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Chocolate for fertility: Too good to be true?

Feb 11, 2022
Holding a gluten free brownie

Do you hate the pressure around sex ever since you started trying to get pregnant?

I thought that was one of the worst parts of the whole ordeal - making it a scheduled requirement steals all the fun out of it. 

I bring this up because Valentine's Day is around the corner - another date for "obligatory" romance. If you ask me, chocolate is the best thing about this Hallmark holiday.

Turns out, chocolate on V-Day may be good for your fertility too - NOT too good to be true! Stick with me here... 

Dark chocolate can give your fertility a boost (operative word here is dark - we're talking 70% or darker). Here's what dark chocolate gives you: 

  • Tryptophan- an amino acid that goes into producing serotonin (the feel good hormone) - think more pleasure & relaxation to help you get in the mood ;)
  • Magnesium - nature's "chill pill" for less stress & more sleep. Magnesium is also needed for healthy hormone levels - including producing enough progesterone.
  • Antioxidants - think miscarriage prevention and healthy sperm.
  • Insulin Resistance: Research suggests that dark chocolate may improve insulin sensitivity (this is especially huge for those of us with PCOS or irregular cycles, working on blood sugar balance to get ovulation more regular).

Around Halloween, I wrote about the perils of eating sugar for your fertility. I explained that too much sugar sends your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride - and blood sugar stabilization is EVERYTHING when it comes to hormone balance and regular ovulation (for everyone, not just those of us with PCOS).

All of that said, chocolate is one of life's great pleasures. Getting too rigid in the name of fertility won't serve you. Be intentional about your indulgences - and enjoy the sh** out of each bite.

I love the 80/20 approach: ⁠
➡️ 80% of the time choosing what's best for your health; and ⁠
➡️ 20% of the time eating for comfort, for boredom, to be social or polite, or just for the fun of it. ⁠

I hope you get gifted the best chocolate of your life this V-Day - you deserve it.

Rooting for you, 

Anna

 

PS Want a gooey-chocolatey-fudgey indulgence that won't bust your health goals? Try these Double-Chocolate Flourless Brownies (recipe below). 

They're all the things - gluten free, dairy free, naturally sweetened, low glycemic index (won't spike your blood sugar), and they hit the chocolate spot.

I'm not a stellar baker, so I also love how ridiculously easy this recipe is. The brownies are thin and fudgy- not too sweet - just the right amount of indulgence. 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 C unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 C of coconut sugar 
  • 1/4 C coconut oil*, melted 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips 
  • Sea salt (optional)

 *Note: I used a triple-filtered coconut oil from Trader Joe's that has almost no aroma. Regular coconut oil would work just as well.

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a small (like 7x7 or smaller) baking dish with parchment paper (or grease with butter or oil)
  • In a large bowl, blender or food processor, mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips until smooth
  • Fold in 1/2 C chocolate chips - save the other 1/2 C to sprinkle on top
  • Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle the top with dark chocolate chips and small pinch of sea salt
  • Bake for about 30 min. Remove from oven when the middle still has a slight jiggle
  • Let rest for a few hours (or if you're like me and can't wait that long, refrigerate for ~30 min.) before digging in

If you try them- let me know how it goes and if you want more recipes! 

I can help you conceive easily and enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

Fertility is not one-size-fits-all.

As a registered dietitian, I use strategic testing to understand your unique physiology, and a data-driven approach to balance your hormones, improve egg quality and get you pregnant. Let's make a baby!

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