Our old friend the carrot that helps us see in the dark! Another versatile root veg which can be added to anything & cooked in so many ways – and a great source of nutrition for your fertility diet!
They are a rich source of:
- Carotenes: a precursor of vitamin A which we need for healthy skin, mucus membranes, our immune system and good eye health.
- Vitamin K: supports blood clotting
- Vitamin C: builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. It is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals so it’s excellent for sperm and egg DNA protection.
- Potassium: an electrolyte that counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain consistent blood pressure – another important element for pregnancy.
- Manganese: aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones and plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
- Folate: helps the body produce and maintain new cells, particularly red blood cells.
Chinese medicine uses carrots to:
- Move Qi
- Strengthen Digestion
- Nourish Blood
Moving Qi in Chinese Medicine is a concept which can be closely related to the circulation of energy. A lack of movement of Qi (Qi stagnation) can impact regularity of menstrual cycles, create hormone imbalance, and affect the healthy production and release of eggs and sperm.
Symptoms of stagnation of Qi are:
hormonal fluctuations, mood swings, breast distension, menstrual pain, stop/start menstruation, irregular cycles, temple headaches, stress, PMT, ovulation pain or PMT type symptoms at ovulation, and anything which disrupts the flow of feeling good.
Carrots have an affinity with the Liver, which regulates hormones and is responsible for the smooth flow of the Qi – as well as removing accumulated waste such as used and/or excessive hormones.
They are helpful to eat regularly from ovulation to your period to keep these hormonal changes transitioning smoothly.
Nourishing Blood is another important factor for fertility, and carrots can help here too as a blood nourishing food.
Good blood quality is associated with the ability to properly ‘ripen’ follicles, build a good endometrium, and create nutritious rich blood to nurture the growth of your baby once implantation occurs. To optimise the blood nourishing quality of carrots they are particularly good to eat during the follicular phase of your cycle.
Often considered a ‘mini Ginseng’ in China, carrots are a good tonic to strengthen & improve the efficiency of the digestive system, which helps support the absorption of nutrients.
When cooked well they help reduce symptoms of poor digestion, tiredness after meals, bloating, and changing stools. They also improve feelings of coldness, weakness, and help treat anaemia.
Carrots should be eaten cooked as they are difficult to digest and are known to weaken the digestive energy when eaten raw.
Main Chinese Medicine Fertility Use:
Due to the Blood nourishing, Qi moving, and Digestive strengthening properties, carrots are a great fertility food.
They can be eaten at all stages of the cycle and can will over time help build Qi (energy), whilst improving Blood quality and the nutrient density of the blood.
This will help ‘feed’ eggs or sperm and balance hormones, whilst at the same time help build up stores of energy for use later on in pregnancy.
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