There seems to be something magical about smoothies when it comes to boosting your fertility.
Celebrity and wellness advocate, Molly Sims swore by her fertility smoothie when trying to conceive, and for good reason too!
And although making a smoothie is fairly straightforward, there are some important pitfalls to avoid when crafting the perfect fertility smoothie.
But fear not, with our simple 4-part formula, you’ll always be on-track to enjoy a fertility-boosting smoothie that will be sure to nourish your body.
Toss a few ingredients in a blender, hit the high speed button for 60 seconds and done.
What could go wrong?
While it’s true that crafting a smoothie is not as tricky as other culinary activities in the kitchen, there are certainly some pitfalls you should avoid when it comes to making a smoothie that supports your fertility.
Fertility Smoothie Pitfall #1: Too much high-glycemic fruits.
Oftentimes when it comes to smoothies, we think of fruit and LOTS of it. And although fruits are rich in nutrients our bodies need, fruits with a high-glycemic load are more likely to create spikes in our blood sugar.
Fertility Smoothie Pitfall #2: Skipping out on healthy fats.
Not only are the right types of fat anti-inflammatory, but skipping out on fats altogether means that your smoothie is predominantly filled with sugar.
Fertility Smoothie Pitfall #3: Relying exclusively on protein powders.
Protein powders are not inherently bad. With that being said, many are filled with chemical additives and/or rely on low quality forms of protein such as soy protein isolate.
What makes the perfect fertility smoothie will ultimately be dictated by YOUR taste buds, so listen to what inspires you most.
With that said, there’s a basic formula we recommend when creating a smoothie that will be sure to support your reproductive health.
It looks a little something like this:
1 serving of antioxidant-rich fruit
2 servings of leafy green vegetables
1 serving of plant-based protein
1 serving of healthy plant-based fat
And of course you can always upgrade your smoothie with some superfood should you choose. A few of our favorite fertility superfoods that taste delicious in smoothies include:
Acai berries: a dark blue-purple berry from South America with mild flavor that’s rich in antioxidants as well as essential fatty acids (including omega-3s!).
Cacao: the raw form of chocolate that’s packed with a number of pro-fertility minerals like iron in addition to an impressive array of antioxidants.
Chia seeds: more than just a natural thickening agent for smoothies, chia seeds contain omega-3s, iron, and antioxidants. Ounce-for-ounce, chia seeds pack more nutrients than most other superfoods – of course there is a limit to how many you can consume.
Hemp seeds: despite the name, these little seeds are completely THC-free and are packed with protein. In fact, hemp seeds include all eight essential amino acids.
Spirulina: a type of blue-green algae found in powder form, this superfood is rich in pro-fertility micronutrients as well as plant protein.
Pitfalls successfully navigated and smoothie formula mastered, it’s time to pick out some ingredients that will support your reproductive efforts.
Remember we are looking to avoid too much high-glycemic load fruits. Luckily berries are loaded with antioxidants and have a lower glycemic load. Think blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and even goji berries.
Other low-glycemic fruits that make excellent additions to smoothies include apples and bananas.
If you haven’t read our post on pesticides, it’s best to purchase organic if at all possible when it comes to fruit. Choosing frozen fruit is a great way to save money when going organic, and it doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of the health properties (and in some cases actually ups the benefits). Yes, we know that Traditional Chinese Medicine will often advise against cold foods when TTC, but if it’s a decision between organic-frozen or conventional-fresh, we advise the former every time. Also, “warm” smoothies just don’t taste quite the same.
Leafy green vegetables
If you’re not big on vegetables, smoothies are a great way to sneak them into your diet, especially those leafy greens.
Kale is the superstar of the leafy green family with tons of vitamins and antioxidants. It can be a bit more bitter than other greens, so here’s a pro tip – opt for baby kale which can provide a much milder taste than the bold curly variety.
Spinach is another great pro-fertility leafy green vegetable with both iron and folate, two key nutrients when trying to conceive and has a mild if any taste at all. It’s a staple in smoothies among the OvulifeMD team. (Pro-tip: buy fresh leaf spinach and freeze it– the pre-frozen kind is way chunkier and doesn’t seem to blend as well).
And for those of you more adventurous, give swiss chard or beet greens a try!
Whatever you decide when it comes to leafy greens, we recommend that you change things up every now and then. Don’t stick to the same leafy green day-in and day-out and opt for organic when you can when it comes to those greens on the Dirty Dozen list.
You need not rely solely on protein powders as we noted earlier in this post. There are many excellent sources of plant proteins to choose from.
For starters, nuts and nut butter not only provide healthy fats, but they also provide a great source of protein for your smoothie. Almonds provide 6 grams of protein in every ¼ cup serving.
Oats are another good plant-based protein (5 grams in ½ dry cup) that are also rich in fiber and give your smoothie some extra sticking power .
Despite our recommendations against soy protein isolate, natural forms of tofu in moderation are a great source of protein. And you need not fear soy when TTC – a couple servings (1-2) per week will not disrupt your hormones (a friendly reminder not to believe everything you read on the internet).
Finally, spirulina is an often overlooked, but mighty powerful plant-based protein. One serving of spirulina powder (4 teaspoons) contains almost 8 grams of protein. And just as important, spirulina is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including 40% of the daily recommended intake of iron.
Of course, don’t forget chia and hemp seeds are excellent sources of plant based proteins (5 g and 10 g in 3 tbsp respectively) – bonus for being rich in pro-fertility fats too.
Hopefully, by now, we’ve convinced you not to fear fat when TTC or otherwise for that matter.
Nut butter is the typical go-to source of fat for smoothies. We recommend natural almond or cashew butter. Yes, that means stirring up the oil, but it also means skipping out on unhealthy additives such as partially hydrogenated oils and sugar.
Another great source of fat, that also happens to be a fruit, is the beloved avocado! They also have the added bonus of adding a creamy texture to your smoothie.
Now that you’ve selected your perfect pro-fertility ingredients in the perfect ratios, it’s time to make sure your smoothie comes together, perfectly.
Although making a smoothie isn’t as complicated as making a baby, there’s a basic architecture that we learned from our good friend and superfood chef, Julie Morris.
Here’s how Julie recommends building your perfect smoothie:
Base: Toss in the hard, chunky ingredients first so they’re closest to the blades. This includes things like frozen fruits and nuts.
Bulk: Next add in the soft, space-filling ingredients like those leafy greens, nut butters, fresh fruit.
Powders/Superfoods: Top things off with any powders or superfoods you’ve chosen to add to the mix. This helps them stick to the unblended solids upon adding the liquids.
Liquid: Last but not least, fill things in with your liquid of choice. Liquids last ensure you don’t get any splash back 🙂
Ice: If you’re not using frozen fruit, this is a nice way to chill things down. Sometimes it helps to add the ice half-way through the blending process if you included lots of hard or bulky ingredients.
Everyone has their favorite go-to smoothie recipe, but we figured it’s always good to try something new. Here are a few of our favorite smoothie recipes…
Mint Chip Smoothie by Julie Morris @ Luminberry
Creamy Chocolate Hemp Smoothie by Angela Liddon @ Oh She Glows
Hide Your Kale Smoothie by Dana Shultz @ Minimalist Baker
That was a lot more than we anticipated writing about fertility smoothies.
Hopefully, our 4-part formula will provide you with a framework to get adventurous with your smoothies, while ensuring that they are set to nourish your body for optimal fertility.
Skip the common pitfalls and load up on whole foods and you really can’t go wrong.
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