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Calcium containing foods

 

When you are trying to conceive it is important to be eating the right things to optimise your fertility and increase your chances at having the baby of your dreams. Take note however although a healthy diet is absolutely vital, it is important to note that diet alone is not enough to provide you with the minerals and vitamins that you require for fertility. Supplementation is indicated on the most part and some particular vitamins and minerals only where required (confirmed by pathology testing if deficient). There are many reasons why this is so, but this is a whole different conversation. Right now we are going to discuss foods that contain calcium and why this is important to eat when you are trying to conceive.

 

When most people think of calcium, dairy foods come to mind. Of course there is calcium contained in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. However, it is difficult for us to utilise and break down dairy products efficiently enough to make use of the calcium contained in these foods. This is because the protein molecule found in dairy products is very large and it is difficult for our digestive system to actually break it down. In fact in the preconception health care period (preparing for conception) and to optimise fertility it is essential to eat dairy free foods. The reason is: because dairy is inflammatory, for men it can arise in low sperm count and for women it can arise in a thickening of the cervical mucus which means the sperm can’t swim through the mucus efficiently to reach the egg, furthermore it can block the fallopian tubes. This is working against the sperm’s journey toward the oocyte (egg).

 

So what other foods are high in calcium?

 

  • SESAME SEEDS – This is a fantastic source of calcium. There is a black and white version available. So you can either toast or have them raw and sprinkle them on your dinner or breakfast. Have them in home-made protein balls or protein bars. Consume tahini (which is made from sesame seeds) or make some hommus which contains tahini.
  • VEGETABLES – Broccoli, Bok Choy and Sweet potato
  • LEGUMES / PULSES – Navy beans, Pinto beans, Chickpeas, Almonds, Lima beans, Kidney beans and Lentils
  • NUTS – Brazil nuts and Almonds

 

Why is calcium important for fertility?

Well for women it is important for hormone and fertile mucus production. For men it is required for sperm motility (movement of the sperm up the reproductive tract towards the oocyte [egg]) and the fusion of the sperm and egg once they finally meet.

 

These are just some of the many reasons why it is important to have adequate calcium levels for fertility!!