The chemistry of baby making is controlled by hormones. Women especially are ruled by moods, foods and hormones but to get the chemistry right, the desire and libido is essential. “The love hormone, oxytocin is produced in times of passion, but to produce healthy eggs, sperm, successful fertilisation and a healthy pregnancy, you need vital ingredients from food,” says Zita West in her new book, Eat Yourself Pregnant.
Food has always played a role in fertility throughout history, but did you know…
- Figs were sacred to the Romans and were so linked to fertility that they banned export of these precious fruits
- Artichokes were a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt
- Romans showered newlyweds with almonds for fertility – which is why we still see sugared versions at weddings today!
- Legend has it that Cupid dipped his bow in honey to send arrows to unsuspecting couples
- The Aztecs associated chocolate with the goddess of fertility
- Cleopatra used cinnamon to entice Anthony
So with that in mind, Zita has chosen two of her tastiest recipes to get you in the mood and boost your fertility…. Fertility Pizza and Courgette Chocolate Brownies. It’s not all about what you eat, it’s about how you eat too, so we have some expert advice on getting your body ready for conception and pregnancy.
Tips for getting your body baby ready
- Fertility is a whole body event, but starts in the gut. Gut health is crucial for producing hormones; you need nutrients in your system and a healthy immune system before anything happens.
- Eat at the right times and in the right way. We all know the saying “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper” but did you know it came from an ancient Chinese philosophy? Stick with this as often as you can to maintain a healthy weight and keep your digestive system running smoothly.
- Chew chew chew your food! So many of us eat on the run and don’t chew properly. Not only does this put more pressure on the digestive system, but you don’t get the benefit of the important nutrients in the food.
- Stop the blood sugar rollercoaster. Blood sugar balance is key to reproductive hormones and is the enemy of most women! The right diet can control the balance and stop the 4pm chocolate craving!
- Good acid/alkaline balance. Too many acid foods makes the body more acidic; alkaline foods are more baby friendly.
- Plan your plate! Make sure you have the right amount on your plate, and never eat until you’re overfull. Weight plays a huge role in fertility so being over, or underweight, needs to be managed.
- Build up your nutrient reserves. The vitamins and minerals needed for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are crucial to laying down the foundation of your baby’s development. Ensuring these nutrients are in place before conception means a healthy pregnancy from day one.
- You can make healthy eggs and sperm through food Ensuring you both eat foods rich in proteins, good fats with plenty of green veg and fruit means that even before conception you are starting in the healthiest way possible. Take a multivitamin and mineral that contains folic acid, take omega 3 and make sure you check your Vitamin D levels are ok.
- Lifestyle, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, poor diet. All of these factors rob the body of vital nutrients needed for fertility, make sure you address any problems as soon as you can.
- Variety is the spice of life. Don’t limit yourself or set unmanageable goals. Tweaking aspects of your lifestyle is, very often, all that is needed.
To find out about the Eat Yourself Pregnant by Zita West, please visit www.zitawest.com