6 KITCHEN HERBS AND SPICES TO BOOST FERTILITY

Need a recipe for love and baby-making? Look no further than your kitchen pantry if protecting your fertility health is on your mind.


BY: KENDRA TOLBERT, MS, RDN, CDN, CLC

We tend to think of medicinal herbs as being a completely different than culinary herbs, but that’s not always the case. The foods you eat can double as wellness tonics that support your body’s innate ability to stay healthy and get pregnant. Hippocrates said it best when he said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

And who are we to argue with Hippocrates?

The great thing about kitchen herbs is you don’t need to study clinical herbalism to take full advantage of their health and fertility benefits. Just open your pantry and fridge, add some flavor to your food, sip some delicious teas, and savor every bite & drop.

Here are a few kitchen herbs to consider if fertility health is on your mind.

1. Garlic

Garlic is the ubiquitous herb used by nearly every culture. All over the world, folks turn to it to add some serious flavor to food. Plus it’s one of the most widely used medicinal herbs.

It relaxes your blood vessels and promotes circulation, and good blood flow is vital to keeping your organs in tip top shape, including your ovaries and uterus. For the fellas, adequate blood flow is necessary for erections.

How to use:
    • Add chopped cloves to stir-fries, soups, and pesto.
    • Rub a cut clove over bread or even in a bowl just before adding soup or salad to it.
  • Infuse olive oil with a few cloves to use anytime a recipe or meal calls for a drizzle of EVOO.

2. Ginger

Ginger is without question a delicious herb that can be easily added to a number of meals and drinks, and helps mitigate period cramps and nausea during pregnancy. It’s high in antioxidants, which plays a protective role for your ovaries and eggs from oxidative damage and stress. Many herbalists also say it increases blood flow to your lady parts, delivering important nutrients and clearing away toxins.

How to use:
    • Shred about a thumb size amount and add it to hot cereals.
    • Add a 1/2 inch peeled piece to a smoothie.
  • Make into a tasty tea. Add lemon and honey or just enjoy as is.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric, the golden child of Ayurveda, protects your DNA from damage, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and protects your liver. With your liver playing a very important role in detoxification and hormonal health, keeping it healthy and happy is crucial to both fertility and your overall wellness.

How to use:
    • Add 1/8 -1/4 tsp to smoothies.
    • Combine with your favorite aromatic spices, especially pepper, and add to sauteed vegetables.
  • Stir a bit into rice or quinoa for flavor and color that just won’t quit.

4. Cayenne

Cayenne has a reputation among herbalist as adding just as much heat to your libido as it does to your food. It’s regarded as an aphrodisiac, capable of increasing sexual desire and spicing up your sex life.

Whether or not any of that is true, is debatable, but what we do know is that cayenne has been shown to positively impact energy metabolism. The strong association between energy metabolism, hormonal regulation, and female reproduction makes cayenne a helpful kitchen spice for fertility.

How to use:
    • Sprinkle (and I do mean sprinkle, this stuff is potent) on avocado toast.
    • Add a dash to hot chocolate.
  • Stir a bit into peanut butter with a little cinnamon for a new spin on an old favorite- apple and peanut butter. Or try this spiced peanut butter mix on a baked sweet potato. Delectable!

5. Cinnamon

Who doesn’t love the aromatic smell of cinnamon? Despite lending a subtle sweetness to foods and drinks, cinnamon can actually help normalize blood sugar. Balanced blood sugar can help improve overall hormonal balance, especially for those with fertility issues due to PCOS.

How to use:
    • Sprinkle on hot cereals.
    • Add to apple (or pear) and peanut butter.
  • Use it to season lentils and bean dishes.

6. Nettles

Nettles really don’t get enough attention. They’re versatile, easy to use, and chock full of health benefits. It’s full of plant-based, non-heme iron, one of the micronutrients that have been linked to decrease the chance of ovulatory infertility.  

How to use:
    • Make a simple tea or infusion to sip throughout the day.
    • Add to smoothies, soups, and stews.
  • Steam and eat as a delicious side dish.

Have fun exploring your pantry and fridge. Just a sprinkle and a pinch will do to add fun and variety to your meals,

While reaping some major fertility health benefits.

Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: MIKE KENNEALLY

Kendra Tolbert, MS, RDN, CDN, CLC is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified lactation counselor, and certified aromatherapist based in Austin, TX. Through her private practice, she helps women and couples prepare for pregnancy and enjoy healthier, happier pregnancies. Learn more about Kendra at Live Fertile.

15 Comments
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