How to Eat for Reproductive Health
Even if you’re not planning to have a child (or another one) eating to support reproductive health is VERY important for your health - for both males and females I might add. Guys…hate to break it to you, but you have hormones too. WE ARE ALL HORMONAL. ALL THE TIME.
Why? (great question reader, I’m thrilled you asked)
Because hormones are the body’s “long range messengers”. The message, or signal for something to happen, (like tell you if you’re hungry or to produce semen) gets wrapped in a hormone and sent to wherever it needs to go, like a directed message in a bottle. However, if hormones aren’t built correctly then the signals have a hard time getting where they need to go.
Healthy hormones are essential to a healthy body. And eating to support healthy sex hormones also supports the rest of your hormones. Two birds. One stone!
There are oodles of nutrients you should be eating to support your sexual health, but let’s focus on the MUST HAVE’s:
1. Selenium - is a powerhouse of a mineral. It is an *essential trace mineral. It is a powerful antioxidant and it works synergistically with Vitamin E. Men especially need this because deficiency has been linked to low sperm count. Sources: Selenium is typically found in high concentration in Brazil Nuts (2 is all you need to hit your daily intake), brewer’s yeast, broccoli, brown rice, chicken, dulse, kelp, garlic, liver, molasses, onions, wheat germ and whole grains.
2. Vitamin C – Most people know to take a lot of Vitamin C when their feeling sick, but don’t know why. Well Vitamin C is popular in our bodies and is used in over 300 metabolic processes. It is important to many functions, but for sexual health it is important for healthy, mobile sperm and enhances our ability to absorb and use the nutrients we eat. Sources: berries, citrus fruits, green vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, avocados, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, collards, dandilion greens and many more.
3. Vitamin E – Often referred to as the “sex vitamin” because it carried oxygen to the sex organs, but also aids in balanced hormone production. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which protect against free radicals and aging (which is why it’s in all the beauty products). Sources: Avocados, cold-pressed vegetable oils, dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, dulse, eggs, kelp, and whole grains.
4. Zinc – is an important mineral for prostate health and the growth and repair of organs. We also need Zinc to regulate healthy levels of Vitamin E in our blood. It supports a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. Sources: brewer’s yeast, lamb, sardines, egg yolks, dulse, kelp, mushrooms, poultry, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, seafood.
These four micronutrients work synergistically to support many functions in our bodies. But ultimately remember, a well-rested, well fed, and well cared for body will feel supported and nourished enough to take the risk to reproduce. (A female body is a warehouse of material for that fetus and needs to be well stocked before construction takes place). A stressed out, undernourished, abused body will feel it is too risky to build a human until it is in a safer place. So, take care of yourself.
*Whenever you see the word “essential” – like essential fatty acid or essential amino acid – it means our bodies cannot make it. We have to consume it in food. It is essential we eat it.
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