Looking to add a new family member to the family this year? A simple way to enhance chances of fertility and overall reproductive health is adding more antioxidants to your diet.
Antioxidants are important to the healthy function of every cell of the body. They target and disarm free radicals which attack cells, including reproductive cells like the egg and sperm. When the ovum or sperm are attacked, they are not able to function optimally. Additionally, when DNA is harmed by the free radicals, miscarriages or birth defects can result.
Our bodies are attacked by free radicals around 10,000 times a day!
Which antioxidants are good for reproductive health?
Lipoic Acid, which is found in red meat, spinach, and potatoes protects both the male and female reproductive system. It protects female reproductive organs and improves sperm motility.
Vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruit, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and cranberries is very important for female reproductive health. It improves progesterone levels and chances of ovulation. In men, Vitamin C improves the overall health of sperm and protects against DNA damage, which can lead to miscarriages and chromosomal abnormalities.
Vitamin E, found in nut oils, nuts, barley, and green leafy vegetables is good for sperm health and motility. It is so impactful on sperm health that it can help reverse infertility in males. It is suggested that men consume more vitamin E before starting IVF treatments in order to improve sperm health and increase chances of conception.
Glutathione, which is found in fruit, vegetables, and meat, is the primary detoxifier of cells. Low levels of it can lead to cell damage and premature death. It prevents the acceleration of the aging process and promotes the longevity of sex cells.
What’s an easy way to transition antioxidants into my diet?
Eat more produce. The general rule of thumb is the more vibrant in color that produce is, the more antioxidants it contains. Making your dishes more colorful will help ensure that you are consuming higher quantities of antioxidants. If your produce consumption is limited, consider going to your local farmers market and introducing one new fruit or vegetable that you haven’t eaten before into one meal a week.
If you don’t consume as much produce as you’d like, consider making your fruits and vegetables into juices. Keep in mind that buying bottled juice is not nearly as healthy as having it freshly made. In addition to excessive sugar that they usually contain, antioxidants are most powerful when fruit is consumed fresh. It’s a quick way to add antioxidant consumption into your busy schedule.
On days that your diet is lacking in produce or juice consumption, consider adding a high-quality antioxidant supplement. It’s not as impactful as the fresher options, but it is better than not having consumed any at all. It will help ensure that your body gets some antioxidants on a consistent basis.
Before making additions or changes to your diet, be sure to check with your physician.
Schedule an appointment with us today by calling South Bay Ob/Gyn at 631-203-8893.