Traditional Medicine categories food into their energetic qualities and how they balance the body. In a separate article, I will discussed Western nutrition guidelines–categorizing food into their vitamin and mineral content.
However, you look at it, both have very similar recommendations on foods to eat and to avoid.
The goal of traditional medicine is to create an internal environment where blood and energy flow smoothly through your reproductive organs. The role of food is to fully nourish your organs so that they can function optimally.
To optimize your menstrual cycles and fertility, you want to focus on local, organically grown red, purple and dark green foods:
• Berries: Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries
• Fruits: pomegranates, plums
• Leafy green vegetables: chard, green / red cabbage, spirulina
• Yams, sweet potato, taro root, purple sweet potatoes
• Blue-green algae
• Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
• Beans, peas
Other foods that may help with fertility:
• Organ meats: liver, kidney
• Clams and oysters
• Flax / fish oils
• Shiitake mushrooms
• Rice (brown or white)
• Almonds, Hazelnuts
• Free range eggs and egg yolks: boil eggs daily and eat one a day
• Unmedicated chicken
• Wild fish
Limit or avoid exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, antibiotics, hormones and the following items:
• Junk food and candy
• Processed or bleached foods
• Canned foods
• Cold food and drink
• Ice cream / frozen yogurt
• Refined / processed oils
• Large fish (Tuna and Halibut)
• Strongly scented bath oils, incense, candles, lotions and perfumes
In addition to watching what you eat, it is also important to monitor your stress levels. One of the most common problems inhibiting conception is unmanageable levels of emotional, physical and chemical stress. Often thought to come from our external environment, stress can often manifest when you eat on the go, grab a quick snack or eat out choosing nonorganic options. To support your liver and reduce stress, increase your consumption of turmeric, basil, cardamom, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, orange peel, anise and thyme.
In traditional medicine, nutrition and lifestyle are integral for enhancing fertility, and choosing fertile foods and a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Take time to choose your foods, prepare your own meals and eat mindfully.
Integrating acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine with diet and lifestyle may also help create balance, which in turn helps enhance fertility.