The festive season and New Year often heralds a time for change and for many couples, this may be the phase when they might be thinking about starting a family. If you are thinking of trying, there is lots of seasonal produce bursting with nutrients which could help boost your fertility this Christmas.
Nutrition and lifestyle is an important area to address when to trying to conceive, but the benefits of a healthy eating regime will not only increase fertility and improve energy and stress levels, it will also leave the body in a far stronger position when becoming pregnant in the New Year. Here, Dr Venkat and Nutritionist Neema Savvides, from The Harley Street Fertility Clinic, suggests 5 Christmas foods to pop in your shopping basket:
- Feast on sprouts
Sprouts are bursting with folic acid which is essential for boosting fertility in both men and women. This vitamin rich source also increases sperm levels and helps line the womb with the right amount of nutrients raising sperm survival chances. Another benefit of this folic rich food is that it also helps to decrease the risk of miscarriages and birth defects.
- Spruce up your Christmas roast veggies with some beetroot
This beautiful red vegetable increases blood flow to the muscles and contains nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels allowing a rich supply of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to flow to the uterus and ovaries.
This ‘opening’ of the arteries allowing blood to flow more freely is also the reason why drinking beetroot juice regularly may help lower blood pressure and improve brain function. Some research has also shown that beetroot juice improves memory.
- Tickle your taste buds with turkey
Turkey is packed full of iron and zinc which are both important nutrients that help to boost your fertility. In fact, zinc is crucial for conception as severe deficiencies can impair fertility. Iron is also central to fertility because it helps keep your reproductive health strong, especially if you have heavy periods – get your full share (about 15 mg a day) by eating turkey.
- Snack on nuts
Nuts are bursting with fertility boosting properties and are also delicious. Chestnuts are one of the best sources of beta carotene which is crucial for enzyme production for egg fertilisation. Beta carotene is also essential for the healthy growth and development of the foetus. Chestnuts are also super rich in vitamin-C, which is known for enhancing sperm quality and protecting the DNA within it from damage, making conception more likely. If chestnuts don’t do it for you, walnuts are an equally fantastic alternative – eating around two handfuls of walnuts a day improves sperm health.
Asparagus is high in the potent antioxidant vitamin C and folate amongst other nutrients and a valuable addition to our diet. The importance of folate is well documented in research for both male and female fertility.