Contributed by Aimee Raupp, M.S., L.Ac.
As an acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in women's health, I treat a lot of patients who are dealing with infertility. I approach my fertility patients much the same as I do all my other patients -- we not only do acupuncture but I work with my patients adjusting their lifestyle and dietary habits as well.
You are what you eat
Over my nearly eight years of practice I have come to realize something very important: You are 100 percent of what you eat. And, 100 percent of your fertility depends on the foods you eat.
Yes, the food you eat affects your fertility -- even more, it affects the eggs you ovulate each month, the quality of your uterine lining, the balance of the hormones in your body and the ability for your body to get pregnant and stay pregnant.
In my latest book, Yes You Can Get Pregnant: The Diet That Will Improve Your Fertility Now & Into Your 40's, I deliver to my readers the optimal fertility diet. As I state in the book, "For five thousand years, Traditional Oriental Medicine has preached the necessity of eating a diet full of life-giving, nutrient dense foods which maximizes overall health, fertility and improves the quality of your entire reproductive system."
It's logic: If we eat chemically processed, synthetically derived foods, we aren't giving our body much life force. In fact, we are actually doing more harm than good to our life source with these foods. Alternatively, if we eat fresh food that is grown free of harsh chemicals and additives, our bodies and our health (and our fertility!) will thrive. Would you feed M&M's to a hungry child and consider that a nutritious meal? I didn't think so...
Three big yeses
In line with this premise, I compiled through my extensive research and clinical experience, the top three food groups (called the "three big yeses" in Yes, You Can Get Pregnant) that are imperative to improving fertility:
These foods are rich in hormone-balancing essential nutrients like iron, B vitamins and saturated fats, which make them great for improving your egg quality and your overall fertility. My favorite animal protein foods: eggs (pastured), salmon (wild) and liver (from grass-fed animals)
Yes, fat! Don't be afraid of fat. Fat contains fat soluble fertility enhancing vitamins like A, K and D. In addition, saturated fats found in animal protein keep your blood sugar even, your energy high and they will not give you high cholesterol. Fat is your fertility boosting friend... eat it! My favorite fats: butter (from grass-fed animals), avocados and nuts.
Fruits and vegetables
One word: antioxidants. These foods are rich in the age-defying, egg quality improving antioxidants. And, keep in mind green vegetables are particularly good at cleansing the liver, regulating PMS and keeping your hormones in balance. My favorite fertility enhancing fruits and veggies: kale, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and blueberries.
For more information, check out www.aimeeraupp.com for more information on fertility boosting foods and recipes. And, remember -- you (and your fertility) are what you eat!
About the author
Licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and book author, Aimee Raupp is a women's health and fertility expert. Her growing practice focuses on improving health and beauty, preventing disease and increasing fertility among women whose health and wellness are challenged by the demands, stressors and imbalances of Western culture. Find her on Facebook and at www.AimeeRaupp.com.
Editor's Note^ This article was generously contributed by Aimee Raupp. All views expressed are her own.