Dr. Angeline Beltsos is asked many questions regarding fertility, and people always ask about diet. In anticipation of Thanksgiving she gives us some Fertility Logia: 10 ways to boost your fertility this season.
10 Ways to Boost Your Fertility this Thanksgiving
We’re so filled with grateful at this time of year, and I count every one of my blessings. Holiday time is family time, and many are yearning for a little one with which to share these holidays. When trying to start a family, and things aren’t working the traditional, we must remain focused on the goal. Especially since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we remember so many fond memories of how we celebrated through the years. These memories likely include food, and our diet is actually critical to our fertility. Read on for 10 ways to boost your fertility this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving and Thesomophoria
The Ancient Greeks celebrated Thanksgiving around this same time of year. They honored the goddess Demeter in a celebration called Thesomophoria. If you recall, Hades, the god of the underworld kidnapped Demeter’s daughter Persephone. During this desperate time, Demeter was so sad that the earth became barren and the leaves fell from the trees and the cold winter arrived. When she was able to see her daughter again, Demeter was elated and celebrated with flowers and spring. The Greeks gave thanks every fall to Demeter and this was their Thanksgiving. Demeter is the goddess of agriculture and the fertility of the earth. Thanksgiving was created to give thanks for the harvest, and Demeter ensured the harvest. And since the earth is a living breathing entity just like humans, we can even attribute our health and fertility to her – healthy world, healthy people. So you can see a relationship between our diet (the food the earth gives us) and our health – and even fertility.
Diet and fertility
Thanksgiving is a time for delicious food — food that feeds the soul as well as the body. There are important foods to think about for your fertility that help eggs be healthier, sperm be stronger, and the uterus to be stickier.
Here are 10 ways to boost your fertility this Thanksgiving and every day.
Milk, yogurt, and/or cheese help maintain a fertile disposition. Researchers found that whole milk helps fertility. Not only is the calcium important but so are other ingredients in full-fat products. Be sure to have one serving a day Don’t overdo it; too much won’t offer a boost. Remember, pan metron ariston – everything in moderation.
TIP: Everyone loves tzatziki. Add some to your Thanksgiving spread.
2) Lean Protein
Lean meats like Turkey are perfect to provide you with iron, which helps fertility as well. This works out perfectly this time of year! Be sure to get plenty of protein; it’s critical to cell function.
TIP: Don’t skip the turkey because you think it makes you tired. Gobble, gobble a serving. Take home some leftovers for more turkey-inspired benefits.
3) Complex Carbohydrates
Whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the fertility diet. Skip white foods like bread, pastas, and potatoes cause increased blood sugar. This leads to insulin surges in the body, which can send hormones out of whack.
TIP: Choose the fruit over the pumpkin pie. Keep focused on the ultimate goal!
4) Fatty Fish
Fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids are important fertility food for men and women. They help with blood flow, and help baby’s brain and nervous system grow. Therefore, DHA (or omega-3’s) have become an essential component of prenatal vitamins.
TIP: Add some variety to you Thanksgiving menu by serving salmon in addition to turkey.
5) Wild Yams
The initial source of progesterone medicine came from yams. Researchers found they help with ovulation and make the uterine lining more “sticky” for implantation.
TIP: Take an extra spoonful of the sweet potatoes.
Antioxidants remove tarnish from DNA and essentially polish it. Blueberries and other berries are full of these “cleaning” or “renewing” powers that make egg and sperm stronger.
TIP: Enjoy some home homemade cranberry sauce with your turkey. Put out some other berries for dessert.
7) Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is another source of antioxidants that helps sperm count and motility. Lemons — which of course we Greeks love — are a wonderful source of this key element.
TIP: Serve Avgolemono soup with lots of lemon as a first course.
Vitamin D from eggs and other foods are crucial for egg health, as well as uterine health. One egg will give you about 43 IU of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important nutrient, as it helps the body to absorb calcium.
TIP: Here’s another plug for the Avgolemeno soup. You’ll check citrus and eggs off the list!
Almonds are a fabulous source of vitamin E. This vitamin actually makes men’s sperm swim faster. Almonds make an easy, quick snack. They are also easy to pre-package take to work or eat on the go.
TIP: Put out a bowl while you’re cooking and preparing, to nosh on before and after the big meal.
Adding peas to the mix adds zinc, which is an essential element for sperm function as well as woman’s hormone balance. It can drastically improve fertility parameters. Make foods high in zinc an integral part of your diet.
TIP: Serve “bisellia”, Greek-style baked peas as a Thanksgiving side dish.
Happy Thesmophoria and Thanksgiving! Here’s to your fertility!
Now, go enjoy and be grateful for all that is in your life. Be sure that you eat well today and always — your cells soak up the good and the bad things in the food you consume. As you try to get pregnant, make sure that both mother and father are on a good vitamin and healthy diet. Use these 10 ways to boost your fertility to help you on your way.
If you have not gotten pregnant in 6-12 months of trying, stop by and see me at Vios Fertility Institute Chicago. Let’s end this year with a bang… and a positive pregnancy test.
Happy Thesmophoria! Happy Thanksgiving!
Angeline N. Beltsos, MD is CEO and Medical Director of Vios Fertility Institute. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. Dr. Beltsos is also the Clinical Research Division Director of Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She has received numerous awards in teaching and has been honored as “Top Doctor” from Castle Connelly for several years. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. She is the executive chairperson for the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, an international conference of fertility experts.
As the REI Division Education Director for the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs of Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Lutheran General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Chicago, Dr. Beltsos helps educate future OB/GYN doctors. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Illinois at Chicago.