“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” - Hippocrates
In Chicago spring has arrived! Weather is getting warmer, rain has begun, birds are singing, daffodils, hyacinth, wild flowers and grass are growing rapidly. It’s so amazing to see after a long winter how fast they bloom. What is also starting to surface is some of the best produce of the year. I find it fascinating how nature offers us so much detoxifying produce after a dormant winter season. If you’re like me and not interested in doing the latest detox out there on the market to improve your fertility, I encourage you to try some of Mother Nature’s spring foods. Here are a few of my favorite items to incorporate now before they're gone:
1. Ramps a/k/a Wild Leeks. These guys are only around for a month at the most, so get out and find them now! (See picture above) They are a bit pricy, but a little goes a long way, like onion and garlic. They are high in vitamins A and C. The National Institutes of Health identifies vitamin A as being essential for the immune system and vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant, meaning that it seeks out and neutralizes free radicals, the particles that attack healthy cells;
2. Asparagus. It is known for its detoxifying properties: fiber, folate, iron, vitamins A, C, E and K according to Natural Healthy Concepts. Also, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the kidneys govern over birth, growth, and reproduction and asparagus aids cleansing of the kidneys;
3. Lettuces. My general rule of thumb is to choose a darker leaf lettuce over a lighter leaf lettuce like iceberg, which has very little nutritional value. According to the University of California Cooperative Extension Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, most lettuces are a good sources of fiber, good source of vitamin A (darker green lettuces are a better sources than pale leaf lettuces) and vitamin C. Fiber helps to keep your elimination system working well. According to the American Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, foods rich in vitamins A and C (antioxidants) offer protection against some forms of cancer. Along with other phytochemicals, antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer of the respiratory system and intestinal tract;
4. Spinach. The cartoon character Popeye was on to something! In the cartoons Popeye ate spinach to gain strength from the iron in spinach. Spinach is said to have twice as much energy-boosting iron as other leafy greens. PLUS it has a ton of other vitamins and minerals according to The World’s Healthiest Foods: vitamins K, A, B2, B6, B1, B3, E, C, as well as fiber, folate, omega-3 fats to name a few; and
5. Green Peas. I know they’re not everyone's favorite vegetable (maybe from growing up being forced to eat bad split pea soup from a can--ahem, Campbell's for one), but these tiny peas pack a big nutritional punch! They are known for their fiber, protein as well as being an antioxidant. They digest easily and eliminate efficiently.
P.S. All of these vegetables are known as oxygen radical absorption capacity “ORAC” which means they decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. These are foods you want to incorporate in your diet while trying to conceive.
As always, I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic in the comments section of this post or any topics that may help you in your fertility journey.
If you want support in adding these springtime goodies and other detoxifying tools, contact me here.
Until next time. Stay well!