Magnesium for fertility
Today I thought we would discuss magnesium as it is the primary nutrient deficiency I see in clinic. Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body and involved in over 600 biochemical reactions in your body. WHOA that’s a lot! Women use magnesium likes it’s going out of fashion! Our bodies need it for
• Smooth fallopian muscle function and to ease ovulation
• Reduce spasms in the fallopian tubes – this can prevent implantation of a fertilised egg in the uterus
• Help convert food into energy
• Help create and repair your genes, DNA and RNA
• Help nervous system regulation including easing transmitting the neurotransmitters dopamine, GABA and serotonin which are essential for mood regulation, sleep, coping with stress, reducing anxiety and adrenal exhaustion
• It’s a must for healthy bones. Did you know that 60% of magnesium is found in your bones while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues, fluids and your blood. In fact every cell of your body contains some magnesium
• helps create protein from amino acids and supports muscle formation and nerve function
• Helps to regulate blood glucose levels and reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
• Helps lower blood pressure (HBP influences conceptional ability and increases risk of miscarriage)
• Lifts mood, eases anxiety and reduces PMS symptoms
• It’s an anti-inflammatory so super important to ease ovulation pain; menstrual pain/cramps, hormonal headaches & migraines, endometriosis
• Eases constipation by relaxing the muscles in the colon
• Support energy production souse it to boost exercise performance; reduce fatigue and tiredness
• Supports hormonal balance
A recent study done in America showed that 50% of women have inadequate intake of this vital mineral
Wow, that is half of the population. So why is this? Today’s modern lifestyle creates a big drain on magnesium reserves – just think about environmental and fertility stress, erratic eating patterns, high sugar diets, alcohol, the use of some prescriptive medications and other procedures including assisted conception.
So how can you absorb more magnesium?
1. Eat magnesium-rich foods daily
Kelp, almonds, dried figs, green leafy vegetables including pak choi, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, rocket, Swiss chard, spring greens, kelp, watercress, Brussel sprouts, squash, the skins of potatoes, black beans, edamame, avoc
ado’s, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds, almonds; cashews, quinoa, tofu, potato (skins), legumes, whole grains, dried figs, tofu, quinoa, tofu and also found in halibut, mackerel and salmon
2. Have magnesium baths
Many clients hardly take baths these days – some people are concerned about their baths being too “hot” and it affecting their fertility chances and many opt for a quick shower but these baths are REMEDIAL – they offer the all important “rest and recharge”, supporting your fertility by reducing cortisol and prolactin, giving you some time to gently “let go” whilst you absorb magnesium transdermally. You can also add some Creation aromatherapy essence to support your fertility further. Add 500grams of Epsom salts to a warm bath once or twice per week during the 1st and 2nd week of your cycle but not after ovulation. Lie in the bath for 20 minutes. Alternatively do the same but in a foot bath!
3. Trans-dermal magnesium spray
If baths are a no-go area for you after you have showered daily – there are many sprays, creams and lotions available.
Remember, not all magnesium is equal. Choosing the right type is critical to successful fertility support.
4. Magnesium Supplements
As a nutritional therapist and fertility expert I am all about “personalised nutrition”; actively encouraging clients to use supplementation specific to their needs. I tend to use functional testing to assess their nutrient requirements or assess in clinic using Asyra health screening within my fertility nutrition consultation.
However, if you are looking for general support you may wish to consider these options
Magnesium Citrate is a well absorbed and a gentle form of this important mineral. It’s a great choice for general magnesium supplementation.
• Magnesium Malate – a better choice for you if you are suffering with fatigue, low energy and adrenal “burn out”
• Magnesium Taurate (amino acid). Taurine is used to create bile in the gallbladder which helps detoxify the liver. (I tend to recommend this or or a combination of the 3 types when treating oestrogen dominant fertility issues, stress related fertility support, during “prepare for pregnancy cleanse” & “recovery assisted conception detox”). Magnesium Taurine also helps to activate the calming neurotransmitter GABA which we know impacts the HPA axis and gut/brain signalling.
Recipe of the month Chaat salad for fertility fantastic!
are thinking Ayurvedic and I am sharing this DELICIOUS Chaat salad. It’s perfect for lunch or serve as a side with your main dish. My husband first introduced this to me a few weeks ago … this version is adapted from Meera Sodha’s recipe book. I have included more herbs and seed rotating portion to make it even more magnesium rich. I eat this recipe warm or cold and I promise you it offers an explosion of taste but not like a curry.
Chaat salad for fertility fantastic (serves 2-3)
• 4-5 spring onions – chopped
• half a cucumber – seeds scooped out and chopped
• ½ teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• half a teaspoon himalyan rock salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar or stevia or agave or honey
• Juice of half a lemon
• ½ teaspoon chaat masala powder (easy to buy but you could just combine half a teaspoon of each of these in dried form together – mango powder, ginger, aniseeds, coriander, paprika, chilli, cumin, cardoman, clove, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Once combined keep in a glass storage jar)
• handful fresh coriander leaves and stems
• handful fresh mint leaves and stems
• 200-250 grams radishes – chopped
• Seeds of 1 pomegranate
• 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
• 2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil or coconut oil
• dessertspoon sesame, sunflowers, flaxseed or pumpkin seeds (according to your cycle)
• 1 tin chickpeas – drained
Put the cucumber into small cubes and then do the same with the radishes. Cut the spring onions finely and add these plus the pomegranate seeds into a salad bowl. Now chop the mint and coriander (include the stems) and add them to the bowl too. It should be starting to look pretty!
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. You will know when they are cooked because they “pop”. Now add the drained chickpeas – heating them for about 5 minutes until they look slightly brown. Add the chilli powder, salt, sugar and lemon juice; gently coating the chick peas in this fragrant mix. Turn the heat down to very low and add the dessicated coconut – stirring a few times. It’s done. Pour this mixture over the living veggies. Sprinkle with chaat masala and gently mix together. I love the taste so I am quite liberal with the sprinkling! It’s ready. Enjoy!
Why is this good for fertility?
Did you know radishes may protect male fertility? This little root bulb plays a heroic role in protecting male fertility. I have recently been reading a research study that suggests radish extract cancelled out the damaging effects of a naturally occurring fungal toxin known to undermine male fertility. Women need radishes too because they contain compounds that activate the body’s detoxification enzymes (similar to other cruciferous veggies like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli); provide up to 30% of your daily vitamin C; have antibacterial properties which can counteract some food borne viruses like salmonella.
The pomegranate season runs from now until February. Pomegranates have been considered a fertility food for thousands of years and used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to eliminate parasites, lower blood pressure, assist in dental issues and prevent cancer. Pomegranates are an excellent source of flavonoids and polyphenols. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), folic acid; vitamin A, vitamin E and fibre. Pomegranates are thought to help balance oestrogen and progesterone levels; stimulate a healthy sex drive and contain a food source of food based folic acid. They have been found to boost fertility by increasing blood flow to the uterus, promoting uterine lining. In men, pomegranates boost fertility by improving sperm quality and mobility, and erectile dysfunction (Journal of Urology 2005). Research indicates that pomegranate juice may help improve sexual performance and thus fertility. Research by C.P. Forest, published in the “International Journal of Impotence Research” in 2007, revealed that pomegranate juice improves erections in men with erectile dysfunction. This may be due to the effect of pomegranate juice on nitric oxide, a substance that enables smooth muscles in the walls of blood vessels – such as in the penis – to relax, widen and increase blood flow.