I created this green down-regulation IVF smoothie to help support my body during IVF. I drank it daily throughout down-regulation (the first stage of the long protocol) and it helped me to keep feeling well during this stage of IVF. Read on to learn how this smoothie may help you too.
Side effects during down-regulation may include: headaches, night sweats, bloating, constipation, fatigue, sluggishness, low mood, irritability and skin breakouts. Ugh! I decided that I would do whatever it took to prevent them.
These symptoms may point to poor detoxification. Detoxification is the process of transforming potentially harmful molecules into metabolites that can be safely excreted from your body.
Our bodies must detoxify all the molecules we are exposed to on everyday, and they all contribute to our ‘toxic load’. Food, drink, heavy metals, pollution, bacteria, cleaning chemicals and beauty products are just a few examples. So, you can see why adding IVF meds into the mix may produce side effects, especially if your toxic load is already high.
This is where we can use diet and lifestyle to support ourselves and that’s why I created this smoothie.
DOWN-REGULATION IVF SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
Make this smoothie from just a handful of fresh ingredients:
BABY LEAF SPINACH (A DARK GREEN LEAFY VEG)
As well as providing a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, dark green leafy veg contain folate. Folate is a key supporter of detoxification pathways. Lightly steam your spinach to improve digestion, especially if you have an under active thyroid or suffer with digestive issues. Read more about why leafy greens are so important for fertility in this article.
Kiwi is my go-to fruit for constipation relief – two a day should do the trick! When our bowels are moving well, the production of gases that may cause bloating is reduced. We also eliminate toxins in our poop, so opening your bowels everyday is important.
SEA SALT (OR ELECTROLYTES)
Getting enough minerals in your diet, including (unrefined) sea salt, is super important. Electrolytes may help support energy levels, healthy hydration and fluid balance. The addition of sea salt may help reduce fatigue, headaches and bloating. If you want to elevate this smoothie even more, add an electrolyte supplement. I recommend adding electrolytes if you find yourself very thirsty during down-regulation. Shop my recommended brand via this link and use the coupon code TFK.
Avocado provides healthy fats which help support bile production. Did you know that our bodies excrete toxins in bile? Healthy fats may also keep you feeling fuller for longer. Avocados also make this smoothie creamy and delicious.
Chia seeds are little nutritional superstars! Not only are they rich in minerals, they are also high in fibre. They are unique as they provide an ideal blend of soluble and insoluble fibre, so they may help to keep your bowels healthy and help you to poop! Going regularly is vital for removal of waste, including old hormones.
Water is vital for maintaining good circulation, bringing nutrients to your reproductive system and removing waste. Staying hydrated may help prevent constipation, headaches, tiredness and bloating. Use filtered water if you can. If you don’t have a water filter you could use mineral water, otherwise tap is fine.
Use either coconut yoghurt or organic full fat cow’s milk yoghurt (plain) if you’re able to tolerate dairy. If using coconut yoghurt, choose a brand that uses minimal ingredients such as COCOS. Yoghurt adds a creaminess to this smoothie.
PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
I’ve added this in for a hint of sweetness. Make sure you use pure vanilla extract and not vanilla flavouring.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and glycine is the most abundant amino acid in collagen. Glycine plays an important role in promoting healthy detoxification. Add 1 tablespoon of collagen to your smoothie. Shop my favourite collagen via this link.
This is optional, but I recommend adding it for a boost of omega-3s. If you do buy flaxseed oil make sure it’s cold-pressed and store it in the fridge as it can turn rancid quickly. You’ll know if it has gone rancid as it will smell off. Shop my favourite flaxseed oil via this link, use coupon code THEFERTILITYKITCHEN for 20% off your order.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR DOWN-REGULATION IVF SMOOTHIE
You can make this smoothie in just two simple steps:
- Prep the spinach: First, place the spinach in a colander or steaming basket over a saucepan of gently simmering water, cover and steam gently for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from the colander with kitchen tongs, place on a plate lined with kitchen roll and pat dry. Set aside to cool while you prepare the other ingredients. You can skip this step if you’re short on time.
- Blend: Next, place the spinach, kiwi, avocado, chia seeds, salt (or electrolytes), water, yoghurt, collagen, vanilla and flaxseed oil (if using) in a blender and blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
That’s it! A refreshing green smoothie full of goodness to make the down-regulation phase of IVF that little bit easier to navigate.
If you’re used to smoothies loaded with sweetness (bananas, mango, pineapple and the like), then this down-regulation IVF smoothie may take some getting used to! I recommend slowly reducing the tropical fruit whilst increasing other ingredients. If you give it a chance I’m certain you will grow to love it.
I was incredibly lucky not to experience any side effects during down reg, so I hope that this smoothie will help you too. For maximum support consider optimising other lifestyle factors (sleep, exercise and stress reduction) as well and check out Optimise IVF for complete nutrition, diet and lifestyle support.
JOIN THE RECIPE HUB FOR MORE SMOOTHIES TO TRY
- Berry banana smoothie
- Blackberry smoothie
- Best green smoothie
Support hydration during IVF with chia seed water (recipe available in the recipe hub). It’s refreshing thanks to a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and makes reaching your daily water goal that little bit more interesting!
I hope you enjoy this IVF down-regulation smoothie recipe. If you make it, let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below, or post in The Fertility Kitchen Community.
Down-regulation IVF smoothie
- 100 g baby leaf spinach (see notes)
- 1 kiwi fruit
- ½ avocado (freeze the other half for use tomorrow)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Pinch of sea salt or electrolytes (see notes)
- 250 ml filtered water
- 1 tbsp coconut yogurt or full fat organic cow's milk yoghurt
- 1 tbsp collagen powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cold-pressed flaxseed oil (optional – see notes)
Prep the spinach first
- Place the spinach in a colander or steaming basket over a saucepan of barely simmering water, pop a lid on and steam gently for 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the smoothie
- Add all ingredients to a blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add 1 tbsp water at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- I suggest prepping the spinach first so that it has time to cool, you don’t want a warm smoothie – gross! I usually steam it and then remove from the colander with kitchen tongs, place on a plate lined with kitchen roll and pat dry. I then set aside whilst I prep the other ingredients.
- To elevate your smoothie even further, replace the salt with 2 capfuls of electrolytes.
- Flaxseed oil is packed with healthy omega-3 fats. The code THEFERTILITYKITCHEN will get you 20% off your order.