The Fertility Kitchen philosophy isn’t complicated. It’s about embracing whole, real foods in their most natural state – it doesn’t get much simpler than this!
I recognise that we are all different and my goal is not to give you a set of strict guidelines but to empower you to make food choices that will enrich your diet and boost your fertility.
The first step towards your optimum fertility-boosting diet is to select healthy ingredients.
Fresh, local ingredients are key to a healthy diet that’s packed with flavour.
The recipes I share here champion seasonal produce. For much of the year foods are not at their best, so eating in season is such a treat and a privilege. Foods taste better in season, when they are picked at their peak. They are also healthier as they are richer in nutrients.
My intention is that each recipe that I share will feature at least one seasonal ‘hero’ ingredient. This will naturally bring variety into your diet; there is almost always something good, fresh and locally produced for us all to enjoy. Buying seasonal produce from your local shops will also help support your community and its farmers and you will know the origin of your food and be able to eat consciously.
Eat the rainbow
There is nothing better than cooking and eating food that is full of flavour, vibrancy and health!
By eating a rainbow of colours of fruits and vegetables at every meal you will maximise your intake of the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are essential to your reproductive health.
The Fertility Kitchen recipes are plant-based and aim to include as many colours of the rainbow as possible – often two to three portions of vegetables in one meal. You may discover a lot of new things such as purple carrots, onion squash, red kale, Chioggia (candy) beetroot or purple sprouting broccoli.
Eat whole foods
Eat foods in their whole state, as nature intended. Whole foods are so delicious and much more nutritionally rewarding than their heavily processed counterparts. Whole foods are real foods – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, fish and eggs.
The Fertility Kitchen recipes use organic ingredients. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition has found significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic farming.
- Organically produced crops (cereals, fruit and vegetables) contain up to 68% more antioxidants than their non-organic counterparts
- Organic fruit and vegetables contain lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium
- The frequency of occurrence of detectable pesticide residue is four times higher in non-organic crops.
Pesticides are potent, extremely toxic chemicals that can interfere with hormonal health in both men and women. Xenoestrogens are particularly detrimental to your reproductive health as they have a similar structure to the natural hormone oestrogen and can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Aside from pesticides, xenoestrogens can be found in dairy and meat, fish from polluted waters, plastic containers and cling film.
Cadmium can stop the utilisation of zinc, a mineral that is particularly important for the reproductive system.
What to avoid
By following The Fertility Kitchen food philosophy you will naturally avoid the ‘foods’ that could be detrimental to your fertility.
All my recipes are free from refined and processed ingredients. I avoid fake foods: anything genetically modified; processed ‘convenience’ foods with high levels of additives and preservatives; fruit juices, squash and carbonated drinks – all of which are loaded with sugar.
I only drank alcohol on special occasions when trying to conceive and avoided it completely during IVF. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggest limiting alcohol altogether during the preconception period so I would respect this advice.
You may also notice that my recipes are dairy-free. When I gave up dairy I noticed that my asthma symptoms disappeared, so for me continuing to avoid it is a no-brainer.
A cow only produces milk after giving birth so in order to maintain the milk supply they are artificially inseminated two months after giving birth. The concern I have is the resulting high level of hormones, particularly oestrogen, which may enter the milk supply. It was for this reason that I initially removed dairy from my diet.
If you do want to drink milk or eat cream or cheese then I recommend buying organic. The recipes I share are flexible and can be easily adapted to your preferences. You can substitute plant-based milks for dairy milk if you wish.