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If you are trying to conceive, you should be eating a healthy, balanced fertility diet for optimum health. A healthy lifestyle can improve your chances of conceiving by protecting your fertility. You should eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and reduce your intake of foods that can reduce fertility, such as alcohol and junk food. Healthy food can be delicious too, here are 10 tasty foods to boost egg health:
1. Avocados - often touted as a superfood, avocados can help to improve egg health thanks to their high fat content. You may be aware that there are good fats and bad fats out there, avocados are high in monounsaturated fats (one of the good ones). Research found that women who ate a diet high in monounsaturated fats, such as avocados, produced healthier eggs. Avocados are delicious in salad, sandwiches, on toast and in soup.
2. Beans and lentils - iron is very important for egg health, and a lack of it can lead to anovulation (lack of ovulation). Beans and lentils are great sources of iron, as well as other vitamins and minerals that can boost fertility. You should eat at least one portion of beans or lentils each day. Lentils taste great in soups, dahls and are a great meat substitute in stews and casseroles. Beans can be added to salad, chili and rice dishes.
3. Brazil nuts - these are high in selenium, a mineral that helps to prevent chromosomal damage in eggs. Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from free radicals, allowing for better egg production. Brazil nuts can be eaten as a snack, keep some on your desk at work, and have a handful when you feel peckish. They can also be chopped up and used as a salad topper.
4. Sesame seeds - these are high in zinc and can help with the hormone production responsible for optimum egg health. Sesame seeds are also high in monounsaturated fats which is important for egg production. Keep a jar of mixed seeds and nuts on your desk so you can help yourself throughout the day. Sesame seeds are also great as a salad topper, or sprinkled on top of a lasagna. Hummus contains tahini (sesame seed paste), so eating a couple of portions of hummus each week is a great way to include this food in your diet.
5. Berries - these powerful antioxidants can help to protect eggs from free radicals, allowing for better egg health. Berries are often described as a superfood used to help protect against a number of conditions. Experts recommend eating at least three portions of berries each week. Berries taste delicious on their own, but can also be added to smoothies and fruit salads.
6. Green leafy vegetables - kale, spinach and other green leafy vegetables are high in manganese, folate, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. They contain many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function at its best. Try to eat two portions of green leafy vegetables each day. They taste great in salads, curries, Italian sauces, and can also be added to smoothies and fruit juices.
7. Ginger - this is an anti-inflammatory foodshown to increase circulation, promote healthy digestion and reduce inflammation, which may aid egg health by aiding the body in prevention of reproductive health disease. Ginger helps alleviate reproductive discomfort, promote healthy cycles and reduce inflammation of the reproductive organs, which may impact egg health. There are plenty of ways to include ginger in your diet, it is a core ingredient of many Asian dishes, and can also be consumed in tea form.
8. Maca root - this super herb contains 31 different minerals and 60 different phytonutrients. Used by tribes in the Andes for hundreds of years, maca is now popular around the world. It is believed to increase sperm and egg health, increase libido and help with hormone balance. Maca root can be bought as a powder or in capsule form. The powder can be added to smoothies, or used to make chocolate truffles.
9. Cinnamon - this spice can improve ovarian function and encourage proper egg production by improving insulin resistance. Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in particular are advised to add cinnamon to their diet. You should aim to consume around 1⁄4 teaspoon of cinnamon a day. Cinnamon can be added to curries, porridge, cereals and eaten on toast.
10. Water - it’s not technically a food, but consuming enough water is just as important for proper egg health. You should be drinking at least eight 8 oz glasses of water a day while trying to conceive. Avoid water from plastic bottles because some of the chemicals used in these plastics can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Filtered water is ideal.