There’s nothing I love more than a good runny egg in a bowl of ramen or treating myself to a delicious brunch of eggs benedict. Eggs may be strictly relegated to breakfast for some, but speaking personally, limiting them to just one meal of the day closes our taste buds (and our fertility) off to a whole list of delicious possibilities.
Women who are trying to conceive (TTC) may be keyed into the fact that in order to optimize their fertility, they should be adjusting their diet accordingly to include all of the egg-boosting, hormone-loving foods they can. Specifically, if you’re trying to get pregnant, you should be eating eggs and the ones in your ovaries will definitely thank you.
Why the Hate?
If you hadn’t already noticed, the “health” community really, really, really doesn’t like eggs. Allow me to demonstrate…
One site, which claims to be evidence-based and fact-checked (though none of us can really explain what that even means these days) says it’s best to eat less than seven eggs per week. The article goes on to say that recent studies point to an increased risk of diabetes now associated with eating more than one egg per day.
Cholesterol is also a huge buzzword when it comes to being anti-egg. This comes from the theory that the high levels of cholesterol in egg yolks make them a poor choice for a “heart-healthy” diet, according to Harvard Medical School. (In all fairness, Harvard’s information goes on to clarify that we now know that cholesterol is mainly produced in our liver as a response to trans and saturated fats, and is not produced from dietary cholesterol as we once thought.) At one time, we were prompted to avoid eggs or else risk increasing our cholesterol, though that correlation has since been discarded, given what we know now about where and how cholesterol is produced.
Anti-egg proponents cite things like diabetes, cancer, and salmonella.
Discouragement to eat eggs also cites things like cancer and salmonella as reasons not to consume them. The egg-avoidance mentality has gone so far (whether for “health-conscious” reasons or the rise of veganism) that there are even companies that make “plant-based” egg alternatives, where actual egg whites are replaced with “engineered yeast” or yolks are genetically modified in a lab. All things considered, I think I’ll stick with the ones that actually came from chickens, thanks.
Eggs, the Fertility Superfood
Why should we step up our egg consumption, especially if we’re trying to get pregnant? The many benefits of eggs not only prepare our reproductive systems for conception, but the advantages are also crucial in maintaining both a good diet and a healthy pregnancy once we do conceive.
Not only are eggs widely available, affordable, and fresh in the fridge for weeks, but they’re an excellent source of dietary protein. If you’re trying to conceive, be sure to keep the yolks in. All of the fertility-loving goodness is contained in the egg yolks, and not only does eating just the whites rob us of these benefits, but whatever we’re noshing on will taste much better, guaranteed.
As one fertility nutritionist points out, “Sure the yolks are full of cholesterols but…so are you! ALL your hormones, your ovaries, your brain, and your endocrine (hormone) glands are ALL MADE OF CHOLESTEROL! Your body needs this vital nutrient to make babies.”
Eggs are a fantastic source of choline, iodine, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Eggs are also a fantastic source of choline, iodine, selenium, vitamin B12, and tons of other vital nutrients. Choline is often regarded as the number one most important nutrient in a healthy pregnancy because it helps build the baby’s spinal cord and brain and aids in their development. Especially if you’re not taking a prenatal vitamin while trying to conceive, your diet is probably sorely lacking in the choline department. Studies have also found that increased consumption of choline during pregnancy helped children’s sustained attention abilities. Consuming choline while trying to get pregnant supports the mom’s liver function and a strong placenta.
Hacking Your Diet While TTC
Eggs aren’t the only fertility food we should be getting more of as we start trying to conceive. Inclusion of other foods rich in vitamins and minerals can also benefit our egg quality, our hormone levels, and our mood and libido.
Specifically, foods that contain folate are essential for a TTC diet. Folate, or the synthesized version folic acid, is also a crucial nutrient that’s vital to pregnancy and pre-pregnancy diets because it can help prevent miscarriages and neural tube defects in babies. As a matter of fact, most neural tube defects develop in a fetus during the first month of pregnancy, meaning that it’s absolutely imperative that we’re ingesting enough folate potentially before we’re even aware that we’re pregnant.
Folate can help prevent miscarriages and neural tube defects in babies.
Fortunately, foods that contain high volumes of folate are good and good for us. They include leafy greens, asparagus, avocados, beets, citrus fruits, and yes, eggs. We might also try including sunflower seeds, oysters, full-fat dairy, liver, tomatoes, legumes, nuts, and Omega 3-rich fish like salmon. All of these foods are loaded with vital nutrients like fatty acids, vitamins, fiber, lycopene, and so much more which can support egg quality, sperm quality, and help turn our wombs into baby-friendly environments.
Every womb is different, just as every woman is different. But just like we build a foundation before we build a house, we want to ensure that our bodies are prepped and ready to go before we introduce pregnancy into the mix.
Supporting our body and fertility pre-pregnancy is one of the most important (and often overlooked) things we can do to ready both ourselves and our babies for a healthy environment. And we can start the whole process by whipping up a quiche, enjoying some scrambled eggs, or finding new and inventive ways to incorporate these superfoods into our diet. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of a fried egg, there’s a guaranteed way out there to both enjoy eggs and prepare your body for conception at the same time.
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