The Doctrine of SignaturesLook at the shape and color of the vegetable or fruit or plant to see what organ in the body it may be good for. A famous example is the tomato. When you cut the tomato into two halves, you'll see four chambers resembling our heart. The color red resembles the blood and is symbolic of the cardiovascular system. Interestingly enough scientists have discovered that tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant with an affinity for the heart (it has cardio-protective properties).
Take a Look at These Examples
WalnutsWalnuts come in a hard shell almost like our skull. When you crack a walnut open, you’ll see it has two hemispheres connected by a bridge which very much resembles our brain and the corpus callosum. The thick bridge of neural tissue in the middle of the brain, the corpus callosum connects the left and right hemispheres.
Among other things, our brain is made of essential fatty acids, in particular, the DHA fatty acid, which is one of the omega 3 fats. Guess what — walnuts are one of the richest sources of omega 3 in the plant kingdom and it also helps improve learning and memory function, according to one study.
CarrotsWhen sliced in the middle, carrots look like our iris. Rich in vitamin A, carrots are great for maintaining good eyesight and good night vision.
Dandelions, Grapefruits and LemonsSince yellow color is said to represent the liver and the bile, lemons, grapefruits and dandelions are great for the liver. In addition, they also share another property said to assist in liver detoxification - they are all bitter. Bitter taste activates our digestive juices, enzymes and liver before the food reaches the stomach improving our digestion and nutrient absorption.
GrapesAccording to the same doctrine, grapes are said to be good for our red blood cells as they look like small red cells and contain resveratrol—a powerful, blood-protecting antioxidant and iron necessary for hemoglobin production. Red blood cells carry oxygen attached to hemoglobin to our other cells.
What About Fertility Foods? Are There Any Foods Which Are Good for Fertility?Of course, there are—Mother Nature thought of everything! What shape and color would you suspect fertility foods to be?
Round, full of seeds, red, maybe green? Taking into account the Doctrine of Signatures though, foods that may help improve fertility should resemble male or female reproductive organs.
Top 4 Fertility Foods for Male and Female Fertility
AvocadosAvocados look like a pregnant belly and contain a big seed inside.
Why it's good for fertility:Avocados are rich in the following nutrients:
- Omega 9, a monounsaturated good fat necessary for healthy egg and sperm development,
- vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which protects sperm from oxidative damage,
- vitamin B6 required for optimal hormone production and regulation,
- folate, the key nutrient for a healthy pregnancy,
- vitamin K one for the key fat-soluble vitamins required for proper blood clotting,
- fiber, potassium and many other beneficial phytonutrients.
PomegranatesPomegranates are round, red fruit, full of small red seeds. They resemble ovaries and testes and are thought to have fertility-increasing potential. In fact, they're known as the symbol of fertility throughout ancient times. Babylonians ate it before battles and regarded it as an elixir. Egyptians even bury their dead with the fruit.
Why it's good for fertility:For starters, it's rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. It also contains other antioxidants such as resveratrol and has three times more antioxidants than green tea, according to one study. Antioxidants protect the DNA from damage which can contribute to malformations and miscarriages.
Pomegranates have been found to reduce interleukin-1b (IL-1b), an inflammatory marker that is high in people with inflammatory diseases (such as osteoarthritis, endometriosis, autoimmune conditions and others). When present in the body, the IL-1b marker makes the pain and inflammation worse. While usually associated with chronic conditions, the IL-1b marker can also contribute to miscarriages if present in high numbers.
Besides reducing inflammation, the fruit also has key fertility nutrients such as:
- vitamins A and E, B3,
- folic acid,
- potassium and fiber
FigsSmall and round, figs resemble ovaries and testes and are also full of small seeds, just like the eggs and sperm. Romans regarded figs as a sacred fruit and the ancient Greeks outlawed the export of figs. That's how precious they were in ancient times. Figs were a symbol of prosperity and peace.
Why it's good for fertility:Rich in calcium and fiber, these vitamin and mineral bombs help mop up excess estrogen and xenoestrogens from our digestive system before they get a chance to be absorbed. Also with insulin lowering properties, fig leaves may also be beneficial to PCOS and anovulation.
Figs also protect from breast cancer, promote bone density, protect the cardiovascular system and lower high blood pressure. Not only are they healthy—they also taste divine!
KiwifruitSmall, round and full of small black seeds, kiwis also resemble ovaries and testes.
Why it's good for fertility:One of the richest sources of vitamin C, kiwis also help protect the sperm and DNA in eggs and sperm from oxidation. This makes them another great choice for fertility foods.
It also contains magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, copper, fiber and potassium. It protects our eyes from macular degeneration, controls our blood sugar (important for PCOS and insulin regulation) and promotes colon health and protects from asthma.
Other Foods to Eat When You're Trying to Conceive:These 4 foods are just the start! Doctrine of signatures or not, there is a whole range of foods you can eat to improve your fertility. This includes mostly whole, organic foods like the following:
Fruits and VegetablesFruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are essential in improving egg and sperm quality. A good number of studies (like Harvard's and others) have proven the importance of integrating fruits and vegetables in improving overall fertility in males and females trying to conceive. If you find it difficult to include veggies in your diet, try juicing or blending them with fruit instead.
Nuts and SeedsNuts and seeds are great sources of protein and the mineral zinc, the most important mineral for fertility. Zinc, in men, is essential in testosterone synthesis and in healthy sperm development. In women, zinc is crucial for the production of healthy eggs. It's also essential in ovulation, sexual development and the menstrual cycle.
Plant-based, Unsaturated FatsThese healthy fats (from olive oil, grapeseed oil, nuts and seeds) reduce inflammation and help improve the body's insulin sensitivity--two things which make the body more conducive to fertility.
What a delicious fruit salad or a mixed-green salad topping these fertility foods would make! Get these fertility foods into your daily diet to improve your nutrient status and toxin elimination in order to increase your odds of conception! What are your thoughts on fertility foods? Do you know of other fertility-boosting fruit or vegetables? I’d love to hear from you!
Haider, S., Batool, Z., Tabassum, S., Perveen, T., Saleem, S., Naqvi, F., ... & Haleem, D. J. (2011). Effects of walnuts (Juglans regia) on learning and memory functions. Plant foods for human nutrition, 66(4), 335-340. Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11130-011-0260-2
Tang, G., Qin, J., Dolnikowski, G. G., Russell, R. M., & Grusak, M. A. (2005). Spinach or carrots can supply significant amounts of vitamin A as assessed by feeding with intrinsically deuterated vegetables. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 82(4), 821-828. Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/4/821/4607517
Haskell, M. J., Pandey, P., Graham, J. M., Peerson, J. M., Shrestha, R. K., & Brown, K. H. (2005). Recovery from impaired dark adaptation in nightblind pregnant Nepali women who receive small daily doses of vitamin A as amaranth leaves, carrots, goat liver, vitamin A–fortified rice, or retinyl palmitate. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(2), 461-471. Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/81/2/461/4607525
Daković-Svajcer, K., Samojlik, I., Rasković, A., Popović, M., & Jakovljević, V. (1999). The activity of liver oxidative enzymes after single and multiple grapefruit juice ingestion. Experimental and toxicologic pathology: official journal of the Gesellschaft fur Toxikologische Pathologie, 51(4-5), 304-308. Retrieved from: https://europepmc.org/article/med/10445387
Singh, C. K., Liu, X., & Ahmad, N. (2015). Resveratrol, in its natural combination in whole grape, for health promotion and disease management. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1348(1), 150. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553113/
Gil, M. I., Tomás-Barberán, F. A., Hess-Pierce, B., Holcroft, D. M., & Kader, A. A. (2000). Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry, 48(10), 4581-4589. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11052704
Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School. (2009, May). Follow the Fertility Diet?. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/follow-fertility-diet
Harvard Health. (2007, October 31). Changes to Diet and Lifestyle May Help Prevent Infertility from Ovulatory Disorders [Press release]. Retrieved from: http://archive.sph.harvard.edu/press-releases/2007-releases/press10312007.html
Panth, N., Gavarkovs, A., Tamez, M., & Mattei, J. (2018). The influence of diet on fertility and the implications for public health nutrition in the United States. Frontiers in public health, 6. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6079277/