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Pregnancy

Where in Hampton Roads to find Fertility Foods

It’s no secret that a nutritious diet and exercise are important to a person’s health any time in life, but it’s even more important when a couple is in the TTC (trying to conceive) mode. While the foods we eat are no guarantee to get you pregnant, for those trying to make a baby, it doesn’t hurt to hedge your bets a little with these “fertility boosters.” (Unless of course you’re allergic to any of these foods, in which case obviously don’t eat those.)

While we’re on the topic of disclaimers: as with any time you’re adding new food or supplements to your diet, it’s best to consult your doctor. We are not doctors and have no medical training whatsoever. However the sources we’ve used to develop this list of fertility boosters are reliable experts in this field, and in many cases are medically certified doctors – and in some cases, Harvard certified doctors (and what’s more prestigious than a Harvard doctor?) Here’s the list of the sources we used, and these will also explain why each food is good for boosting fertility: whattoexpect.com, conceiveonline.com, health.harvard.edu, getpregnantfaq.com, fertilityfactor.com and livestrong.com.

With that out of the way, what are the foods and where in Hampton Roads can you find them?

SEAFOOD

Oysters: probably no surprise to see these on the list, oysters are good as a fertility booster in both women and men. Huge benefit to living in this area is that you can find great locally caught oysters – they come from Lynnhaven Inlet, the Eastern Shore and other spots that are practically in our backyard. Some of the best oysters we’ve found in town were at Whole Foods and the local farmers markets. There are tons of recipes for them, but first you have to get these suckers to open up. Easiest way we’ve found is to steam them on the stovetop.

Salmon and Cod: Farm Fresh, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter have good filets. The farmers markets will often have them too, and if locally caught fish is important to you, they’re one of your best bets to find local seafood. Here are links to the markets in Virginia Beach and Suffolk, the only two farmers markets on the list in the Hampton Roads area.

NUTS AND SEEDS

Pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds: more fertility boosting foods for both men and women. Almonds and sunflower seeds you can find almost anywhere, but Target and Wal-Mart tend to only carry the salted ones, so if you want unsalted, go to the grocery stores. Farm Fresh tends to stock them at good prices near the produce section. Trader Joe’s is probably the best place to stock up on all varieties of nuts and seeds for cheap.

OTHER FRUITS AND VEGGIE PRODUCTS

Goji berries: a bright red berry that comes from China, they are supposed to be a booster for men’s fertility by preventing overheating of the sperm – the same reason men are told to wear boxers during TTC time. The Heritage Store is the only place we’ve found them, and you can buy the berries by themselves, covered with yogurt or chocolate, or even in a cereal. Goji berries on their own are a little bitter, so for the price, our recommendation is to add something to go with them. FYI: the Heritage Store also does fortune telling, so if you want to try to get some insight on when your little miracle will happen, be our guests – but the only thing we’ll guarantee is that they carry goji berries.

Kale: a fertility booster in women, this food from the cabbage family (a true cabbage patch kid) can be dried and made into chips that taste sort of like potato chips. The organic store in the Virginia Beach farmer’s market has some good options. Also the Heritage Store has a variety of choices too.

Pomegranate juice: a fertility booster for men, this can be found in almost any grocery store. Trade Joe’s and Whole Food’s have their own brands in addition to the national brands. Check out this review if you want to see the comparisons.

Lycopene: another male fertility booster, this plant antioxidant can be found in capsule form at GNC branches and at the Heritage Store.

HERBS AND ROOTS

Maca: this Peruvian plant is one of the first that comes up in searches for fertility foods and carries names such as the “food of the gods” and “natural Viagra.” It’s supposed to have some benefit for women but is especially encouraged for men. Locally you can buy supplements at any GNC branch, but if you head over to Heritage store, you can find it in snack cakes and powders too.

Chasteberry: odd that a fertility booster contains the word “chaste”, but this herb is known to help with regulating the menstrual cycle in women, which in turn helps with conception. You’ll find it in supplement form at GNC or the Heritage Store. If you’re curious and want to know more about “the chasteness” of this herb, also known as Vitex, you can read more at babyhopes.com.

Ginseng: this root has been known as a “male sexual tonic” and was used by both Native Americans and various Asian cultures. In fact we’ve heard that in the past ginseng was a gift given to war heroes as a reward for their performance in battle – from victors in battle to victors in the bedroom, (at least presumably). There’s American ginseng and Panax ginseng – the American version supposedly not quite as strong as its Asian counterpart. Just as with other items on this list, ginseng can be found in capsule form at GNC and the Heritage Store. Ginseng can also be found in tea form – in case you’re tired of choking down supplements – at the Heritage Store and various local tea shops (you may want to call ahead to your tea shop of choice to make sure they stock it). You can find Gineseng tea at most of your local Trader Joe’s.

Astragalus root: another Chinese root, astragalus is supposed to help with sperm motility, or how fast the sperm can swim (because when it comes time to conceive, the more Michael Phelps in the pool, the better.) It can be found in supplement form at GNC and the Heritage Store. The Heritage Store also has it in powder form to mix with a glass of juice or milk, but we don’t recommend it – it tastes like cement is floating around in your cup, and that’s just not good.

CAN BE FOUND ANYWHERE FOODS

Some fertility boosters are the same foods that you should have in your regular diet and can be found at any grocery store. These include whole grains; fresh fruits, especially citrus fruits and berries; dairy products such as yogurt and milk; lean meats like turkey, fish and poultry; sardines (here’s a list of recipes, assuming you’re not one to eat them fresh out of the can – gross!); sweet potatoes; avocados; and green vegetables, especially spinach, asparagus and broccoli. You probably already have favorite stores that would carry these foods and don’t need our help with them. (Shameless advertiser plug: Farm Fresh and Kroger supermarkets carry a wide variety of the foods in this list and often have weekly specials to save you money.)

Tip: if you’re taking a trip to the Virginia Beach oceanfront, head down Laskin Road toward the Hilltop area. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and the Heritage Store are all on Laskin, and other grocery stores are not far away, so you can stock up all at once. Once you’re chalk full of fertility boosters, please remember the beach is a family-friendly and very public place to be.

Of course you can buy almost any of these products online and possibly at other local food stores. And there are other foods that probably qualify. If you know of some and where to find them, please leave your tips in the comments below. Otherwise eat well, live long and procreate.

About Tidewater Parent Staff

One of our staff who provides news and information for families in Hampton Roads.

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