Did your mum ever tell you to eat your greens? It turns out she was right because green vegetables are super important for health and fertility. You’re probably packing in the kale and spinach, but what about all the other vegetables? Are you eating a rainbow every day?
When I go food shopping, sometimes I find myself getting stuck in the same routine. Buying the same food and cooking the same meals. It’s easy to get stuck in a food-rut. We all do it. We get into a habit of making our signature dishes, or just reaching for what is quick, easy and familiar.
In the supermarket do you walk past the pak choi because last time you bought some, it ended up sitting at the bottom of the fridge and going off? Or maybe you by-pass the fennel because who even knows what to do with a whole bulb of fennel? And what about the time you bought beetroot and it slowly shrivelled up because it just felt like too much of an effort to cook it for hours on end.
New fruit and vegetables can feel like too much hassle or too difficult to cook. I get it because I feel the same sometimes. What if I told you that eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables is a great way to boost your fertility? And that it doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Let me show you why it’s so important to eat a rainbow for your fertility. And then how you can make it easy and fun, so that you don’t freak your partner out at the dinner table with a plate of undercooked artichokes that has him running for a McDonald’s.
Why It’s Good To Eat A Rainbow
I love the saying eat a rainbow partly because I love rainbows and because it’s an easy way to remember to eat the spectrum of phytonutrients (plant nutrients), vitamins and minerals that’s needed to optimise fertility. The clever thing is that different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different types of nutrients, so if you eat a rainbow every day, then you’ll cover all your bases.
Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties, which protect your body from cancer, ageing, cell damage, poor quality eggs and sperm, oestrogen dominance, inflammation, lumps in your breasts, heavy periods and endometriosis adhesions.
If you and your partner eat a rainbow every day, then you’ll have better quality eggs and sperm. You’ll notice your hormones, cycles, periods, cervical mucus and immune system improving too.
What To Eat
The main phytonutrient in red fruit and vegetables is lycopene, which is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that protects the body from cell damage. Tomatoes are particularly high in lycopene and vitamin C. A research study showed that giving men two tablespoons of tomato puree every day for 3 months reduced DNA damage and improved sperm by 70%.
- Red currants
Eat Orange And Yellow
Orange and yellow fruit and vegetables are high in vitamin C and carotenoids, like beta carotene, alpha carotene and beta cryptoxanthin (part of the vitamin A family). These powerful antioxidants are particularly good at preventing oxidative stress, increase egg and sperm quality, regulate the menstrual cycle and boost the immune system.
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potato
- Turmeric root
- Winter squash
Green vegetables are renowned for the health giving and fertility boosting qualities. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals, especially folate, iron, calcium and zinc, which are all vital for fertility. These nutrients help regulate cycles, balance hormones, support liver function, form a healthy womb lining, improve egg quality and a make a healthy baby.
- Bamboo sprouts
- Bean sprouts
- Pak choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Snow peas
Eat Blue And Purple
Blue and purple food are high in anthocyanin, vitamin C and folate making them powerhouses for fertility. They slow down the ageing process, help create healthy eggs and sperm, as well as supporting blood flow and circulation to support a healthy womb lining. Food like aubergine and beetroot are particularly good to eat when you’re having your period to make up for the blood you’re losing and to help with blood flow.
Eat White and Brown
White and brown vegetables don’t get as much press as green, purple or orange ones, but they have important to include in your fertility food plan. Cauliflower metabolises oestrogen and helps to balance hormones. Garlic and onions contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and support gut health.
How To Make It Easy
There are some easy ways to make sure you eat your rainbow every day. Get more adventurous and plan some new meals. Every time you go food shopping, commit to trying a new vegetable. Experiment with it and have fun.
Make meals where you can throw in a rainbow of vegetables, like a stir fry or soup. Branch out from your regular green smoothie to include a rainbow of fruit and veg. And when you snack, think about what you haven’t had that day to fill in the missing colour. If you haven’t had enough purple, then choose berries as a snack. And if you’re missing orange from your rainbow, then go for some carrot sticks with hummus.
Eat A Rainbow!
So there you have it, the reasons why it’s so important to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to boost your fertility. Checklists of fruit and vegetables to include. And how to practically put this into action and make it a part of your fertility plan. It’s easy to include all the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need when you think of eating a rainbow every day. Next time you go food shopping buy a rainbow of fruit and vegetables and let me know which new one you try this week 🙂
If you want help to map out the exact food plan to optimise your fertility, then check out the Path To Pregnancy Membership and apply for a Fertility Analysis at the bottom of the page to see if we can help you.
All my best,
Rachel Bolton BSc (Hons), Lic. Ac., Lic. Tui Na.
I empower women to see themselves as Fertility Heroes and help them to optimise their fertility, get pregnant and have healthy babies.
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Fertility Network. Can lycopene boost sperm quality by 70%? Source: https://fertilitynetworkuk.org/can-lycopene-boost-sperm-quality-by-70/