Fertility Green Smoothie Recipe

You can boost your fertility as a couple by drinking green smoothies daily with added spirulina and maca. You can also use a green supplement powder like I have been doing lately in order to detoxify your system as well as provide your body with lots of nourishment.

I like Amazing Grass Green Superfood Detox formula.  I get mine at Natural Grocers, but you can also find it on Amazon.  You will naturally feel increased energy and vitality with these smoothies. I love to use my Nutribullet to blend my smoothies (note that I use the largest cup that came with my blender).

Here’s one of the green smoothie recipes I have been using lately:

Ingredients:
1 large handful raw spinach
1 small cluster raw parsley or cilantro (about 1/3 cup)
1 handful frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 frozen banana (I freeze the whole thing in advance in pieces and just use 1/2 at a time)
1 level scoop powdered greens
1-2 Tbs raw hemp seeds (or sunflower seeds)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Fill to max line with plain coconut milk or water.  You can add maca and/or spirulina to this mix as well.  It’s not a dessert smoothie, so it may not be your favorite, but I drink it knowing how healthy it is and how many fruits and vegetables I’m getting (about 10 servings).  If you want it sweeter, you can add a whole banana instead of half and/or add raw honey.  You can also add organic dairy or kefir, and this will make it creamier.  You can drink it as a snack or use it as a meal replacement, especially if you’re trying to lose some weight.

 

Herbs For Low Sperm Count

SpermA number of herbs are good for promoting a healthy sperm count and motility.  For more information about the basics of male fertility and what the different terms mean, please see my Male Fertility page.

Before moving any further along your journey to parenthood, it’s important that your man gets a semen analysis to make sure his sperm are performing optimally.  It takes two to make a baby – the female and the male partner – and it’s just as likely that the male partner has issues as the female partner.

The semen analysis is very simple, although many times can be embarrassing to deal with.  There are at-home tests, like the one I recommend below, to help ease the embarrassment of being on a public setting to produce the specimen.

I recommend the Sperm Check at-home test from Fairhaven health if you choose to go that route.  Fairhaven Health is one of my trusted affiliate partners.  You can read more about Sperm Check here.

Herbs To Improve Male Fertility

The following herbs have been known to help improve male fertility.  Keep in mind that it can take up to 3 months to see any changes, as it takes that long for semen to replenish in the male system.

Maca:  Helps with sperm quality, libido, and overall hormone balance.

Spirulina: Sperm quality

Royal jelly:  Helps reduce aging, sperm quality, libido, hormone balance.

Damiana:  Helps with erectile dysfunction, sperm quality, azoospermia, and libido.

Tribulus:  Sperm quality, libido (combines well with other herbs such as maca, damiana, and ginseng)

Also important is the mineral zinc.  Since zinc is very plentiful in semen, it’s important that your man get enough of this nutrient when trying to conceive.  Getting 30 mg per day of zinc should be the goal.

Read more about maca.

More about royal jelly.

Read more about damiana.

 

Damiana For Fertility

DamianaDamiana is beneficial for toning, strengthening, and stimulating the reproductive organs. It also helps to balance hormone levels and improve egg performance and quality.

Damiana also improves libido in both males and females (which is very important when trying to conceive).

Damiana is best known for its ability to remedy impotence by encouraging circulation to the male sex organs. It is also believed to improve sperm count and motility.

This wonderful herb helps to balance hormones by its action on the pituitary and adrenal glands, two of the most important glands for hormonal balance. The toning action on the adrenals help the body with stress levels, energy levels, and stamina.

Damiana may be used safely by both men and women to help enhance libido, erectile function, sperm count and motility, as well as egg follicle maturation and viability.

Natives of central and Southern America have drunk damiana tea to help with all these issues.

HOW TO USE: For tea: Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1 oz. of dried damiana leaves and allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the water off the leaves, add honey and enjoy. You can drink damiana tea up to three times daily. You can also combine with chamomile and mint for better flavor (using equal parts of each herb).

If using capsules, use according to bottle directions. All month long for males. Before ovulation for females.

PRECAUTIONS: Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.

You can purchase bulk damiana at Starwest Botanicals, one of my trusted affiliate partners.

 

 

Red Clover For Fertility

RedClover

Red clover blossoms have a very high vitamin and mineral content, which nourishes the reproductive organs as well as the entire body.

This wonderful fertility herb also helps balance hormones for a great boost in your chances of getting pregnant more quickly.

If you know you have blocked fallopian tubes, red clover could be just the herb to help you unblock them naturally.

Red clover also aids in liver function, which tremendously helps with hormone balance by ridding the body of excess hormones.

FERTILITY CONDITIONS GOOD FOR: Unblocking fallopian tubes, irregular menstruation, overall hormone balance

HOW TO USE: One to three cups of infusion daily. Best used over an extended period of time (3-6 months) for optimal results.

PRECAUTIONS: None known. The safety of red clover during pregnancy is not clear, so it’s best to discontinue use after a positive pregnancy test.

Preconception Nourishing Infusion

  • 1/3 cup dried red clover
  • 1/3 cup dried red raspberry leaf
  • 1/3 cup dried stinging nettle leaves

Place all the herbs in a quart jar and pour boiling water up to the rim of the jar. Cover and let steep for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain herbs and add honey or sweetener of choice. You may need to reheat the mixture in order for the sweetener to dissolve properly. Drink daily.

You can purchase red clover at Starwest Botanicals, one of my trust affiliate partners.

Purchase nettle leaf.

Purchase raspberry leaf.

 

 

 

Maca Smoothie Recipe

Maca

 

Maca is especially good for advanced-age couples (those 35 and older) due to egg and sperm quality improvement, but it’s also excellent for balancing hormones and increasing libido (sex drive).

It has a nice malt-like flavor that blends well in smoothies.  Here’s a sample smoothie recipe for you to try.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cow or goat milk or nut milk (avoid soy and non-organic cow’s milk)
  • heaping spoonful of plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • one ripe frozen banana
  • one tablespoon maca powder
  • sprinkling of cinnamon

Blend until smooth! Add extra liquid as needed or desired. Double for you and hubby together in the morning (for a full day’s supply of maca).

You can also add one teaspoon of spirulina and/or one teaspoon of raw cacao powder for extra nutrition. Get creative!

You can purchase maca from The Maca Team, one of my trusted affiliate partners.

 

 

 

 

Essential Vitamins For Male Fertility

It’s important for the male partner to get proper nutrients as well. Therefore, supplementation is usually a good idea. Here’s a list of the vitamins and minerals that men need in order to have optimal reproductive and sperm health. There are others, and dosages can be higher, but this is a guideline to get your started.

  • Zinc – 30 mg per day
  • Selenium – 100-200 micrograms
  • CoQ10 – 200 mg
  • Vitamin E – 150-400 IU
  • Folate – 500 micrograms
  • B12 – 25 micrograms
  • Vitamin C – 250-500 mg
  • L-carnitine – 3-4 grams

Fertility Foods For Men Containing Some of the Above Nutrients:

  • Zinc (sperm quality): Pumpkin seeds, calf liver, oysters, clams, mussels, beef, lamb, venison, sesame seeds, yogurt, turkey, green peas, shrimp
  • Selenium (sperm creation): Liver, snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimp, crimini mushrooms, turkey, Brazil nuts
  • CoQ10 (sperm motility): Seafood and organ meats
  • Vitamin E (sperm health and motility): Sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, papaya, dark leafy greens
  • B12 (sperm count): Clams, oysters, muscles, liver, caviar (fish eggs), fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, eggs

FertilAid For Men includes all of these nutrients as well as maca and ginseng for optimal fertility for your man.

You can purchase FertilAid For Men here from Fairhaven Health, one of my trusted partners.

This post is an excerpt from my book “The Best Fertility Herbs & Superfoods For Faster Conception.”  You can read more about the book here.

More on Male Factor Infertility.

 

 

 

 

Top Fertility Food List

Food2Mini

The following are some foods that are high in nutrition and fertility-enhancing qualities. Consume these regularly, while cutting down on (or eliminating) processed foods, caffeine, and sugars.

Remember this rule for foods – The less it’s been tampered with the better!

And choose organic when you can. For meats, choose pastured and grass fed when possible. For fish, choose wild caught instead of farm raised when possible.

Salmon – Wild caught Alaskan is best. Avoid farm raised. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A good alternative if you need to save money is canned salmon, which is almost always wild Alaskan. Eat at least once a week.

Green leafy vegetables – This includes kale, collards, lettuce, spinach, etc. Eat at least one to two servings per day.

Eggs – Farm fresh, pastured, local eggs are best, as they contain much more nutrition and have darker yolks than store bought. Try your local farmer’s market, health food store, or neighbor with chickens. You may pay more, but it’s worth it for the increased nutrition and flavor. Eat one to two per day.

Liver – Rich in folic acid, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin A, iron, and a host of other nutrients. Try to eat at least once per week. Can be mixed in with other meats in tacos, stir fries, or soups to mask the flavor if you don’t care for liver. Calf liver is the most nutrient rich, but other livers are healthy as well. Seek to find hormone-free, pastured meat if possible.

Full-fat dairy – Yes, I know you’ve heard over and over how fat is bad for us and that we should stick with low fat. But, the truth is – fat is good for us! We need it for digestion, our nervous system, our joint health, our fertility, and much more. It’s especially beneficial when trying to conceive and when pregnant. This includes butter (avoid margarine), cheese, milk (raw or organic), cream, and yogurt. Choose full-fat varieties when possible. They are more nutritious and more delicious!

Nuts/Seeds – Choose a variety, including almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazel nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and more. Eat raw if possible.

Fruits/Vegetables – Choose as many different colors throughout the day as possible. Red, green, purple, orange, yellow, white – these all offer different nutrients needed by your body. The more varied the better. Organic is better, especially for the “dirty dozen” (see the list at the end of this section), but scrubbing and peeling when you cannot afford or find organic is better than not eating the fruits and veggies at all. Another option is soaking in vinegar water for 15-20 minutes to get rid of some of the pesticide residue.

A good way to get many fruits and veggies per day is by eating salads, juicing, and making smoothies daily. You will have more energy and also improve your fertility at the same time.

Poultry/Meat – Choose organic only, and preferably pasture raised. Beef should be grass fed or finished (which is the cow’s natural diet and makes it a much healthier meat). Chicken and other poultry should at least be organic, which only means that it was fed an organic feed. Chickens that are organic and pasture raised are best, as they eat more of their natural diet of grass and insects, making their meat and eggs much more nutritious.

This above excerpt has been taken from my book, “The Best Fertility Herbs and Superfoods For Faster Conception.”  You can read more about it and purchase at this link – http://www.getting-pregnant-fast.com/fertilityherbs

 

 

 

CoQ10 For Fertility

CoQ10 is short for Coenzyme Q10 and is a fat-soluble antioxidant that increases mitochondrial function.  The mitochondria is the part of a cell where energy is produced.  CoQ10 is found normally in the body, but production decreases with age.  Thus, supplementation with CoQ10 is mainly intended for older individuals – both men and women.

So, what does this mean for improved fertility?

Because this nutrient is important for the energy and viability of each cell of the body, it’s an important nutrient for egg and sperm health.  And because the natural production of CoQ10 in the body diminishes with age, an “advanced age” couple can improve their odds of conception by its use.

For eggs and sperm, this means greater health and viability, which is what we all want when trying to conceive.  In women, it can help improve egg quality.  In men, it can help improve sperm count.

It is also very helpful for prevention of type 2 diabetes, and studies have shown that it improves insulin sensitivity.  This is beneficial for women with PCOS or those with insulin resistance issues.

Though not an herb, CoQ10 has been found to be a very helpful supplement for advanced age couples trying to conceive.

No human testing has been done for human females, but testing done on older female mice resulted in an increase in the quality and quantity of eggs ovulated.

Studies done with human men revealed an increased sperm motility after using 200 mg of CoQ10 per day over a period of six months.

FERTILITY CONDITIONS GOOD FOR:  Egg quality, sperm function, insulin resistance, PCOS, advanced age.

HOW TO USE:  200 mg for men /  400 mg for women – all month long.

Best absorbed when taken with fatty acid supplement such as borage oil or evening primrose oil.  Also best taken in divided doses instead of in just one dose per day.

PRECAUTIONS:  Can interact with some medications.  Consult with your healthcare provider before use if on any prescription.  Do not take during pregnancy unless specifically recommended by your healthcare provider.

You can purchase CoQ10 from my trusted affiliate partner at this link – http://www.getting-pregnant-fast.com/CoQ10

 

FertilityHerbMiniCover2

* This post is an excerpt from my book “The Best Fertility Herbs & Superfoods For Faster Conception.”

You can read all about it here.

 

 

 

Royal Jelly For Fertility

BeeOnFlower

Flickr photo courtesy of Karen Roe.

Royal jelly is the substance that worker bees produce and feed to the queen bee.

Because the queen bee is the only bee that is fertile within the colony, laying around 2000 eggs per day, this substance is considered to help promote fertility in humans as well.

Due to its high nutrient content, royal jelly has been used for centuries as an overall health tonic and to help with longevity and anti-aging issues.

 

It is also believed to balance hormones to their optimal levels (which is another great fertility benefit because it improves the chances of conception).

Royal jelly is not just used by women.  Men can also improve their reproductive health with this amazing superfood. In studies, royal jelly has also been proven to improve sperm production in men.

Royal Jelly is rich in many vitamins, amino acids, and proteins. One of its main benefits for fertility is in balancing and regulating hormone levels with regular use.  The significant levels of vitamin B6 make royal jelly potentially beneficial for those with a short luteal phase.

Benefits of Royal Jelly:

  • Enhance libido
  • Improve egg and sperm health
  • Balance hormone levels
  • Reduce signs of aging
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Boost immune system

Infertility Conditions Most Useful For:

  • PCOS (due to hormone balancing effect)
  • Advanced age issues (egg quality and sperm quality)
  • Luteal phase defect (due to the high amounts of B vitamins, specifically B6, which is helpful for normalizing the luteal phase)
  • Irregular cycles

Precautions:  Do not take if allergic to bees.

You can purchase royal jelly here from Fairhaven Health, one of my trusted partners.

 

FertilityHerbMiniCover2

* This post is an excerpt from my book “The Best Fertility Herbs & Superfoods For Faster Conception.” 

You can read all about it here.

 

 

 

Ovulation Questions

(The following are some questions I have received from readers recently, followed by my answers.)

Question:  I have been charting this month for the first time, but have been using OPKs for several months.  Some months, like this one, I have positive results for several days in a row.  I have read that you should only have a positive result for 24 hours.  Today I had my 5th positive day in a row.  Day one (of these 5) was the only day I used a digital OPK, which was positive, and since then my test line has been darker.

What could be the cause of this?  It’s hard to say what my temperatures indicate yet, because I work some night shifts, so my sleep patterns vary.  I’ve heard it may be more difficult to read in that case.  Thanks for your help!

My Answer:  First of all, I don’t recommend continuing to test with OPK’s after you have a definite positive.  It just causes confusion and wastes your tests.

You should use the OPK up until the test line is as dark or darker than the control line.  Then you should expect to ovulate within 36 hours from that time.  Stop testing, and have intercourse that night and the following night if possible.  Then skip a night and have intercourse one more time.

If you are charting your BBT as well, you will be able to tell when you have ovulated.  Your temperature will rise, and then you will know you can stop having baby-making intercourse for that month.

You can read more about determining your ovulation, including OPK testing and BBT charting on this page of my site.

Question:  Is it a pretty good indication that you’ve ovulated if you have both mittelschmerz and egg white cervical mucus on the same days? I was curious if mittelechmerz means that you’re definitley ovulating?  I know EWCM can happen with or without ovulation.

I don’t chart BBT (I should, but that’s a little too much planning for me), so I only rely on these two factors.  I know I can ovulate, as I did become pregnant in late February of this year, but I lost the pregnancy about 6 weeks into it, and I feel this pain just about every month, but I was getting worried that maybe I don’t ovulate every month and that’s why we haven’t gotten pregnant again.

My Answer:  Mittelschmerz is a pretty good indicator that you are ovulating.  However, you can certainly ovulate without this mid-cycle cramping.

Personally, I wouldn’t rely just on these two methods alone.  You really need to chart your basal temperatures in order to know if you are consistently ovulating.

Another method I recommend highly is OPK’s.  There are different types of OPK’s – strips, cassettes, and fertility monitors.  The strips are the least expensive and fairly easy to use.

For BBT charting, you can make it simpler if you have a general idea of when you ovulate.  Let’s say you typically have your cramping about day 15 of your cycle.  In that case, begin to chart your temps on about day 10 until you see the rise in temperature and then stop.  This way, you’re only taking your temperature for about a week.

To make it easier, you could make a notation on your calendar or have your cell phone notify you on the day you need to start.  That way your planning time is minimal, but you still improve your chances of timing intercourse properly each month.