Hi and welcome to this week’s episode of Talking fertility, where I come to you live every Monday morning at 11am talking all things fertility.
Today I’m going to be talking about one of the number 1 things you should be eating to boost your fertility health.
Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free or any other incarnation of diet out there, there is one thing you should be eating plenty of. And that’s colour!
And no, I don’t mean the skittles variety, I’m referring to the natural colours in our fruits and veg.
The colour pigments in these foods provide nourishing, healing and medicinal properties beyond their carbohydrate, fat, protein or even their vitamins and minerals. The colour in food provides phytonutrients.
There are thousands of phytonutrients in our food supply. This is a hugely rich source of healing and nutritive compounds that most of us aren’t tapping into enough.
So in this episode I will touch on all the colours, what benefits they offer and what foods you can find them in.
Because it was way back in the Hippocratic era, when Hippocrates, who is renowned as the father of medicine and lived centuries ago from 460BC to 375 BC, back then, he stated that food is medicine.
And it formed the foundation of all medical treatment. Yet over the years we have lost sight of that. And particularly colour is medicine.
Phytonutrients are plant derived, phytochemicals with fabulous nutritive, healing and medicinal properties. Yet most of us aren’t getting recommended levels.
And in some ways it goes back to the 5 vegetables and 4 fruits a day. Unfortunately surveys show that most of us get 3 – 4 serves combined not 9.
And when it comes to colour, a US survey showed
- 70% of people aren’t eating enough greens
- 78% of people aren’t getting enough red
- 79% of us aren’t getting enough yellow and orange
- 88% aren’t getting enough blue and purple.
And I will be sharing a link to a quiz where you can assess where you stand in relation to your phytonutrient intake.
And yes, in some ways it does go back to the 5 serves of veg, 4 serves of fruit. Yet you want to be going well beyond that and incorporating as much of a rainbow of colours in these 9 serves as you can.
I’ll touch on a few of the more well-known phytonutrients that you will find in these brightly coloured fruits and veg and why they are so beneficial.
Provides lycopene, anthocyanins which are rich antioxidants and have been found to be beneficial especially in sperm health and also blood sugar regulation which can be an issue in women with PCOS.
These include Tomatoes, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, kidney beans, beets and red lentils just to name a few.
Provides beta-carotene and the carotenoids. These are tonic to the reproductive system for men and women for uterine and sperm health and collagen production.
These include carrots, oranges, sweet potato, pumpkin, apricots, oranges, peaches, the delicious mandarins that are now in season and I have blooming on my tree outside at the moment so grab some of those while they’re in season, because eating foods in season boosts their nutritional value even further because they haven’t been shipped or frozen or stored for any length of time.
Provides bromelains from Pineapple great for digestion. There are the natural antibiotic properties from Manuka honey. Then there’s the bright yellow turmeric which has very strong anti-inflammatory properties, great for conditions like endometriosis as well as ginger which is also a warming circulatory tonic.
In green foods you have phytonutrients like cholophyll which is a powerful antioxidant. Green also provides you phytomethylators and your indoles which are great to support methylation and detoxification pathways and can be especially good for clearing excess estrogen in conditions like heavy bleeding, clots and endometriosis. And of course greens are rich in folate which is essential for reproductive health.
This is the number one colour we are missing out on.
Blue purple foods provide anthocyanins and phenolics, which can help slow the effects of ageing, providing powerful antioxidant activity.
These include blueberries, blackberries, red grapes, black currants, elderberries, plums and egg plants and your purple Peruvian potatoes which have over 100 times the phytonutrients, compared to the regular white potato.
Yet, white is not always bad. If you speak to my Mum who’s an artist she will say white is not a colour it’s a shade, so I must be correct there.
But in relation to naturally white foods they provide their own phytonutrients.
If it’s in the form of white bread, white salt and white sugar then there’s certainly no phytonutrients there but you have foods like cauliflower, parsnips, coconut, garlic they offer an array of phytonutrients and medicinal qualities.
And when it comes to colours, you don’t just want to say pick carrots and say, that’s my orange so I don’t need to eat any more orange foods.
As I mentioned before there are thousands of these phytonutrients and each type of orange or red or green food will provide its own unique blend of these. So getting a good variety within each colour group is important as well.
If you want to see how you a fairing in relation to your phytonutrients intake, as I mentioned I have a phytonutrient assessment sheet which is a bit of a quiz I often use with my patients to assess phytonutrient intake. You can download it here.
If you want to know more about phytonutrients Deanna Minich from the US is someone to follow. She is the Author of The Rainbow Diet. And she does a lot of work with phytonutrients and their benefits so she’s a great resource to check out for more information on colours in our diet.
But really, when it comes down to it, just eat with your eyes. Enjoy a variety of different coloured foods each day, the more vibrant the better!
So I hope you have enjoyed today’s episode of Talking Fertility and I hope you are inspired to go out and get some colour into your diet today.
Be sure to download the free quiz to assess your phytonutrient intake.
And if you would like to move forward even further in your fertility journey, be sure to sign up for my FREE 5 Days to Improved Fertility eCourse.
And of course, if you would like to have input on my next episode of Talking Fertility be sure to join the discussion over in the Conceive Baby with Tasha Jennings Facebook group.
I look forward to seeing you next week!