It’s like flipping a switch. September hits, it becomes fall, and “Pumpkin Spice (fill in the blank)” is everywhere.
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Spice Oreos, pumpkin spice breakfast cereal, Pumpkin Spice Clif Bars (for the fitness junkies), even pumpkin spice pizza!
The fast food and packaged food industries go pumpkin crazy this time of year. And it’s not just limited to the humans. I’ve seen Greenies Pumpkin Spice dog treats!
Everything has been “spiced.”
No disrespect to my pumpkin spice-loving friends, there’s got to be a better way to celebrate fall with food.
Thankfully, there is.
And if you’re on the fertility path, some fall foods, in addition tasting great, can help you boost your fertility too.
Here are my favorite fertility boosting foods this time of year.
Brussels sprouts are loaded with folate, which as I’ve said before, is essential for your diet if you’re trying to conceive or expecting. Most of our folate-rich foods are leafy green vegetables, and Brussels are a cabbage, so it’s a great alternate source for this important nutrient. Brussels are also found to help increase sperm counts for men and help keep your uterine lining healthy which is essential for implantation.
It just wouldn’t be fall without the squashes. Acorn squash, butternut squash and (yes) pumpkins all come into season starting in the fall, and will be with us all winter. Butternut squash is my favorite of the squashes, hands down. In addition to tasting great, it’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals for fertility, including Vitamin A (great for sperm health and overall hormone production, and one serving covers your entire daily recommended value!), Vitamin C (essential for healthy ovulation) and carotenes (good for egg health). It’s also a great source for healthy carbs.
Okay, so my list does actually have a pumpkin product. It’s not cheating; no list of beneficial fall foods would be complete without pumpkin, because it’s really good for you! Here, I’m focusing on pumpkin seeds, as they’re a real powerhouse for your fertility! They’re loaded with zinc which has been termed “the most important fertility mineral!” It’s vital for healthy fetal growth and it facilitates healthy sperm production. Research has also linked pumpkin seeds to a reduction in early miscarriage. Pumpkin seeds go great in soups, on salads, and just as a great-tasting snack!
The fertility diet, by and large, does not include potatoes. White potatoes, that is. Sweet potatoes and yams are a wonderful food to include in fertility-friendly diet. They’re a great source of healthy carbs and they’re also high in vitamin C, B, and vitamin B6. These antioxidants protect against cell damage so they’re great for protecting your eggs and improving egg health – no matter how “old” your eggs are!
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, and it helps boost your fertility too. Apples are considered a balanced fruit with a good mix of all nutrients. They’re a low calorie fruit, so they’re a great choice for getting the nutritional benefits of fruit without all the sugar that’s found in other fruits. For men, apples are recommended to increase sperm counts. And, in Norse mythology, apples were given as gifts to the Gods to promote fertility. How cool is that?!
Here’s an awesome lunchtime salad that makes it onto my menu planner every autumn:
Sweet Potato, Apple and Avocado Salad
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in to ½ inch cubes
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 apple, cored and sliced (I like Granny Smiths here, the tartness counters the sweetness of the potato, but you can use whatever type of apple you like)
- ½ small red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ avocado, diced
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large saucepan full of water to a boil and add sweet potatoes. Cook until soft but not mushy, approximately 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well.
- Toast pumpkin seeds in dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden and fragrant.
- Combine apple, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a large bowl. Stir in sweet potatoes and oil; add sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.
Adapted from savorysimple.net
[originally appeared at B Fit, B Fertile, 9/28/17]