Summer conjures thoughts of the tropics; wait so can Winter! Ha ha! Nonetheless, there is nothing like a tropical fruit or two to take you to the tropics temporarily, no matter the season of the year. Tropical fruits like mango, papaya, guava, pineapple, and avocado are rich sources of fertility-friendly nutrients – antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrients for both men and women. Each are important for fertility because these help maintain hormonal balance and the acid-alkaline balance. When preparing for conception and trying to conceive, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrients are necessary for: egg and sperm health, healthy ovulation and endometrial lining thickness, red blood cell creation, maintaining bone health, as well as for a fetus’s growth and development. These five nutrient-dense tropical fruits are worth learning more about.
Tropical Fruits to Add To Your Fertility Diet
1. Mango (Mangifera indica) – Mangoes are rich in carotenoids, antioxidants, and nutrients including: vitamin C, copper, B Vitamins (including vitamin B6 that is vital to a healthy menstrual cycle), thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium. Mango is also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber for healthy elimination.
The cultivation of the fruit began in Moghul, India, where the fruit is still considered sacred and is thought to have aphrodisiac effects… It is revered in India as a symbol of love. ~ Michael Murry, N.D.
Mango also contains proteolytic enzymes that break down proteins plus enzymes that improve digestion. Its vitamin A content helps protect against some infections, may have antiviral properties, and has been found to kill the bacteria “giardia” (known to cause “traveler’s diarrhea”).
Add mangoes to fruit salads, chutney/salsas, cold soups, rice dishes, and Fertility Smoothies. Best consumed raw. Recipes for Mango Lassi and for Island Girl Colada that provides the superfoods you need to boost fertility are part of our 10 Day Fertility Smoothie Challenge – click here to join today!
2. Papaya (Carica papaya) – “The fruit of the Angels”, papaya is an excellent source of antioxidants to protect our cells (egg and sperm) – carotenes (vitamin A), vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and dietary fiber. They also are an adequate source of Vitamin E, an important antioxidant to help protect sperm and egg DNA integrity. Additionally, papaya is a low glycemic index fruit to support healthy insulin levels instrumental in healthy hormonal balance.
Papaya contains the digestive enzyme papain, used in a way similar to bromelain, which acts as a pain reliever, blood thinner/anticoagulant, and an anti-inflammatory agent; all are supportive of painful or inflammatory fertility health conditions. It may boost immune system health as well (even for those with allergies).
Papaya is delicious raw, in fruit salads, or mixed with cilantro, a small bit of jalapeno pepper, and minced fresh ginger root for a salsa that pairs great with seafood like halibut or shrimp.
3. Guava (Psidium guajava) – In researching for this article, I am now going eat more guava. It is touted as a superfood and can be for fertility as well! Guava is apparently the most therapeutically used fruit in the Philippines.
Guava is “extraordinarily” rich in vitamin C, lycopene, and antioxidants. Rich in manganese, which helps the body to absorb other key nutrients from the food that we eat, guavas can be important for energy production and antioxidant defenses and contain about the same amount of potassium as one banana. Guavas also contain folate, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6, vitamin A and magnesium, which all help promote fertility. They are rich in fiber, beneficial for a healthy digestive system (the seeds can help alleviate constipation) and metabolism (weight management) and are a dietary source of copper for healthy thyroid function. Like papaya, guavas are a low glycemic index fruit.
Guava is an immune-boosting, stress-reducing, digestive-health-supporting, DNA-protecting superfood – “vitamin C and a number of other important phytonutrients that can help eliminate free radicals and slow down oxidative stress in the body.”
The ripe soft flesh (minus the fibrous center and seeds) of a guava can be juiced, added to smoothies, or fruit salad, and of course eaten raw too!
4. Pineapple (Ananas comosus) – Pineapples are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. They are rich in manganese, known as an important enzyme cofactor nutrient that helps the body absorb key nutrients from the food that we eat, produces energy and aids in the healthy function of antioxidants.
Fresh pineapple is rich in bromelain, which is made up of a group of sulfur-containing proteolytic (protein digesting) enzymes that not only aid digestion but can effectively reduce inflammation [anti-inflammatory actions have been proven in clinical studies on humans] and swelling, both common in many fertility health issues and can also break down mucus in distressing respiratory conditions.
One to two slices are really the most you should ingest daily between meals (when actively ttc, from ovulation until menstruation and for supporting implantation; not to be used before ovulation). Everything in moderation!
Ripe, raw pineapple is best, and it can be left at room temperature before serving. It can be juiced, eaten raw, added to smoothies, made into fruit salad, chutney or salsa, grilled … served in just about any way.
5. Avocado aka “alligator pear” (Persea americana) – Avocados have been cultivated in Central and South America where they have been native since 8000 B.C.E. Avocados are a rich source of health-promoting monounsaturated fatty acids, plant sterols known to block excess estrogen from xenoestrogens, B vitamins, vitamin E, and potassium. Avocado is a high fiber, low-sugar source of carbohydrates beneficial for those with insulin level concerns (such as some women with PCOS) and supports healthy cholesterol levels.
Avocados make a great salad topping and are the main ingredient in guacamole. They are easily masked in a Fertility Smoothie and can be used to replace banana, or as a healthy replacement for mayo on sandwiches.
Enjoy Tropical Fruits!
Add Tropical fruits to your Fertility Diet here and there. They are excellent sweet treats without the added inflammation that processed sweets share and are a great way to boost nutrient levels for optimal fertility. An added bonus: mango, pineapple, papaya, guava*, and avocado are low on the list of pesticide contamination, so you can buy these organic or conventional.
*Learn the farming practices of the guava farmer you purchase from, as some guava farmers try using pesticides to control whiteflies (a common pest in guava farming).
Note/Caution: While these whole foods are generally safe for most people, avocado and papaya should be avoided if you have a latex allergy, and mango and pineapple might need to be avoided as well.
- 15 Amazing Benefits of Guava. (2017). Retrieved from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-guava.html
- Ansel, K. (2018). Go Tropical with Super Fruits. Retrieved from: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/go-tropical-with-super-fruits
- Murray, M., Pizzorno, J. E., & Pizzorno, L. (2008). The encyclopaedia of healing foods. London: Piatkus.