Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fertility and Wheat Germ - And Can You Have Too Many Supplements?

The fertility diet I followed to help us conceive, and the one that is outlined in our book, The Fertile Kitchen(R) Cookbook, recommends giving up wheat. This is primarily because it is hard to digest and tends to be highly allergenic, making it very challenging for your digestive system, whose burden you really want to ease during the process of trying to conceive. I've written more about wheat here.

But I often get asked: What about wheat germ? Isn't it highly nutritious and great for fertility? So here's my answer to that question:

Wheat germ is high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, which has been shown to improve fertility in men and women. It also has vitamin B6, another important nutrient.

Wheat germ is wheat, however. So if you’re eliminating wheat, as I suggest, it would mean cutting out wheat germ. You can get vitamin E from many other sources, such as nuts, seeds, olives, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, asparagus and vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil. But I also believe this a personal choice, whether to keep it in for its nutritional benefit, or take it out because as wheat it can be hard to digest, tends to be allergenic to many, and you can find the nutrients in wheat germ elsewhere.
Another question I've gotten: Is it possible to take too many supplements?
Our nutritionist, Virginia Watkins, contributed to this answer. Yes, it is possible to take too many supplements, so it's a good idea to get tested for your nutrtional intake to ensure you're not overdosing. Virginia says, "The best source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and so on is food. Food is so complex that extracting just one part of it, for instance vitamin C, is not nearly as valuable as eating a food with a high content of vitamin C."
Keep that in mind, especially if you're thinking of using supplements to make up for a less than healthy diet. You still need the clean, healthy, well-balanced diet!
Photo by:,236928,wheat-germ-essential-oil.html