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Sweet Potatoes and Fertility
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support group for women who are trying to conceive or have conceived a child over the age of forty

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Sweet Potatoes and Fertility

Hey Everyone,

Right after my last m/c I was channel surfing and caught a minute or two of TLC's "I didn't know I Was Pregnant with Twins "  or "Pregnant With Twins "  - something like that anyway.   Right before DH snatched the remote from my hands and shut the tv off - I saw something about sweet potatoes causing multiple births.  Anyone see that show ?  I know its a long shot - I'm working at one baby but, if it'll increase the number of eggs released - hey , I'll take the "two-fer" special.      I didn't stock up until this past ttc - they were on special and I bought 3 huge honkers - made fries with one of 'em - it was a big one.  
I just did a quick search and here's what I found :

"I was told that sweet potatoes can increase your luteal phase by raising progesterone levels, which gives a fertilized egg a better chance of implantation. "

"Yams, a type of sweet potato, have been linked with multiple births. A tribe in Africa whose diet consists mostly of yams was recently found to have exceptionally high rates of twins and multiple births. Yams are thought to contain chemicals that stimulate hyperovulation, increasing your chances of conceiving twins.

Fern Reiss' Infertility Diet also recommends eating yams, that they are sort of nature's Clomid and help trigger the release of the egg (or eggs). They are particular recommended if you have a short luteal phase. Anyway, they taste good, so why wait until Thanksgiving?

Please note that "garnet yams" and "Jewel" yams, like you'll see at Whole Foods are NOT real yams, they are sweet potatoes. True yams look like a hairy log of firewood and are all gucky and mucilagenous when you slice them. You can often find them in Carribean markets.


WARNING: true yams are poisonous if you eat them raw."


The TLC show mentioned sweet potatoes though, not the "true yams".    ANyone watch the show ? I wonder what  other fact/fiction tidbits I missed.  Anyway, couldn't hurt to try this out - and they are delish as fries.  



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8 Comments
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Hi Sue,
I didn't watch the show but I too, heard about the study that showed a correlation between eating yams and high twinning rates in some of the population groups in West Africa.  

You're right, they're not the same as the yummy sweet potatoes we buy in our regular grocery shops.

Hey, if it doesn't hurt, it can't hurt to try!  I've been drinking greens every morning with my OJ.  
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1076696_tn?1283033325
I've been guzzling raspberry tea and trying to remember to drink some greens, too.

I've heard the same thing about yams. I love yummy sweet potatoes, especially in pies. But I was used to sweet potatoes looking either like hairy logs of firewood (I LOVE that description) or like orange potatoes, depending on where I get them or who's cooking. I think I've been confused for a very long time.
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674725_tn?1367443230
Ooh, what's this about raspberry tea ? Haven't heard about that.   I got the greens down, sweet taters - and now this sounds good too - do share.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Many of the naturopathic fertility aids contain Mexican yam, in a standardized form.  Although I've not heard of eating yams or sweet potatoes for fertility, a specific kind of yam is DEFINITELY in many/most naturopathic fertility compounds.

Susan
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1076696_tn?1283033325
I've heard for ages--from "old wives" as well as online and in books--that raspberries and raspberry tea regulate female hormones and the reproductive cycle. I don't know whether the tea will make a person more fertile, but it does no harm while TTC, and raspberries are also in teas for pregnant women. I enjoy drinking tea, so I figure, why not try it.

There's a dish called fufu that contains the hairy-log yams, that you can get in some Caribbean, African, and Cuban restaurants (though sometimes it's made with plantains instead). Fufu and raspberry tea for lunch as a recipe for twins...? :D
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1006003_tn?1256231015
Hi All!

If you use "natural progesterone cream" that contains micronized progesterone, the raw material that is used to make that progesterone comes from the good ol' yam.

It's possible that eating yams as food provides a little something in the way of a hormone boost, but it will be a VERY little something compared to the concentrated progesterone that is made by processing the yams to make micronized progesterone.  Still, there is something to be said for going the traditional route with whole foods. Who knows what else there might be in yams that boosts the effects of the small amount of hormone-like substance they might have? There isn't likely to be any research into this, since no one can patent yams.

So, I say, eat your yams - they're full of vitamins too!

~Wendy
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674725_tn?1367443230
Thanks all for your reponses - I know its asking too much of a miracle from a sweet potato but, at least they're packed with vitamins and go down easy ( some of those Omega vitamins are chokers !).   I've been eating healthy and it was torture at first denying myself sweets and caffeine but, at least I feel like this is a simple thing I can do to prepare for a pregnancy.  
Thanks AliceW on the raspberry tip - its on my next shopping list.  Dh has a huge dark chocolate bar from my sister - its got raspberry filling in it - oozes out when you break it.  Looks so good but, I'm staying away from it for now til TWW over - told him to save me a couple squares - or else.   Ooh, and fufu -  cute name - will look that up - is it as good as it sounds ?  Not hoping for twins ( though I'll take 'em) - just want to feel like I might increase the chances.    
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509879_tn?1259342551
Hi E/O.

The tea is Red Raspberry Leaf--it's supposed to tone the uterus. It's also in a lot of prenatal vitamins. However, according to what I've read, you're supposed to avoid it in the first trimester of pg b/c it can cause little contractions of the uterus, which can lead to early miscarriage. I, like Alice (hi, Alice!), have been drinking a lot of it lately (I'm on CD18). I've also cut sugar and other sweeteners out of my diet (except for agave nectar, which is very low on the glycemic index) and I'm staying away from most flours too. I'm staying away from caffeine, but I've read some positive things about Green Tea and fertility, so I might start drinking a cup of that a day--maybe I can get decaf? I'm also trying to eat way more veggies and organic meats. It can only help, right?

Good luck to us all!


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