice, and barley) lowered their levels of C-reactive protein by 38 percent compared to those who opted for refined grains.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance produced by the liver that increases in the presence of inflammation in the body. Whole grains can reduce the amount of C-reactive protein and thus, the amount of inflammation in the body.
Eating these anti-inflammatory foods, regularly during the week will surely go a long way in suppressing symptoms of certain conditions in the body.
Indeed, our food can be our medicine.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here