My school, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition recently held a conference called IINSPIRE 2017 where one of the speakers was Latham Thomas; IIN graduate and the founder of Mama Glow. I’ve followed Latham’s success for years, even attended her yoga class in NYC, and gifted her book to quite a few expecting mama friends out there. In her talk she gave some great tips on feminine health and I took lots of notes that I wanted to share with you, because it’s a topic I haven’t talked about too much in my blog just yet. I also did some additional research on herbs to support fertility that I threw in.
To build blood during menstruation eat:
- Legumes: lentils, organic soybeans, tempeh, lima beans.
- Grains: quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal.
- Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, chia, unhulled sesame, tahini.
- Vegetables: beets, tomatoes, swiss chard, collard greens.
Also, it’s not how much iron you consume, but how well you absorb it. Eat iron rich foods with vitamin C rich foods to increase absorption as much as 5 times. Also, avoid coffee and tea (2 hours before and after) with iron rich meals, since they contain tannins that block iron absorption.
If you tend to have heavy periods and/or mood swings it is good to take a day off from work your first day of the period, if possible. Give yourself time to wind down and relax, and don’t plan too many activities for the week. Use apps like P Tracker to track your periods.
Wonderful foods to eat when you’re trying to get pregnant
- Pumpkin seeds (zinc) and cervical mucous increasing foods like okra. Have one green juice or smoothie a day to maximize nutrition. Eat with seasons: when cold: warming foods, when hot: cooling foods.
- Avoid estrogen rich foods like highly processed soy, dairy and eggs.
- Avoid common allergens: gluten, corn, soy and eggs.
- Consider nutritional supplements that support cervical mucous production including omega 3, L-Arginine and Evening Primrose Oil.
- Eat stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots,cherries), seeds, nuts and tons of leafy green vegetables.
- High quality fats: orange oil, evening primrose oil and hemp seed oil. You can use these oils as basis for salad dressings, or throw them in your smoothies.
- Some herbs are known to increase circulation to the genitals, while others support hormonal balance which may also be helpful:
Shatavari root: Contains mucilage which may be helpful for women with low cervical mucous.
Dandelion leaf and root: Bitter herb, stimulating to mucous membrane secretion and supports liver health for hormonal balance.
Licorice root: Promotes healthy mucous membrane secretions. Encourages hormonal balance by supporting the endocrine system.
Marshmallow root: Supports natural health for proper function of mucous production.
Red Clover: Shown to increase cervical mucous, aiding vaginal dryness. Increases circulation to the reproductive organs.
Additional support to help you get pregnant:
Switch things around. For example: if you’re normally having sweet foods for breakfast, try savory foods instead like organic miso soup or avocado toast (more breakfast ideas HERE). In 20 minutes you’ll know if they energize you or make you tired.