Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? They’re quick, delicious, easy to make, easy to eat, and packed full of healthy goodness. Smoothies are a great way to get a number of nutrients and “superfoods” all in one meal. Plus, if you are as busy as I am, you appreciate the time saving convenience. Most mornings you’ll find me holding my toddler in one hand and a smoothie in the other. Best of all, with an endless variety of flavour combinations, there’s something to satisfy every pallet. For these reasons and more, I often recommend smoothie recipes to my fertility clients. Today, I share with you a few of my favourites – with fertility-boosting ingredients, and three delicious recipes you can try at home.
Maca Powder: Otherwise known as “Peruvian ginseng,” Maca has been used as a fertility aid for at least 3,000 years. A wholesome diet rich in vitamins and minerals is key to reproductive health, and Maca is rich in minerals like calcium and potassium, and vitamins like B1, B2, C, and D. It is also a complete protein, containing the nine essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own. Most impressive is its effect on the endocrine system; like traditional ginseng, maca is an adaptogenic herb that can help the body regulate hormone levels. By regulating communication between the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, it can help balance our body’s production of hormones.
Ashwagandha Powder: Often called “Indian Ginseng,” this herb also has adaptogenic properties, and is used in Ayurvedic medicine to lower stress and stabilize thyroid hormones. It is a calming tonic that has been proven to reduce anxiety, combat inflammation, and improve sleep quality. It can be particularly beneficial for adrenal support and women with elevated cortisol.
Protein Powder: Eating more vegetable protein has been shown to improve fertility in women – if and when the amount of animal protein in the diet is reduced. A great way to increase your plant-based protein in the morning is a spoon of pea protein powder in your smoothie.
FRUITS & VEGGIES
Dark Leafy Greens: Smoothies are a great opportunity to get in a serving of dark leafy greens. Just one fistful can go a long way. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc. are abundant in vitamins and minerals, especially iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, C, K, and folate (folic acid). They are also very alkalinizing, which can help female fertility. If a woman’s vaginal pH is too acidic, the cervical mucus will also be acidic, creating a hostile environment for sperm seeking an egg.
Berries: A morning smoothie loaded with fresh berries (like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) is a great way to get your dose of daily antioxidants. Antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, and E) are thought to reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress and improve egg quality. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to help manage endometriosis.
Bananas: Bananas are known to be high in potassium, but they are also a great source of vitamin B6, which is important for regular menstruation, as well as healthy egg and sperm development. They are great in smoothies as they add sweetness and creaminess.
Avocados: Avocados are another great smoothie ingredient. Like bananas, they help to add that delightful creamy texture. They are nutritionally packed with minerals, essential fatty-acids, dietary fiber, and fertility-supportive vitamins like vitamin E, which has shown to be beneficial in improving endometrial lining and helps with embryo implantation. Some studies also suggest that a diet high in monounsaturated fats (like those found in avocados) also helps increase the success of IVF treatments.
NUTS & SEEDS
Nut Milks: All smoothies need a liquid component to blend everything well. Nut milk provides a great way to add extra nutrition, while helping all your ingredients blend together. Almond milk, for example, is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to protect egg and sperm DNA. It also works to improve ovulation and support embryo implantation in women. For extra variety, try coconut milk and/or oat milk.
Hemp Seeds: Rich in Essential Fatty Acids and Omega 3s which improve the quality of cervical mucus, increase blood to the reproductive organs, reduce inflammation, and are essential for healthy implantation and fetal development.
Pumpkin Seeds: A great source of fertility-friendly minerals like iron and zinc. They are also a good source of the amino acid L-arginine, which supports egg development and embryo implantation by improving circulation to the reproductive organs. In smoothies, I find pumpkin seed butter works best.
Fertility Smoothie Recipes, 3 Ways
Super Greens Smoothie
1 cup (or 1 handful) baby spinach
½ ripe avocado
1 ½ cup oat milk
1 tsp maca powder
1 scoop pea protein powder
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 ½ cup almond milk
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 scoop pea protein powder
Very Berry Smoothie
1 tbsp ashwagandha powder
1 ½ cup coconut milk
1 cup (or 1 handful) baby kale
½ cup strawberries*
½ cup blueberries*
*fresh or frozen
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
I hope you enjoy these recipes, and if you do try them at home, please let me know what you think! I love feedback and can be reached at email@example.com. Also, if you have other recipes with some of the ingredients mentioned above, I would love to hear about them!
Stay tuned for more fertility-boosting recipes in future posts.
To book a fertility nutrition program or request free consultation with nutritionist Ewa Reid, RHN, contact the BodaHealth reception team.