Updated: Feb 29
All smoothies are not created equal. Some can be an awesome way to get in essential vitamins and minerals, others may fool you and aren’t much better for you than a donut or piece of cake. With the right ingredients, a smoothie can be so beneficial to our health and our fertility.
Is there a "magical smoothie" that you can drink with the promise of getting pregnant? It would be nice, but nope. However, you CAN make smoothies that provide you with the optimal nutrients needed to create an internal environment conducive to conception and sustaining a healthy pregnancy.
When making a smoothie to enhance fertility, you want it to help:
Balance your hormones
Promote good egg quality
Provide your body with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
Promote digestive health
Stabilize blood sugar
Promote detox/liver health
Yes, I promise that it’s possible to make a smoothie that does all these things. I’m gonna give you the blueprint right now.
Use organic ingredients
When purchasing fruits, veggies, and other items for your smoothies, it’s really important to utilize organic ingredients. When trying to get pregnant you want you body to be as toxin-free as possible. A lot of non-organic foods have pesticides and other chemicals that can throw off hormone balance, overload your liver, and create an unhealthy environment for a growing baby. This is *extra* important when purchasing produce on the Dirty Dozen list. These foods are known to have the highest amount of pesticides.
Your smoothie is a great way to make sure that you get extra servings of greens that can help to enhance your fertility. The beneficial leafy greens include romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, collard greens, watercress, arugula, cabbage, beet greens, and swiss chard. These greens optimize fertility by creating a healthy ‘sperm-friendly’ alkaline environment. They also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are needed to promote good egg quality and sustain a healthy pregnancy.
Try rotating your greens so that your body can get a variety of nutrients. It can be tempting to make that same kale smoothie every day, but switch it up sis. It’s a good way to expand your palate, enjoy some different veggies, and try new recipes.
**One note here, if you have trouble with your digestion you may consider lightly steaming your greens first before blending them in your smoothie. Raw veggies can be hard to digest and your body will expend more energy trying to break them down during digestion.
Watch your sugar intake
Let’s face it, smoothies can have A LOT of sugar. Between high sugar fruits like mangos, pineapples, and bananas, yogurts, along with added sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and agave....the sugar content can get a little crazy. Even protein powders can really ramp up the sugar content.
When trying to enhance fertility it is essential to have stable blood sugar without crazy highs and lows throughout the day. This will help to keep your hormones balanced. Try utilizing lower sugar/ higher fiber fruits like organic blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pears, and apples. Berries get a bonus point because they’re a great source of antioxidants. Try to also limit sweeteners like honey, agave, and maple syrup. Although these may be healthier than refined sugar, they can still impact your blood sugar.
You need plenty of protein to properly nourish your body, produce hormones, develop good quality eggs, get pregnant, and sustain a healthy pregnancy. A study done by the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine found that women should ideally be eating a diet that consists of 25-35% protein when trying to conceive. That’s a whole lot of protein!
The best way to consume protein is through foods first instead of loading up on protein powder. Protein powders can be full of chemicals, sugars, heavy metals, and other ingredients that aren’t so fertility friendly. Its imperative to do your research on the best quality brands.
*If you do consume protein powder in your smoothie, try to avoid soy based powders. Soy can mimic estrogen in the body and can do more harm than good, especially in women who are estrogen dominant and have conditions related to estrogen dominance (i.e fibroids, PCOS, fibrocystic breasts, and endometriosis to name a few).
*There are some older studies that suggest that m-xylohydroquinone, the active substance in a lot peas, MAY have some contraceptive qualities. When trying to get pregnant you obviously are avoiding everything that has anything to do with contraception. The research was from the 1950s and was not specific and detailed regarding the type of peas etc. The research has also had no follow up. For some women who have had difficulty getting pregnant, this may be enough to make you want to avoid pea based protein just as a precaution. For others, you may need more up to date detailed research. (I will say that I do enjoy a pea based protein powder, called the Life Shake, through Shaklee Corporation).
*Whey protein may need to be avoided by some women due to the dairy content. Dairy can be pro-inflammatory and a lot of women struggling with infertility suffer from systemic inflammation and inflammatory conditions that affect their ability to conceive.
So, at this point you’re probably thinking, “well what ARE some good options for protein ingredients to include in your fertility enhancing smoothie? Here’s a good list:
Nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew)
Nuts (almonds, walnuts etc)
Seeds (sunflower, chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin
Add healthy Fat
Healthy fats are everrrrrrrything for all things hormones and fertility. Like literally EVERYTHING. First of all, you need fat to make hormones and promote hormonal balance. Omega 3 fats in particular also help to fight inflammation in our body (which is crucial for the health of our eggs), promotes blood flow to our reproductive organs, and improves the consistency of cervical mucus (which helps the sperm reach the egg). Some good fat options for your smoothies:
Seeds (chia, flax, sunflower)
Nuts (pine, almonds, pecans, cashews, hazel, macadamia)
Pick the right liquid
You gotta have some liquid as the base of your smoothie. Whatever liquid you use, reminder to be mindful of sugar. Juices and coconut water are higher in sugar and should be limited. Dairy can be pro-inflammatory, so women who struggle with infertility and/or who have inflammatory conditions should also avoid dairy. Plant based milks like almond or cashew are good options, but should be unsweetened.
Pack in the fertility superfoods
This is what will take your smoothie to the next level. Adding in superfoods that can enhance fertility will supercharge the nutrient content. Here are a few superfoods to try. It’s NOT necessary to add them all in one smoothie, please don’t even try. Pick one or two at most, add it in, and rotate them periodically to expose yourself to a wide variety of health benefits.
Maca is a nourishing food for the endocrine system, supporting the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands (all involved in hormonal balance.) Maca has the ability to assist the body in maintaining normal hormonal levels without containing hormones itself. Make sure to only use the gelantinzed version of the root because the raw powder can be difficult for your body to digest. It can also be toxic in very large amounts. Always consume maca during the day because it tends to provide an energy boost and may keep you up past your bedtime.
Royal jelly is a nutrient rich superfood that helps support normal egg health. It also helps to balance hormones. It provides vitamins A, B, C, D and E. It is also contains minerals like calcium and iron, all of the essential amino acids, plus it has antibacterial and immune boosting properties.
Royal jelly is the food that the Queen Bee eats. I’m not talking about Beyoncé, I’m taking about the bee that buzzes around. She eats it so that she can make up to 2000 eggs per day, so that’s a superfood indeed. It comes in a base of honey, so don’t go crazy with the amount that you add to your smoothie. You don’t want to up the sugar content too much.
**If you are allergic to bees or bee products, do not take royal jelly.
Bee Pollen has high levels of vitamins, is a natural aphrodisiac, and helps to nourish the ovaries. Same deal here, be cautious with how much you use to avoid too much sugar in your smoothie. Don’t use it at all if you’re allergic to bees or bee products.
Wheatgrass has immune strengthening and detoxifying properties. It lowers levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), helps restore hormone balance, and helps alkalize your body (which makes it more sperm friendly). It also nourishes our cells which is so important as we prepare for pregnancy.
Spirulina is an algae that is rich in protein, B vitamins, GLA fatty acid, and other nutrients. It supports overall alkalinity in the body and has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Some studies show that it may even help to balance blood sugar. All of which are super important for hormone balance, good egg quality, and to foster a welcoming toxin free environment for a baby.
Acai & Goji berries
Acai and Goji berries are antioxidants. They promote healthy cell growth and reduce free radicals which can be damaging to our eggs. Nourishing and preventing damage to our eggs is so important to increase the chances of becoming pregnant and sustaining a healthy pregnancy. A word of caution, you may have guessed it....these babies are higher in sugar as well, so go easy. A little goes a long way.
Alright...tired of reading yet? Well there’s the blueprint to making the perfect fertility enhancing smoothie. Take these tips and try to make yourself a smoothie a few times per week.
Happy Baby Making!