Chocolate

The Science of Chocolate for Improving Fertility

The health benefits of chocolate may improve fertility.

 In Mayan civilization, ground cocoa was thought to be a health-promoting elixir, and the Aztecs believed that cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility. Throughout history, chocolate has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, and in recent years, multiple studies have found that chocolate can have positive health effects, providing evidence to a centuries-long established use.

Beneficial fertility-related components of dark chocolate (with a cacao content of 70% or higher) include it's antioxidants (beneficial for egg and sperm health), and it's anti-inflammatory actions that improve the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which contributes to improving platelet function and blood flow (an important part of how "nutrition" gets to the uterine environment).

A traditional hot chocolate preparation involved adding cinnamon and pepper - these are both Chinese herbs that "warm the uterus," or also help blood flow. So, chocolate can be a pleasurable and healthy indulgence to incorporate (in moderation) into your fertility routine. 

 Hot Cocoa Recipe to Nourish The Heart and The Uterus:

Warm 1 cup of almond milk (recipe below) in a saucepan and stirring constantly, mix in cocoa powder (70% cacao content) to taste. Continue to stir or whisk until thoroughly blended and desired temperature. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of pepper. Enjoy!

Almond Milk

Ingredients:
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, skin-on
4 cups filtered water, plus more water for soaking almonds
1 1/2 tsp honey, or one whole pitted date
Dash of salt

Blend everything together and strain through fine mesh strainer or muslin cloth.

References:

Malays J Pathol. 2013 Dec;35(2):111-21. The history and science of chocolate.

Verna Nutrients. 2013 May 14;5(5):1573-84. Chocolate in history: food, medicine, medi-food.