Upstate New York is abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables in the summertime. These enlivening foods are readily available at local farmer’s markets, grocery stores and in personal gardens. Many foods that are recommended to enhance overall health are also recommended to support fertility.
According to Chinese medical nutrition, foods that one needs to support fertility will foremost be based on your Chinese medical diagnosis. One needs to eat foods that help support the individual system-we can get very specific with dietary choices depending on what our diagnosis is. To support fertility in general, one should eat foods that are considered kidney tonics and blood tonics. Additionally, there are foods that are categorized as qi movers, qi tonics, blood movers, damp resolvers, etc. which are determined individually. Each of these categories points to a different set of symptoms, for example, amenorrhea versus heavy menstruation or endometriosis versus PCOS. For the sake of simplicity I will highlight a few of these nutrient rich foods that are considered blood and kidney tonics which all individuals can benefit from to support a healthy body and reproductive system.
Beets are known as a ‘blood tonic’ in Chinese medicine. A blood tonic ‘builds the blood’ and is typically high in fiber, minerals, possibly iron as well as other nutrients essential for the oxygenation of blood. Raw beets can be grated on salads and sandwiches, cooked in soups, sauteed, steamed or roasted. Beets contain significant amounts of potassium, fiber, and folate.
Dark Leafy Greens
The dark leafy greens include: spinach, swiss chard, arugula, mesclun greens, collard, kale, and red/green lettuce. These vegetables have significant amounts of vitamins, A, C and K. Spinach is high in folate while swiss chard is a great source of iron and, like kale, fiber. Kale is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Dark leafy greens are best consumed after they have been lightly steamed, sauteed or cooked in soups.
Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries can be found in your own back yard, nature trails and even along the side of the road. These fruits flourish during the summer. According to Chinese medicine berries are kidney tonics. They nourish the fundamental source of our reproductive components: egg, sperm, and overall vitality. They contain significant levels of flavonoids whose antioxidant natures are known for anti-tumor and cardiovascular benefits.
To determine your Chinese medical diagnosis and which additional foods may benefit you, please consult with one of our Licensed Acupuncturists below.