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Can Coconut Oil Help Your Fertility?

4 health benefits of coconut oil that can help you get pregnant.

Can Coconut Oil Help Your Fertility?

In the last five years, coconut oil has gotten a health makeover. It's gone from an alleged trans-fat devil to a must-have of the natural world. Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional science at Cornell University, once said that the oil could trace its bad reputation to one major factor. “Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data," he noted in a 2011 New York Time article. "Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn’t so bad for you after all.”

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Not only has it gained popularity for its medium chain fatty acids, which promote weight loss, it’s also gained momentum in the vegan foods aisle. But that's not it. In recent years, coconut oil's health benefits have been thought to possibly even boost fertility.

Here are some ways it has shown to be beneficial for women who are trying to get pregnant:

  1. Maintaining good body fat. First off, the fat composition of coconut oil is so filling that it can help you lower your overall caloric intake. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also showed that those who consumed medium chain triglycerides, which coconut oil has, lost more belly fat than those who consumed olive oil. That's important because adipose tissue, which is located in the belly region, could have a negative impact on fertility.
  2. Boosting your thyroid. Thyroid disorders are common and treatable causes of infertility. More specifically, hypothyroidism has been linked with menstrual problems and lack of ovulation. Maintaining good fat happens to also be a good thing for your thyroid. Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats, and its particular fat balance is actually nourishing to the thyroid. Our bodies process it differently than other vegetable oils and helps the thyroid to stay active. What's more, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can help prevent some of the issues that are sometimes at the root of thyroid disorders. Finally, our diet often contains known goitrogens (like peanut butter and soybeans) that can block iodine and interfere with our thyroid health.
  3. Regulating insulin secretion. Secreted by the pancreas, insulin is a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels. The higher the blood glucose, the more insulin your body secrete into the blood; and an excess in insulin can then cause testosterone levels to rise to the point of suppressing ovulation and impairing fertility. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil boost metabolism, help slow down the digestive process, and break the glucose down more slowly to keep the stream of energy and blood sugar levels steady, even after you eat. A slower digestion can also help you feel fuller longer, which can help you consume less carbohydrates throughout the day. This is particularly helpful to women who have PCOS.
  4. Balancing vaginal pH. Your vaginal pH can get unbalanced by a lot of things, including your menstrual cycles, antibiotics and diet. If your pH is too acidic, the vaginal environment may become hostile, and the sperm may not live long enough to seek the egg. A vaginal pH that is too alkaline can lead to yeast infections, which can then cause itching, burning, and uncomfortable sex. Adding coconut oil to your diet can help maintain a pH that promotes vaginal health, which is essential for fertility. You can also use it as a lubricant. Since it has a low melting point, you just need to rub it with your hands and then apply. Make sure coconut oil suits your skin so test it on other areas first, and be sure to buy the most authentic version of coconut oil (ONLY coconut oil!) so that other ingredients won’t cause irritation.

Because coconut oil is high in fat, it should be used in moderation. A teaspoon contains roughly 120 calories, and it goes a long way! You could sautee veggies, eggs, and protein with coconut oil or use it for baking goods. While results are not guaranteed, coconut oil is certainly appearing to be more beneficial to your health, which can then help boost fertility.

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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