Most of us want to live long and vibrant lives, which means cellular function must be maintained, and furthermore, optimized, as we age. Every cell in our body has specific nutrient requirements to maintain function, and by providing the body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, we are able to feed our cells what they need. When considering conception and pregnancy, these concepts apply. The goal is provide reproductive organs and cells with required nutrients to ensure that an oocyte (an egg) and sperm are able to join, implant and develop appropriately. Click here for a downloadable list of the Best Choices listed below.
Oxidative Stress & Inflammation
Oocytes and sperm are uniquely sensitive to oxidation and inflammation. Numerous studies indicate that as oxidative stress and inflammation increase in these delicate cells and the reproductive organs, function becomes impaired.
What is oxidation? Think of a metal fence. As the metal rusts its function becomes impaired. The chemical process of rusting is oxidative. Fortunately, antioxidants are powerful blockers of oxidation. Studies show that when antioxidants are consumed oxidation slows and cellular function improves.
What is inflammation? Inflammation is a normal immune reaction. Consider a cut on your finger. Initially it may become slightly red and swollen; this is an appropriate, short-term, inflammatory reaction as your immune system protects your body. But what would happen if that inflammatory reaction continued? The cut could become a festering wound that doesn’t heal and as a result, many nutrients are required to support the immune system in its efforts to heal the wound, and more oxidation occurs. Chronic low-grade inflammation is subtler than a festering wound, but because low-grade inflammation is constantly present, the outcomes are the same: increased nutrient needs and increased oxidation. Click here to learn more and find out if you are inflamed.
Ideal Cellular Function
Every food choice you make is an opportunity to improve cellular function. Each food listed here will improve your antioxidant status and calm inflammation, moving you closer and closer to ideal cellular function. These foods are the highest in antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory compounds. Fill your grocery cart with these and eat them every single day. Looks like a delicious list to me!
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Red bell pepper
- Red cabbage
- Red grapes
Spices & Herbs
Nuts & Seeds
- Natural peanut butter
- Ground flaxseeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
Beans & Lentils
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
Click here for a downloadable list of the Best Choices for Cellular Function.
Don’t See Your Favorites on This List?
That’s fine. Any variety of vegetable, fruit, nut, seed, spice, bean or lentil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Start with what you like and try to broaden the variety of plant-based foods that you eat.
Photo Credit: Photo and accompanying recipe from Simply Recipes Broccoli, Ginger Sesame Sauté
Disclaimer: Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for personalized nutrition or health advice or healthcare. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read or accessed through this website.