So you’re trying to get pregnant…congrats! We’re sure you’re watching your diet like a hawk, cutting out sugars and fats where you can. After all, you’re getting ready to eat for two. Well, what if we told you there was a vice you could keep that even promotes fertility?
That’s right, chocolate! Specifically, dark chocolate.
You might be thinking: you know, I heard one time that dark chocolate was healthier than broccoli, but there’s no way it can help me get pregnant, can it? Well grab that donut seat that you prematurely bought in anticipation for your trip to Baby Town and get ready to learn!
General Health Benefits
High quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or higher) has been lauded as a great source of soluble fibers and minerals. In one 100 gram bar of dark chocolate, you can find:
- 11 grams of fiber.
- 67% of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for Iron.
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
- 89% of the RDA for Copper.
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
On top of these delightful elements, dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants. This is measured by ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which tracks antioxidant activity in your foods. In this process, researchers put a sample of food in one corner of the ring and free radicals (real bad boys akin to diseases) in the other. The food is then observed to see how quickly the antioxidants inside can fight against the radicals.
Research showed that raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are one of the top scoring foods tested, meaning they fought off the radicals pretty dang quickly.
So…It Can Help Me Get Pregnant?
Now to the good stuff: dark chocolate has some great benefits regarding fertility. Chocolate contains flavonoids, a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits with antioxidant effects. Chocolate also contains arginine, an amino acid that promotes blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Even the smell of chocolate can increase the brain’s theta waves, helping you relax. Which, let’s be real, is helpful regardless of whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant. Lastly, chocolate contains tryptophan, which, if it doesn’t put you to sleep, it will put you in a good mood.
Dark chocolate also contains an antioxidant called resveratrol. You might recognize this vitamin as what makes red wine healthy. If you are trying to conceive, consuming alcohol is not really an option. However, with dark chocolate on your side, you can still get your dose of goodness and antioxidants in one bite!
Fertility is often considered a woman’s problem, but men can also benefit from the goodness of dark chocolate for all the health reasons listed above. Listen up boys: remember arginine? Studies show that, because of this amino acid, dark chocolate can also increase the volume of ejaculate and improve sperm count and motility. So go ahead, make yourselves a fancy dinner with a dark chocolatey dessert.
Moderation is Key
All of these benefits are found in organic, unprocessed dark chocolates. The farther you go into lighter chocolates, into the milk or even white chocolate territory, the fewer vitamins & minerals you find. You’ll also get a lot more fats and sugars, which are not effective health or fertility boosters. Referring to the aforementioned 100 grams of dark chocolate, that might be a bit too much on a daily basis. Dark chocolate, though packed with vitamins and amino acids galore, also comes with a ton of sugar and calories, so eat this treat in moderation.
As you’re meal planning and timing your “sexy times” for optimal baby-making, you may want to throw in a small dessert here and there. One square of dark chocolate a day is about all you need. If anything, it can be a bittersweet treat that makes that makes an possibly stressful time a little bit easier.