SENSE-ational Preconception Prep: 5 Steps to Richer Nutrient Intake

When preparing your body for your sacred journey to parenthood, it is vital to flood your cells with a huge array of nutrients as well as get in enough carbohydrates, proteins and fats. For example, antioxidants will protect maturing eggs, while optimal levels of omega 3’s will hydrate the egg and boost its vitality. In the four months prior to actively trying to conceive, it is advisable for both partners to complete a period of cleansing. This involves avoiding known toxins, such as alcohol, all forms of smoking and drugs, caffeine and sugar. During this time parents-to-be should be eating more organic, non-processed, whole/real food, reducing stress levels and indulging in shared and self oriented care.

A mama’s-to-be requirement of three palm-sized portions of protein every day can be derived from meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds and legumes. Healthy fats can be found in avocado, fish, (avoid shark, swordfish & tuna), nut spreads, seeds, coconut and extra virgin olive oil. Don’t be afraid of fat as it forms the basis of your hormones and is necessary to nourish your baby’s brain in pregnancy (this does not apply to fried foods..sorry!). To avoid the sugar rush, associated with eating carbs, focus on eating low glycemic carbohydrates, and leave the high glycemic products such as sugar, white pasta and white bread, alone. Insulin resistance continues to grow in prevalence worldwide, but it is an epidemic in the U.S.  It also is well known to play a role in infertility.

Here are my top 5 easy ways to increase your nutrient intake:

  • Go Raw!: Eat raw salads, with some fresh herbs, to get nutrients your body will love and to encourage your digestive system, to keep it movin’!
  • Taste the Rainbow: Aim for five different colored vegetables at every dinner
  • Concentrate: Juices provided concentrated nutrients in easy to digest form. Aim for 75% vegetables and 25% fruit with a nutrient optimizer, such as ginger, lemon or parsley
  • Pass the ‘Bucks!:  Swap the caffeine for herbal e.g. rosehip is high in vitamin C while licorice root tones your adrenals and reduces stress
  • Smooth it Out– start with a base of coconut water or almond milk, add  yogurt (from grassfed cow), chia seeds, frozen berries and finish it off with your favorite Superfood such as lucuma.

Lastly, there are some foods that can really support your nutritional requirements during the preconception period. I would recommend having at least one of them on a daily basis.

Asparagus

The strong scent of your urine, that results every time you eat these sulphur rich vegetables, is indicative of the active compounds, as well as the anti oxidant glutathione, which support your liver function. Asparagus contains more glutathione, a super antioxidant, than any other fruit or vegetable. Asparagus has high levels of folic acid, also called vitamin B9. In fact per half cup serving, asparagus has the highest folate content of any vegetable! Eat up!

Broccoli

Contains glucosinolates which increase your body’s ability to detoxify. 1 cup of broccoli contains over 80mg of the antioxidant vitamin C as well as 58mcg of folate.

Kale

This nutrient rich leafy green is known to contain anti cancer properties, and helps increase your body’s ability to detoxify. Quickly blanch kale then stir fry with your favorite herbs and serve with a squeeze of lemon and extra virgin olive oil.

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