Raw Food & the Reproductive System
The Human Reproductive System
At Raw Food Guru, we find it puzzling our society separates out men and women as if we are completely unrelated creatures from totally different planets. Yeah, we understand the whole “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” hype, but without going off topic too much, it’s really pretty silly to think we are all that different from one another. After all, we are all human, we eat the same foods more or less, and without debating psychology or science, we pretty much need one another to procreate!
The truth is we are more alike than we are different. For example, a young girl in her late teens preparing for adulthood may seem totally different than an 80 year old man coping with the aging process. These two individuals are obviously different, but they are treated as completely different species from one another. The truth is we are all human beings, and in terms of good nutrition, our dietary requirements really aren’t all that different from one another. In other words, the young girl and the older man should both eat raw fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, organic produce, pure juices, etc. Who shouldn’t eat real, whole foods for vibrant health?
When it comes to the human reproduction system, one fact applies to everyone; the type of food you eat and liquids you consume directly affect your reproductive health. If you are a person who thrives on junk food, fried or greasy foods, processed foods, or you simply don’t eat things that are good for you, you know you run a greater risk of health issues than your healthy counterparts who take their diets seriously. We all know how bad foods can adversely affect us, but many people don’t realize how the reproductive system is extremely sensitive to diet, especially when it comes to getting pregnant and having children.
Because women are the child bearers in the world, women’s health issues are almost always at the forefront of every discussion. Because women are “eating for two” it’s of course critical that the Mom-to-be understands what she is putting into her body directly affects her unborn child. But what about the Dad-to-be? What’s going on with him and why is he overlooked? Is his health history good or bad? What does he eat or drink regularly? Is he a party guy, consuming lots of bad foods, drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol? Is he more reserved and eats a healthy diet? Is he physically fit or overweight? Are both Parents-to-be addicted to sugar? What health conditions do they have? You get the idea.
With all of that said, here are some top foods that everyone can look to for improved reproductive health:
There is nothing like the power of sea vegetables for a great dietary addition. Seaweed, in particular, is packed with nutrients that help enrich the liver, kidneys, bladder, and adrenals, which are organs vital to fertility health.
Figs have been believed to increase fertility since the time of Ancient Greeks, and now we have scientific evidence to support it! Figs contain a lot of iron, which are important for healthy eggs and ovulation.
Low in fat, pomegranates are fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free. They are an excellent source of fiber and are rich in vitamin C, copper, and potassium (vitamin K). Pomegranates are also rich in folate, a B-vitamin that has been shown to improve ovulation and overall good health.
Berries are good at protecting eggs from damage and aging because they are full of antioxidants. Strawberries have been linked to naturally increasing a woman’s libido, but all berries are very good for you, excluding allergy issues, etc.
Nuts & Seeds:
Various nuts such as pine nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds, and seeds such as chia seed and flax seed are loaded with Omega-3s and can be fantastic for the reproductive system. Make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to these foods, especially if you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant or nursing. You don’t want to pass your food issues onto your unborn child.
Beans are a lean protein and are full of iron, which helps to increase fertility and libido. Low iron levels can result in something known as “anovulation” (when ovulation does not produce a healthy egg.) Beans rich in iron include lima, pinto, kidney, and lentils.
Dark leafy greens such as spinach, romaine, arugula, and broccoli are high in folate. Leafy greens also naturally increase a woman’s libido.
Maca Root & Ginseng:
Maca root (known as Peruvian Ginseng) increases fertility in men and women by increasing energy, boosting the immune system, and providing vital minerals and nutrients. Maca Root is packed with iron and iodine.
Yams & Sweet Potatoes:
Research shows yams and sweet potatoes have an ovulation stimulating substance that can help boost fertility. They are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that are great for you.
Seasonal Vegetables & Fruit Variety:
Eating up to three servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for any diet, but is especially important when trying to conceive. One of the best practices is to eat those items that are in season. It has been proven that eating foods at their fullest potential seasonally delivers top nutrition to the body.
The Raw Food Guru site really focuses on raw fruits and vegetables, however, most people eat meat. If you are going to eat meat, fresh wild-caught salmon is full of Omega-3s, the fatty acid proven to regulate blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Oysters have been known to increase libido. They can be good source for fertility because they are packed with zinc, which increases the production of good-quality eggs. But for vegans, eating foods rich in zinc that are not meat-based might be a better solution. Those foods include various types of beans, chickpeas, almonds, spinach, flax, watermelon, and garlic to name a few. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional if a vegan diet is right for you.
Foods to Avoid:
Soy contains a compound very similar to estrogen, which can cause estrogen levels spike too high, and can negatively affect fertility. Non-organic GMO soy has been linked to various types of cancers and isn’t recommended.
Regardless of all the silly fad diets or magazine articles telling you alcohol is good for you, it isn’t, especially if you’re pregnant or you’re trying to conceive. Stop drinking alcohol. Most people do not have the strength to go cold-turkey, but you should try. Don’t drink when planning to have children. It’s a bad idea, period. You are harming your unborn child by drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Consuming refined sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, can cause blood sugar spikes, which can negatively affect the reproductive system as well as the rest of the body. Like alcohol, sugar is addictive and bad for you. If you are eating fruit, that is okay, but the desserts, processed breads, candies, cookies, etc., are not good for reproduction. Remember, what you eat you pass on to your unborn child, so take responsibility for your actions and stop eating or drinking what is bad for you. Your child will thank you for it later!
Eliminating saturated fats from the diet is important for general health, however, it’s extremely important to avoid eating saturated fats when trying to conceive because they cause overly high estrogen levels, which can actually lead to infertility.
It’s important to identify any food sensitivities you or your partner may have. Any unidentified sensitivities can negatively impact fertility, as well as cause headaches, heartburn, gas, bloating and weight gain. It never hurts to get a food test or blood test to know what’s going on in your body.
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