The humble lentil is incredibly nutrient dense, especially in the case of fertility. They come in several varieties, and their ease of preparation and versatility can prevent boredom in the kitchen, which is always a must to stay motivated on a healthy diet!
The months prior to conception, ideally six months before, is the best time to start preparing your body for carrying and nourishing a baby. This will ensure that you have enough stored nutrients in your body to nourish both you and the optimal development of your baby, while preventing deficiencies that can cause discomforts during pregnancy. Childbearing isn’t supposed to be a time of discomfort! As women, it is an opportunity to connect with the deepest, most beautiful parts of ourselves; the fiery mama bear, but also the gentle nurturer. Of course, many pregnancies are unplanned, as was mine, which is all the more reason to eat a nutrient dense diet as often as possible.
Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist in the 1930’s who was appalled by the poor standards of health resulting from the industrialization of our food system, sought answers to why infertility and dental decay were on the rise in America. He studied isolated groups of people, those who maintained their native diets and prepared their food in ways that reap the greatest nutritional benefits; these preparation techniques highlighted fermenting, soaking, and/or sprouting. Many of these cultures also wouldn’t allow couples to marry until both man and woman had eaten sacred foods for at least six months to ensure healthy sperm and eggs.
Where was I?! Ah yes, LENTILS…
What can lentils do for your fertility?
- excellent source of many B vitamins- the star player being Folate, which boosts the immune system and is a key nutrient for baby’s brain and spinal cord development. One cup of cooked lentils supplies 90% of your daily need!
- one cup provides 37% of your daily need for Iron, which enriches the blood and can prevent anemia.
- with a whopping 18 g of protein and 16 g of fiber per cooked cup, these little guys are sure to keep you full and can combat spikes in blood sugar.
- stabilizing blood sugar also plays a role in balancing hormones, which of course is essential for optimal fertility.
When preparing lentils (or any bean, grain, legume,nuts, and seeds), remember to soak in clean water at least 8 hours/ overnight, and add a couple tablespoons of an acidic medium (whey, vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt). This will help break down the antinutrients and ease digestion and absorption of nutrients in your body.
Now go and gobble down a nice bowl of lentil soup!…my recipe will be up very soon.
photo credit: bbc.co.uk