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Archive for the ‘fertility boosting foods’ tag

Fertile Food Series – Shellfish

By Tracey Minella

August 9th, 2013 at 10:36 pm


photo courtesy of Danielle Walker/Against All Grain

Welcome back to Long Island IVF’s “Fertile Food Summer Series”*! This is our sixth week of focusing on foods that can potentially boost male or female fertility. If you missed them, be sure to check out our earlier featured foods…including avocados, blueberries, red meat, tomatoes, and chocolate…covered the past few weeks.

This week we’re focusing on Iodine. Many people think of salt when they think of iodine in our diets, but we can get iodine from shellfish (like shrimp), seaweed, kelp, and fruits and vegetables (some of which grow near the sea, like coconuts). Spinach, eggs, and raw dairy products are also good sources of iodine.

So how can iodine help your fertility?

According to Natural Fertility and Wellness, iodine is a trace element responsible for healthy thyroid function. And without sufficient iodine, the thyroid, adrenals and entire endocrine system can be affected, including the body’s ability to create sex hormones.  Higher rates of miscarriage and stillbirth may be linked to iodine deficiency.**

How do you know if you have iodine deficiency?

According to, symptoms of iodine deficiency*** may include:

  • Low Body Temperature/Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Dry Skin/Brittle Nails
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Weight Gain
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Dry, yellowed, puffy skin, particularly on the face
  • Goiter, or swelling of the lower neck


The most accurate way to test your iodine level is through a blood test. Some sites, including Iodine, suggest you rub a 2” circle of tincture of iodine on your upper inner arm and observe how long it takes to disappear. If it’s gone in under an hour, you may be iodine deficient. If it’s still there after four hours, you may not be deficient. Again, only a lab test will tell for sure. Never take any supplements without your doctor’s approval since unsupervised supplementation and excess iodine levels can be harmful.

This week, I am so happy to share an exciting recipe for Mixed Seafood Paella from one of the hottest new cookbook authors, Danielle Walker. She just kicked off a national book tour for her cookbook “Against All Grain”† and she has graciously agreed to share her paella recipe and stunning food photography here. This paella includes three kinds of high iodine seafood: shrimp, clams, and mussels. You can see beautiful photos beside the simple steps to create this meal right here†:   and you can also print out the recipe easily. If you search her Against All Grain blog for “shrimp”, you will find other tasty, fertility-friendly recipes, including high-iodine ingredients like spinach and coconut. She posts recipes on her Facebook page, too

If you make it, let us know what you thought!

*Disclaimer:Any recipe we offer is only meant for those who aren’t sensitive or allergic to the ingredients. Recipes are shared simply for fun only and nothing contained herein constitutes medical advice or a guarantee that eating any particular food will have any effect on your fertility. And remember NEVER to take any vitamin, mineral, dietary or other supplements unless advised to do so by your physician.

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Have a recipe high in iodine? If so, please share it here. And if you try this one, let us know what you thought.



†Photo credit and recipe credit: Danielle Walker: Against All Grain or facebook

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Fertile Food Friday- Avocado

By Tracey Minella

June 28th, 2013 at 3:29 pm


image courtesy of flikr

Did you know that some foods can potentially boost male and female fertility? Want to learn more? Check out Long Island IVF’s “Fertile Food Friday” posts. We’ll have some fun facts and a recipe or video for each food we focus on… for those who aren’t sensitive or allergic to the ingredients, of course.

The first fertile food will be avocado.

As you can see from the photo, avocados hail from what the Aztecs nicknamed Āhuacatl , short for āhuacacuahuitl, which means “testicle tree”.*

Avocados are thick-skinned, dark green/black, pear-shaped, bumpy fruits (about the size of your palm) with soft, pale yellow flesh and a large pit. They are rich in folate and Vitamin E, and are an excellent monounsaturated (good) fat which may benefit the reproductive health of both men and women and also help lower inflammation and insulin resistance (which could be particularly beneficial to many PCOS patients).

In fact, a recent study out of Harvard’s School of Public Health on the effects of dietary fats on IVF outcomes found that those who consumed the highest intake of monounsaturated (good) fats were 3.4 times more likely to have a baby after IVF than those who consumed the lowest amount. Lead researcher, Professor Jorge Chavarro, was quoted by the Daily Mail** as saying, “”The best kinds of food to eat are avocados, which have a lot of monounsaturated fat…” In addition, the women with the highest levels of monounsaturated fat consumption had higher live birth rates. Further, the women who ate mostly saturated (bad) fats had lower egg quality.

Ready for an avocado recipe recommendation?

image courtesy of Mister GC/

Perhaps the most popular use for avocados is in Guacamole, a Mexican dip often used for chips and nachos. It is the quintessential party food and a staple at many summer gatherings. But you may need to skip out on its partner…the Margarita… if you’re trying to conceive.

Chef Rick Bayless, author of Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks and other cookbooks, is famous for guacamole, and often demonstrates his technique in short videos. His guacamole begins with avocados, salt, fresh white onion, fresh lime juice, and cilantro, but the remaining ingredients vary. Additions may include fresh or canned hot chiles, tomatoes or tomatillos, and crispy, crumbled bacon. Check out this video demonstration or one of his cookbooks (available on amazon) to learn how to make fresh guacamole in about 5 minutes. Add chips and a cold drink and you’re ready to go!

Don’t forget that you can also add avocado chunks to salads. And if you don’t care for the taste but still want the health benefits, I will share one of my biggest culinary secrets…you can add it to meatloaf. Cream it into the meat mixture. I promise no one will know.

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Did you make this guacamole? Have another avocado recipe to share? Please share. Let’s help each other feed ourselves fertile.




Guacamole photo credit: Grant Cohrane

Avocado Tree photo credit: Alpha/avlxyz





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