One good rule of thumb can help you navigate the world of healthy eating, and eating to boost your fertility.
Green is good.
Oh, greens, glorious greens. I adore you.
We’ve all heard the many health benefits of getting more leafy green vegetables in our diet, and if you haven’t heard, a quick Google search of “benefits of eating greens” will bring you up to speed real quickly.
In a nutshell, greens are a powerhouse. Because they’re low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in folate (an extremely important nutrient that you want to get as much of as you can when trying to conceive and when pregnant), Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, they help reduce the risk of many cancers as well as cardiac disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Studies consistently show that individuals who incorporate more leafy greens in their diet have a lower risk of developing the aforementioned conditions than those who don’t get the greens.
Greens have also been proven to aid in weight loss and management. Leafy green vegetables have fewer calories than other foods. For example, one cup of pasta has around 190 calories, but one cup of green beans has just 44 calories, and one cup of broccoli has 30 calories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.
Greens are also loaded with antioxidants. This helps protect the quality of your cells, including your egg cells, which are so precious when trying to conceive.
Diet is a super effective way to boost fertility. The leading cause of infertility in women is anovulation (lack of ovulation) or irregular ovulation. These conditions can often be remedied by incorporating healthier foods into one’s diet.
And if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), eating more greens is a wonderful way to help you manage your condition. In fact, diet is the number one treatment for balancing PCOS and getting pregnant despite the condition.
About 2 ½-3 cups of vegetables a day is recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. One cup is equal to about 2 cups of raw leafy greens – a couple of handfuls.
That’s doable, right? Especially with so many awesome types of green vegetables to choose from:
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Bok choy
- Turnip greens
- And the list goes on.
Many of us eat salads as a way to get greens into our diet. While salads are yummy, eating them day after day can get a little, um, boring. As humans we like to have variety in our lives and don’t want to do (or eat) the same thing over and over.
The great news is, there are other ways besides the same old, same old salad to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet. Here are a few ideas.
- Green Smoothies. I’ve talked about these before. Drinking smoothies is a really effective (and yummy) way to get a healthy dose of fruits and veggies, and if you have a smoothie for breakfast it’s a healthy start to the day. Get the recipe for my favorite go-to fertility smoothie here!
- Juices Like smoothies, juices are another great way to drink your nutrients instead of eating them. While smoothies are made in a blender, juices are made in a juicer. Juicers extract the water and nutrients from the fruits and veggies and discard the indigestible fiber. This allows your blood stream to absorb the liquid juice, and all its goodness, more quickly. Juices made from leafy greens such as kale and collard greens give you lots of nutrients and energy!
- Dips Instead of that jar of sour cream and onion dip, next time why don’t you try a healthy spinach dip (recipe below) for dipping your chips (or even better, carrot and celery sticks)? A dip made of healthy spinach not only tastes good, it gives you a healthier option for snacking
- Soups I could eat soup every day, and green vegetables pack a lot of punch to many soups, adding flavor, bulk and a lot of healthy goodness. Throw in some kale, collards, or broccoli to the soup and exponentially expand the nutritional value and the yumminess.
- Sandwich Wraps. We’ve come up with a lot of creative ways to eat sandwiches, using traditional breads, flatbreads, tortillas, paninis and lots of other encasements for the ingredients of the sandwich. One of my favorites, and it’s really starting to catch on, is to use a collard leaf to hold the sandwich together. Simply wash a collard leaf, cut out the thick stem in the center, and fill it with your favorite sandwich ingredients, such as chicken salad, or vegetables and sprouts. Then wrap the sandwich shut. Unlike the bread options, the collard has no gluten but it does have fiber and nutrients that are vital for hormone regulation.
So hopefully this gets you inspired to get on the leafy green train! I’m excited to hear your plans for getting more greens in your diet, and if you have any good recipes, please share!!
Love and Baby Dust,
Easy Spinach Dip
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- ½ avocado
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- juice of ½ small lemon
- 1 Tbsp chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
- 1 large garlic clove
- sea salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Slowly add water as needed to create desired consistency. Try to use as little water as possible. Chill and serve.
This post is also available in: Arabic