As promised, I continue with the guest posts by talented Bulgarian girls and today I’m more then thrilled to welcome Magdalena Pashova, whom is not only an excellent photographer, a talented chef, but also a colleague of mine and Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN). You can see her beautiful blog here – naturelita.com
When Nadia invited me to make a guest post for her blog, I was really thrilled but in the same time I knew that I need to find a topic that would meet the high expectations of her readers.
Then, as it often happens in life, when you are looking for something, it comes along your way. For one reason or another, in the past few months I met a lot of women who have tried or intend to try in vitro fertilization (IVF). It made me realize that it is not just statistics, but life reality that more and more cupules experience difficulties conceiving a child. So I decided to write about fertility and its nutritional aspect.
The truth is that everything we eat, drink, think and do affects our reproductive systems. The highly processed food, the exposure to chemicals and contaminated air, the over-usage of electronic devices and the daily stress have posed their toll on reproductive health.
However, something I found in common between the women choosing in vitro fertilization is that a few of them have tried all natural approaches to boost their fertility before resorting to IVF.
IVF is a bumpy road that can cause emotional, physical and financial distress. Not to mention the side effects on the overall health and hormonal balance of a woman undergoing the cycle. Why then do not try all natural ways before going for an IVF and continue applying them while doing an IVF cycle to optimize the outcome and minimize the side effects.
Several health changes that you introduce in your routine can make the whole difference. Although each woman has her specific needs that are better addressed individually, here are a few healthy tips that any woman can apply to boost her fertility:
~ Drink plenty of pure water every day
~ Avoid completely alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, processed foods, sugar and hydrogenated oils
~ Eat high quality, unprocessed organic foods and healthy fats. Stay away from foods treated with pesticides. Most pesticides have estrogenic effects which can lower egg quality
~ Do gentle exercise as walking, swimming or fertility yoga as often as possible, if possible – daily. Exercise reduces stress and improves circulation.
~ Try meditation and acupuncture. Both practices relieve stress and improve circulation which has direct effect on the egg quality and the ability of the embryo to successfully implant.
Food on its own cannot cure infertility but can increase or decrease the chances of getting pregnant. So make a list of fertility foods and take it with you to the grocery. Make sure that at least a few of them are available in your daily meals. This will boost your chances.
Among the most popular fertility foods are pineapples, brazil nuts, avocado, nuts and seeds, wild salmon, dark green vegetables, quinoa and yams. It is thought that yams contain a chemical that stimulates hyperovulation. An African tribe which diet is based mostly on yams was recently found to have exceptionally high rates of multiple births.
Do not ignore the superfoods. Make sure that you eat daily maca, spirulina, honey, bee propolis and royal jelly. The bee-products and spirulina are rich in nutrients that boost the immune system. Spirulina is rich in protein, vitamin A and iron – all of them are importatn for good-quality eggs. Royal jelly is a fertility super food which is fed to the queen bee. She lives up to 6 years laying up to 200 eggs daily while other bees live less than 2 months.
And last but not least – maca – the fertility food of Peru. Maca is believed to balance the hormones, to increase egg and sperm health as well as sperm count and to stimulate the endocrine system. Maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies’ needs individually. If your body produces too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate it downwards. If your body produces too little of this hormone, maca will act in the opposite direction.
It is important that both partners in a couple take maca while trying to conceive. The powerful root will enhance their fertility and will also improve their libido and sexual function. You may add maca to morning smoothies, mix it with your oatmeal, add it to a bowl of organic yoghurt or try in a raw dessert like this.
Maca-chino Raw Cream
Ingredients (2 servings):
2 ripe bananas
½ cup raw cashew
5 tbs coconut oil (softened)
1 young coconut flesh, optional
2 tbs honey
1 tbs maca
1 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbs orange zest
2 tbs raw cacao
1 vanilla bean
Put the raw cashew in the food processor and process it for a couple of minutes into a fine meal. Add the bananas (peeled and cut into pieces), the coconut oil, honey, maca, orange juice and zest, and scraped vanilla. Put on the food processors and combine everything into a smooth mixture. Pour ½ of the cream into a separate bowl and add the cacao in the food processors. Pulse to combine and your chocolate part of the dessert is ready.
All that is left is to assemble the maca-chino into cups by changing white and dark layers. Leave for a couple of hours in the fridge before serving.