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How to Keep Your Hormones Happy During Thanksgiving

The most important thing you can do for your fertility this holiday season is take care of yourself. The second most important thing? Keep your blood sugar at bay while still enjoying the feast.

If you're trying to conceive, the holidays can feel stressful for many reasons. One thing you do not need to stress about is celebrating and indulging in all the festivities. Rest assured, a few drinks here and a few desserts there won't adversely impact your chances of pregnancy. In fact, the best gift you can give yourself is the joy of enjoying these special moments with your loved ones. 

For those curious about optimizing fertility amidst the holiday feasting, one of the biggest keys lies in maintaining effective blood sugar control.

Why is blood sugar control crucial for ovulation and fertility? Studies indicate that even within the normal range of glucose concentrations, people with higher blood glucose have reduced likelihood of pregnancy. This is primarily because of the impact high blood sugar levels have on our fertility hormones, which, in turn, influence ovulation.

So, let's unwrap some quick science-backed tips to ensure your blood sugar remains stable, your hormones are happy, and your ovulation stays in optimal health this holiday season. 

1. Spice things up with cinnamon

By incorporating cinnamon into your diet, you're not just adding a burst of flavor to your dishes but also providing relief from menstrual pain and cramps — and potentially even supporting ovulation! 

Cinnamon's anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties can help regulate prostaglandin levels, reducing uterine contractions and easing discomfort. Beyond its menstrual benefits, cinnamon boasts additional advantages such as blood sugar regulation. Early evidence even suggests cinnamon may improve menstrual cyclicity in people with PCOS!

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2. Kick off your day with a 5-plant smoothie

Start your Thanksgiving morning right with a nutrient-packed smoothie featuring your favorite five plants. Incorporate a mix of fruits, leafy greens, and seeds to create a balanced and delicious blend. 

A plant-based smoothie in the morning can provide a healthy foundation for blood sugar levels throughout the day, offering sustained energy and supporting overall well-being — even if you choose to veg out later in the day!

If you're a Doveras member, check out some of our nutritionist-developed fertility smoothie recipes here.

3. Pre-game with nuts & seeds

Studies suggest that consuming nuts and seeds right before meals can help reduce blood sugar spikes. Why? Nuts and seeds are rich in protein and healthy fats, both of which can help you manage blood sugar: 

4. We're sweet on sweet potatoes

Elevate your Thanksgiving menu by embracing sweet potatoes, a powerhouse for fertility. Packed with vitamin C, sweet potatoes contribute to healthy immune function and may aid in ovulation. 

⁠The beta-carotene and complex carbs in these tubers help stabilize blood sugar levels and support menstrual regulation. For an extra fertility boost, add pomegranate seeds to your sweet potato dish, enhancing your vitamin C intake and adding a burst of flavor.

5. Take a daily walk with loved ones

We know that it can be tricky to keep a regular gym routine during the holidays. But don’t worry — exercise doesn't have to be intense to support fertility! A daily walk with loved ones can be equally beneficial. 

When you move your body, your muscles need more energy. New research shows that by going for a walk after eating, glucose is more readily absorbed from your bloodstream to fuel your muscles instead of resulting in a blood sugar spike. 

So, can you go for a 10 minute walk after big meals? Use it as a chance to catch up with loved ones (or take a break from the stimulation of the holiday commotion!).

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