Eat Your Way to Fertility With Farm-Fresh Foods
Since the beginning of time, cultures around the globe have celebrated Mother Nature’s link to fertility. Whether from the richness of Spring’s bounty or the abundant fertility of the soil, there is something mysterious and sensual about nature that marks a time of newness in a woman’s pregnancy journey.
Is there a better way to regulate ovulation and boost fertility than to enjoy local foods (locavorism) and become at one with nature?
A locavore is someone who eats locally grown foods whenever possible. This movement (called locavorism) started in the mid-2000s in an effort to boost sustainability and eco-consciousness. Did you know that food is considered local if it’s grown within 100 miles of where it is sold? On average, the produce you buy from the big grocery store travels about 1,838 miles from farm to table.
It is thought that eating local may optimize your preconception nutritional status. So how does eating locally-grown foods boost fertility? Locally grown foods can –
- Provide more vitamins and minerals per serving than grocery store foods
- Encourage you to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
- Sometimes be pesticide-free
Do you cheat your body to save time?
Keep in mind that locally grown foods travel far fewer miles than foods that go to your average chain grocery store. Sure, it saves time to run to the mega-giant supermarket to grab bags of salads for dinner, but you may be cheating your body of essential nutrients while saving time.
During the miles of travel from farm to the store, a vegetable such as a carrot loses between 50 percent and 90 percent of its vitamin C content during the first day alone. Other essential vitamins and minerals are also lost because of the time, temperature and light-sensitivity.
For instance, the B vitamins, particularly folate (important for pregnancy), and vitamin E are depleted during long-distance travel from a farm to the grocery store to your table. These nutrients are antioxidants that help protect from disease and also prevent harmful oxidative stress that has been linked to both male and female infertility.
Enjoy the local food shopping experience
There’s a positive, even exciting side to selecting local foods for consumption. Shopping for local foods is like shopping for a new handbag or shoes, as you search for the best quality at reasonable prices.
Going through the open carts of fresh greens, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and berries is a treasure-hunter’s dream. Chatting with the farmers and breathing the clean air may boost the urge to increase consumption of fresh produce and grass-fed/cage-free proteins.
Even if you don’t add more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, substituting locally grown foods may help replace processed foods, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, saturated fats and preservatives in your diet.
In fact, a quick trip to your local farmer’s market may get you one step closer to consuming an anti-inflammatory, lower-glycemic diet that helps to regulate ovulation, boost fertility and sustain a pregnancy.
In addition, local foods usually have selections that are organic and pesticide-free. Because the foods’ producer (the farmer) is at the market, you can ask questions about the food you eat before you make the purchase.
What does organic mean?
It’s important to know that the label “organic” does not mean that the produce was grown locally. Organic foods may not have toxic chemicals or pesticides, but these foods may travel several days to get to your grocery store. Thus, some organic foods from other areas in the country or world may lack vital nutrients.
Pesticide-residues on fruits and vegetables and hormone/antibiotic-residues in protein foods and their by-products are of concern to fertility experts because the accumulation of such toxins is connected to reproductive damage.
Beware of the dirty dozen
The “Dirty Dozen” or foods that are likely to be the highest in pesticide residuals was developed by the Environmental Working Group. It’s important to buy organic and local when you purchase the Dirty Dozen. The Environmental Group also releases a list of the “Clean 15”. This group is the lowest in pesticides.
2015 List of the Dirty Dozen (Buy These Organic)
8. Sweet bell peppers
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Snap peas - imported
2015 Clean 15 (Lowest in Pesticide)
2. Sweet corn
5. Sweet peas - frozen
15. Sweet potatoes
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The Environmental Working Group