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Almonds are a great snack on their own, but there are also tons of ways to enjoy them beyond mindless munching. And if you’re trying to improve your reproductive health? Adding more almonds to your diet may be the perfect place to start.
Curious About Your Fertility? Do This!
According to Boston Medical Group, raw almonds contain the healthy fats and nutrients needed for the production of sex hormones. Often described as a “sexual stimulant,” almonds have been found to combat infertility, as well, and reduce the risk of miscarriage. What does this mean for those trying to get pregnant? More almonds, please! (And if you want to learn about the inextricable link between hormones and sex drive, click here.)
Of course, boosting hormonal health isn’t the only reason to enjoy raw, unpasteurized almonds. These tasty nuts might as well be called “nutritional powerhouses,” because they can pack a punch. In addition to health-healthy oils and protein, they contain:
Laetrile, a cancer-fighting compound,
Vitamins B and E,
Many phytonutrients that help rid the body of cancer-causing free radicals!
Put another way, there are more than a dozen reasons to add almonds to your diet. And if you’re willing to get creative, you can include them in everything from pie crust and chocolate mousse to salad dressing and pasta sauce. When you’re ready to get started, here are some delicious ways to enjoy almonds:
Curious About Your Fertility? Do This!
Almond Flour: Place 1 cup of raw unpasteurized almonds in a blender and pulse until they reach a coarse meal (don’t go overboard or you will have almond butter – which is actually a delicious mistake). Remove from the blender and pass through a fine sieve or flour sifter. Add the larger pieces that don’t pass through back in the blender to be pulsed up with the next batch. Keep almond flour in the refrigerator or freezer, and use it in baked goods or as a crust for meat, chicken, fish, or tofu. It is my favorite baking flour!
Pesto: Use almonds in place of pine nuts in your favorite pesto recipe. They are typically more affordable and will add a nutty, rich flavor. My favorite is kale and almond pesto!
Mousse: Trust me on this one! Combine 1 cup raw almonds, 1 large avocado, 4 tbsp raw cacao powder, and ¼ cup water in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Add your sweetener of choice to taste. Raw honey, date paste, and coconut nectar are great low-glycemic and high-nutrient sweeteners. Scoop the mousse into individual serving cups, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Burgers: These days, burgers are not just a meaty affair. Combine ground almonds with smashed lentils and/or beans and quinoa, spice up the mixture to your liking, and form burger patties to throw on the grill.
“Paté”: Combine 1 cup raw almonds, ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds, and 1 large carrot in a food processor and pulse to combine. Then, add any of the following to spice up your almond-veggie pate: chickpeas, broccoli florets, raw garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, zucchini, parsley, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, or dill. Play around with your recipe until you reach a good consistency and flavor, then serve with crusty bread, crackers, or raw vegetables. You can also add this to sandwiches, salads, and wraps.
Granola: Homemade grain-free granola is definitely the way to go. It’s easy to make using tons of superfood ingredients like coconut oil, goji berries, raw honey, and of course, almonds.
Sauces: Enhance everything from marinara to barbecue sauce with raw almonds. Grind the almonds until they resemble a coarse meal (or all the way to a paste if you want a creamier mixture) and add them to your sauce of choice. I love tossing in some coarsely chopped almonds to a vegetarian marinara sauce. It adds texture and substance, and pairs well with the tangy tomato flavors.
Almond Milk: Once you make this at home, you’ll never purchase the processed almond milk at the grocery store again. Homemade nut milk is a breeze to make. Ingredients? Almonds and water. Fancy it up with a touch of organic vanilla if you like; blend and strain (cheesecloth is best, but not required).
“Cheese”: Combine 1 cup raw almonds with ¾ cup water, 2 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 3 cloves garlic, ½ tsp salt, and other spices of your choosing (fresh herbs also work well) in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Place a medium-sized colander in a large bowl for draining. Line the colander with cheesecloth and then pour in the nut mixture. Place in the refrigerator and let drain for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Serve in small bowls as a “cheese” spread, adding additional seasoning if necessary.
Consuming a single serving of almonds (about ¼ cup or approximately 23 nuts) a day is enough for you to reap the benefits. While this post focuses primarily on women, this is also true for men who are trying to boost their fertility. In one study, researchers found men who consumed about two handfuls of mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts) a day for 14 weeks experienced a higher sperm count with more viable swimmers.
In addition to almonds, it’s worth adding Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts to your diet when you’re trying to conceive. These nuts contain lots of fertility-boosting nutrients like selenium, magnesium, vitamin E, and omega-3s.
Once you get pregnant, you don’t have to stop making your favorite almond treats! Keep this little superfood in your diet so you and baby reap additional benefits. The omega-3 fatty acids found in almonds are especially important in supporting your baby’s neurological development.
Generally speaking, pregnant women don’t have to avoid nuts if they don’t have any associated allergies. Past guidelines advised them to avoid eating peanuts, but the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendations when researchers found that women who ate peanuts or tree nuts while pregnant were less likely to have a child with a nut allergy.
Adding nuts, including almonds, to your diet is one of the most effective ways to increase estrogen levels naturally. Estrogen plays a critical role during pregnancy as it helps the uterus grow, maintains the uterine lining, and triggers the development of the baby’s organs.
From making almond flour, which you can then use in baked goods, to mixing up some almond “cheese” for spreading on crackers, there are tons of mouthwatering ways to use up that stash of almonds before they expire!
Curious About Your Fertility? Do This!
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This essential fertility course is for anyone who is struggling to get pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant soon. The course covers allllll the fertility topics: egg quality, ovarian reserve, miscarriage, ovulation, cycle tracking, low progesterone, IVF, prepping for egg retrieval + embryo transfer, thyroid health, toxins, and much more. It covers EVERYTHING you need to know and you can move through the modules at your own pace.
The Fertility Code will give you the tools, protocols, tests, supplements, and more to optimize your fertility health, nourish your body, and give it what it needs to make a baby, and ensure a healthy full-term pregnancy. It has helped hundreds of women get pregnant, and stay pregnant, and it can help you too.
And if you want to get a baseline of your fertility health before getting started, take my quiz! After you complete it, you’ll receive a detailed report from me explaining your results. Or, if you want to have a more in-depth conversation about your specific concerns, feel free to schedule a consultation. I can’t wait to chat!
Sarah Jane Sandy is a certified nutrition therapist, and a fertility and women’s health expert. She has helped hundreds of women increase their fertility naturally and go on to have healthy full-term pregnancies. Learn more about her own fertility journey here. To send Sarah a message, complete her Contact Form.
Curious about your fertility health? Take this simple quiz to find out what factors may be harming your fertility, and learn what you can do about it!
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