Christine Sullivan, Natural Fertility Support Specialist, Brisbane - Ph 3857 8515

Calcium Intake and Your Fertility

BY IN Uncategorized On February 1, 2015

CCalcium is famous as being important for strong bones and healthy teeth but did you also know it is essential for getting pregnant?

Yes, calcium is necessary for a healthy reproductive system, for conception, a healthy baby, and a trouble free birth.

Here is a quick rundown on why both potential mums and dads need adequate dietary calcium for fertility.

For mum and dad calcium is essential for –

  • For mum’s fertile stretchy cervical mucus and allowing dad’s sperm to swim freely through it
  • For the correct pH of the reproductive tract which in turn triggers sperm to abruptly convert their swimming style from a slow and steady motion, to a whip-cracking thrusting toward and into the egg
  • It is a vital ingredient in the process of triggering growth in embryos. The more calcium in the surrounding fluid, the better
  • It is required (with magnesium) for good uterine muscle tone, to support the uterus during pregnancy and then leading to a more comfortable and efficient labour
  • Calcium controls blood clotting
  • It improves utilization of iron
  • It supports a healthy nervous system
  • It reduces the risk of high blood pressure and toxaemia of pregnancy

For baby calcium is essential for

  • Bone and skeletal development
  • Dental structure
  • Muscle growth
  • Hormone synthesis
  • Nervous system development and stability
  • Nerve transmission
  • Proper embryonic growth

Best Sources of calcium are from your food.

  • Sesame seeds (see recipe for halva below)
  • Salmon and sardines (with bones)
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables.  Kale is an especially good source.
  • Sea vegetables
  • Yoghurt & goat’s milk

Calcium “helpers” that improve calcium absorption and utilization include

  • Vitamin D – get at least 15 minutes of sunlight exposure daily.  Adequate vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and for baby’s bone and skull formation.
  • Good digestion and a healthy GIT tract.  A good healthy amount of stomach acid is required to extract the calcium from your food.
  • Magnesium is calcium’s “buddy”.  Luckily most foods rich in calcium are also magnesium rich.
  • Adequate resistance type exercise means that more calcium is retained in your bones maintaining your strength.
  • Prebiotics, the food for probiotics has been shown in studies to improve calcium absorption by 20% and significantly improve bone mineralization.  Foods from the onion family, leafy greens such as dandelion, asparagus and banana contain prebiotic substances.

Calcium “robbers” include

  • Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine
  • High intake of phosphorous from processed foods and soft drinks and sodas
  • Excessive intake of red meats
  • High intake of beans, pulses and some vegetables reduce the absorption of calcium due to the naturally containing oxylates and phytates.
  • Consuming  more than 2,400mg of sodium a day
  • A diet high in sugars will interfere with calcium absorption.

The last word –

While calcium is essential for fertility and calcium requirements increase dramatically during pregnancy, it is not calcium alone that builds strong bones, strong muscles, healthy teeth and hair.  No nutrient ever works in isolation.  Your diet and any supplementation must contain a balance of all essential minerals.

Recipe for Halva – A Great Source of Calcium and a Delicious Snack

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup preferably organically grown sesame seeds, hulled or unhulled*
  • 1 tablespoon (or to taste) raw honey or maple syrup
  • about 4-6 tablespoons spring water

Optional variations: add raw cacao powder or carob or, for some crunch, chopped raw walnuts or pecans.

Method:

1. Put sesame seeds in a blender. Grind to as fine a powder as possible, stopping a few times to stir up from the bottom to make sure all seeds are ground

2. Transfer ground seeds to a mixing bowl. Mix in maple syrup or raw honey until well distributed throughout. Add enough distilled water (usually 4-6 tablespoons) to form a loaf.

3. Refrigerate a few hours to firm up before slicing.

Keeps at least a week in the refrigerator; much longer frozen.

Thanks to foodmatterstv.com and rethinkingcancer.org/blog for this delicious recipe


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