Red wine has been said to be healthy because it contains resveratrol, an antioxidant. However, if you are trying to conceive, let alone if you are pregnant, consuming alcohol is not really an option. No need to worry – you can still get resveratrol from a different source that’s even more delicious: DARK CHOCOLATE.
In many cultures, chocolate has been an ancient tradition and often associated with romantic love. The Mayans created a ritual beverage made from cocoa mixed with water, vanilla, black pepper and other spices. Mayan brides and grooms shared the mixture during marriage ceremonies and it is said to be associated with the god of fertility.
Dark vs. Milk Chocolate
Not all chocolates are the same and yes, there is a difference between dark and milk chocolate. The latter contains milk and sugar – two substances that are a lot less good for you. One study even showed that the milk used in milk chocolates bind up the antioxidant, making it lose its benefit. Dark chocolate, however, also contains epicatechin – this helps prevent cholesterol from blocking one’s arteries. It also protects the brain from being damaged during a stroke.
Another beneficial ingredient in dark chocolate is arginine. This is a building block of nitric oxide. This increases blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. It also contains tryptophan – triggers hormones that make people happy.
Before you indulge in dark chocolates, you have to take into consideration that too much of anything is still bad for one’s health. One small square of dark chocolate is all you need – you will still get the benefit, no need to eat the whole bar. Baking chocolate, an unsweetened form, is the truest form of ‘dark chocolate’ and it is better to eat it if you can stand it.
Raspberries, blueberries, and other dark-skinned fruits are wonderful sources of anti-inflammatory antioxidants such as resveratrol and quercetin. Studies found that quercetin helps in maintaining healthy sperm parameters including quality and motility, while resveratrol has been found to improve sperm count as well as motility.
Other Sources of Resveratrol
Like all types of food, moderation is the key. If you have any other questions regarding other foods and practices that will benefit your undergoing fertility treatment, consult Dr. Fay Weisberg.